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Pre-Purchase Building Inspections: Seeing the Unseen Before You Buy

By - John Souffront
Last Updated - February 20th, 2023 4:02 AM

Are you thinking of buying a new house? Before you commit to your purchase, it’s important to get pre purchase building inspections done.  Read on to find out more!

What Does a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection Include?

A pre-purchase home inspection is an important part of the buying process, as it can help to identify any potential issues before you commit to a purchase. Knowing exactly what a pre-purchase home inspection includes can help you to make an informed decision.

First, it’s important to understand that a pre-purchase home inspection is not the same as a pre-listing inspection. Typically, the seller gets a pre-listing inspection done before putting the house on the market for their benefit. A pre-purchase home inspection is conducted by an independent third-party inspector for the benefit of the buyer.

Benefits of a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

The goal of a pre-purchase home inspection is to identify and document any potential safety concerns and any structural damage or defects that may affect the value or habitability of the property. This includes checking permits, looking for signs of dampness, assessing levels of insulation, inspecting all electrical fittings, and inspecting any existing plumbing fixtures. The inspector may also check for asbestos or other hazardous materials, which could be present in older properties.

In addition to these assessments, a professional building inspector will also look at structural elements such as walls, foundations, and roofs. They will also assess mechanical elements such as heating and cooling systems, water heaters, and smoke detectors. Finally, they will inspect exterior features such as balconies, decks, and stairs, as well as any other external features that may be included in the sale.

At the end of the inspection process, you should receive a comprehensive report outlining any structural or mechanical issues that have been identified during the inspection process. This report will provide you with information that can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the purchase.

By understanding what is included in a pre purchase property inspection, you can ensure that your purchase decision is well-informed and backed up by evidence from a professional building inspector.

Why Pre-Purchase Building Inspections Are Essential

Pre purchase building inspections are essential to help you make an informed decision when buying a property. They provide you with an accurate assessment of the building’s condition, helping you to identify any major structural issues, safety hazards, or minor maintenance defects that may be present.

Having a pre-purchase building inspection done can help you avoid any surprises and unexpected costs down the line. Furthermore, it will give you peace of mind that the building is safe for you and your family to live in.


What Does a Commercial Building Inspector Check?

When it comes to pre-purchase building inspections, it is essential to understand what a commercial building inspector will check. During the inspection, the inspector will check every accessible area, including the roof and the subfloor, looking for any cracks in walls and ceilings, as well as any signs of water damage.

Additionally, they will check several documents such as planning applications, construction drawings, and specifications, as well as pre purchase pest inspection reports.

This allows them to assess the general condition of the property and identify any potential issues that could cause problems in the future. By understanding what a commercial building inspector checks, you can gain peace of mind that your property is safe and up to code.

The Benefits of Pre-Purchase Building Inspections

Having pre purchase building reports done before signing a contract on a house can provide several benefits. Not only will it alert you to any existing issues within the home, but it will also provide you with bargaining power when placing an offer. Knowing the condition of the building also allows you to plan for any necessary repairs.

Furthermore, the report can help you identify major defects, structural defects, safety hazards, and minor maintenance issues which may go unnoticed at first glance. Such knowledge is essential for any buyer who wants to make an informed decision about the purchase of a property.


What Does a Building Inspection Report Include?

A building inspection report includes a thorough assessment of the property’s condition, including major structural defects, safety hazards, and minor maintenance defects. It is compiled by an experienced inspector and includes written evidence of their observations. The report will detail any major structural defects, such as movement or cracking, as well as any minor defects that may require repairs or maintenance.

The pre purchase inspection report will also provide the potential buyer with information on the electrical system, the plumbing system, the heating and cooling systems, and the roof. The inspector will also check for signs of pests or other infestations. With all of this information in hand, the potential buyer can make an informed decision about purchasing a property.

Cost of Pre Purchase Building Inspections

The cost of a pre purchase building inspection varies depending on several factors such as the property’s location, age, and size. In regional areas, inspections can cost around $400, while in metropolitan areas, they can cost up to $1,000. These fees are a small price to pay considering the financial investment of purchasing a property and the potential cost of repairs, infestation removal, and other issues that may arise.

The buyer and the inspector usually negotiate the pre purchase building and pest inspection cost, and the report will highlight any areas that may be expensive for the buyer to rectify. The actual cost of the inspection will depend on various factors mentioned above, i.e., the type of property, its size, and its location.

What is a Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical (SME) Inspection?

A Structural, Mechanical, and Electrical (SME) inspection is the most comprehensive pre purchase building inspection available. It involves a comprehensive check of the structure, electrical wiring, plumbing, and other mechanical systems of a building. A qualified professional registered with the construction industry council conducts this type of inspection.

It includes a thorough check for any structural damage, signs of wear and tear on electrical wiring, water leaks, and any other potential issues that could impact the safety and usability of the building. The inspector will also check for compliance with all applicable building codes and regulations.

The SME inspector will provide you with an in-depth report outlining any areas of concern that need to be addressed before the purchase is completed.

Who Should Carry Out Pre Purchase Building Inspections?

It is important to make sure that a qualified person such as a surveyor, architect, or licensed builder conducts the pre purchase building inspection. Only they have the knowledge and expertise to properly identify any major structural defects, safety hazards, or minor maintenance defects. This is why it is essential to engage the services of a reputable and experienced inspector who has a good understanding of construction and building regulations.

Also, you may want to consider offering subject-to-building inspections in your agreement with the seller, which will give you more leverage in negotiations and allow you to get a better understanding of the property before signing on the dotted line.


Are There Any Potential Issues with Pre Purchase Building Inspections?

Although pre purchase building inspections are an important tool for assessing the condition of a property, there can be issues to consider when arranging one. One of the most common issues is that the building inspector may not be able to identify all potential defects in a property. This is because the inspection is only visual and does not provide a comprehensive assessment of all structural and mechanical elements of the building.

Some inspectors may have limited experience and qualifications which could lead to inaccurate results. It is therefore important to ensure that you hire an inspector who has appropriate qualifications and experience identify and address potential issues.

How to Find the Right Pre-Purchase Building Inspector?

Finding the right pre-purchase building inspector is essential to getting the most out of your inspection. It’s important to find an inspector who has experience and expertise in the area you’re buying in. Ask for recommendations from friends and family and do your research online.

Check for certifications and qualifications, as well as reviews from previous clients. Make sure the inspector has a full insurance coverage, so that any problems they discover are covered. It’s also a good idea to ask any potential inspectors about their methodology and their experience in the field, to ensure that you’re getting a comprehensive inspection.

Once you have chosen your inspector, make sure to read their report carefully and clarify any questions you may have before making any decisions.


Final Words

Pre purchase building inspections are important to ensure that the home you are buying is safe and structurally sound. They provide you with an in-depth report of the condition of the property, including any defects, safety hazards, and minor maintenance issues. A commercial building inspector will check for structural, mechanical, and electrical issues, as well as any other potential problems.

Hiring a qualified and experienced pre-purchase building inspector is essential to guarantee that you get a comprehensive inspection. With the right pre-purchase building inspector, you can rest assured that they will identify all potential problems you sign a contract.

If you want to save time and other resources while finding out the ideal team for the job, Souffront can fit in best. Having almost a decade of experience, our team is familiar with the know-how, the process to follow, and the technical and hands-on expertise to provide you with an accurate report at an affordable range. Contact our team today for a no-obligation free consultation.

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John Souffront

John Souffront is a seasoned leader in the construction and engineering industry, with over a decade of experience at the helm of Souffront Construction & Engineering. Known for his unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation, John has propelled his firm to the forefront of the field, delivering cutting-edge solutions for complex projects around the country.

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