When reading a pre-purchase report, it can be easy to get caught up in the minor issues within the building inspection findings. Don’t!
MINOR issues can also be read as MAINTENANCE and all houses have that. It’s the big stuff that you want to focus on. Below, I’ve set out a key for you to help you get yourself around the pre-purchase reports a bit better. Defects that we most commonly find in properties usually fall in one of the following categories:
Minor and Non-Urgent
These problems are truly appearance issues but don’t affect the stability or functionality of the home, cause no discomfort to the occupants and are not likely to turn into anything in the future either. All homes have something like it – a chipped bit of paint, a patch in the timber where a glass of water stained it. Nothing to worry about but could go on a maintenance schedule if you wanted to spend a couple hours on a weekend doing odd jobs.
Minor but Urgent
Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!! They are not major defects yet, but given enough time will turn into something. This is maintenance in its purest form – the actions you can take to stop your home devaluing massively over time. We’re talking preventative measures such as refreshing the sealant in your shower, clearing leaf debris off your roof and out of the guttering. If you just leave this stuff perpetually, you’ll eventually get a problem maybe even years down the road.
Major but In-Expensive
In our world, a major defect is a major defect – they are classed that way because they are either dangerous to the occupants, or will damage the structure quickly if not taken care of. So a major defect that is in-expensive to clear up is a Get Out of Jail Free pass. Something like replacing the rusted brackets on your first floor balcony – wouldn’t cost more than $100 to fix, but could save a life.
Major and Expensive (and probably Dangerous)
This is something that could stop you buying a property if you just didn’t have the money to throw at it or the time to deal with it. These are usually The Big Brother of the Minor but Urgent defect where if the property had been inspected regularly or maintained stringently, it could have been avoided.
Our least favourite type of copy contained in our reports. We can’t do anything about it, the insurance company requires it and if you’ve got a pre-purchase report in your hot little hand that contained no disclaimers, you should be worried because the inspector is probably not insured. The disclaimers are inserted by the insurance company because they’ve just lost on a claim to do with that particular thing (ie. a warning about over-loading timber decks because they’ve just been sued over a deck collapsing). They are usually cautionary in nature – always call us if you’re concerned.
The take-away here is that when you read our reports, don’t get too stuck on the little stuff…all houses have “little stuff” and we’ve put it there for your reference later when you’ve moved in. We write our pre-purchase reports as if your son/daughter is buying the house – we want your property to be taken care of and hold its value.
And if you have questions, always call us to ask!!!