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Protect yourself from buying a lemon

Acquiring a new home should be exciting and memorable, with much to celebrate. However, purchasing a home with damage beneath the surface is one ordeal you should not have to experience.

Often the difference between purchasing a lemon or a home that will last a lifetime, pre-purchase inspections are crucial when buying a house.

The Agency Perth Property Partner Curtis Multari said whether it was a home open or a private viewing, a pre-purchase inspection allowed you to identify any damages that weren’t related to gas, water and electrical before making an offer, as properties were purchased ‘as inspected’.

“I always recommend making an offer subject to these inspections, especially with older homes,” he said. “That way any damage there may be is covered by the seller.”

Realestate 88 East Perth Sales Executive Chris O’Brien said these inspections were similar to test driving a new car before taking the plunge to buy it.

“The real estate equivalent of a test drive, a pre-purchase inspection lets you know whether the property you’re thinking about buying is worth the asking price, or whether it’s worth buying at all,” he said.

“By shining a light on a property’s shortcomings, they save people thousands of dollars and, more importantly, they keep people safe.”

Mr Multari said people should know that all bases of the home were covered, whether that be termite, timber pest or structural.

“Paying the extra costs to be safe is better than not getting any inspections and finding out something is wrong with the home, which can lead to more damage and much heavier costs,” he said.

According to Mr O’Brien, termite inspections offer a complete visual inspection of all accessible areas of a home to detect any signs of live termite activity, as well as any previous termite activity or damage.

“Repairing pest damage can be expensive, which is why evidence of pest problems can be a powerful negotiating tool when buying a house,” he said. “You don’t want any nasty surprises after you’ve moved into your new dream home.”

Mr Multari recommended to go a step further and book a pest inspection, which looked at timber pests.

“It ensures there is no damage to any timber in the home,” he said.

Last but not least, Mr O’Brien said structural inspections were important for an overview of any structural issues and insight into any necessary repairs, as well as electrical wiring, smoke alarm tests and identification of any unsafe areas.

If you are purchasing a relatively new home, Mr Multari urged buyers not to forgo these pre-purchase inspections.

“A lot of buyers tend not to get inspections on brand new homes and just on older homes,” he said. “New or not, I still encourage all buyers to ask the selling agent to arrange these inspections before or after making an offer on a home.”

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