This is part of our 7 week series covering the biggest mistakes we see home buyers make, and how you can avoid them next time you buy.
Big Mistake No.2: Getting scared off by a building inspection…
I get really concerned when buyers tell me they have pulled out of buying 5, 6, 7 homes because of concerns raised by their builders report. Further investigation usually reveals that all of those houses have later been bought by other buyers who have secured their own builders report and usually paid a similar price for the property.
Is it that all those other buyers are making bad decisions? Could it be possible that all those other building inspectors are professionally inept? Or is there something else going on here?
Most buyers now see the benefit in receiving specialist advice before buying and insist on sighting a report from a registered building inspector before going ahead with any purchase. About the only people who wouldn’t insist on this would be builders themselves or those with friends / family who can inspect the property on their behalf. Some buyers might pull out of buying 1 or possibly 2 houses due to a bad builders report but if it becomes 4, 5, 6 or more houses you really need to start asking questions.
There is no such thing as a perfect home and every purchase comes with some inherent risk (especially older properties and those built in the 90’s and the early 2000’s). There are a lot of things that can go wrong. Every home has issues and while I do not recommend buying a home with major problems unless you have a plan or finances to fix them, I believe if you have missed out on a number of properties then you need to review how you are interpreting your reports and potentially who you are receiving your advice from.
At least consider seeking a 2nd opinion from another builder before withdrawing your offer. Different building inspectors will categorise risk in different ways and it is their job to provide you with the ‘worst case scenario’ when discussing any potential issues. Others use practical ways of explaining problems and car shed light on potential costs etc which can sometimes be negotiated with the Vendor.
When reviewing any report that has raised issues or potential problems it is worth asking the following questions…
If I was already the owner of this property would I care about this issue? Would I see it as an urgent problem? Would it keep me up at night?
Is this a common problem for a home of this age and type? Eg. If I visited my parents / friends house would they likely have things like this happening as well? Have they dealt with issues like this in the past?
Does it need to be fixed urgently? Eg. Do I need to deal with it now? Or can it wait 1 year, 3 years, 5 years?
For more advice on reading builders reports, check out this article…
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK:
“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
– Winston Churchill