Total Home Inspections News

9 June 2022

Expectation vs Reality: Common misconceptions about Building Inspections in Perth

In the Perth Real Estate industry there are many misconceptions, especially when it comes to what the Building Inspection covers and provides to the client. Unfortunately, when this happens it can cause unnecessary stress due to misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations. Before going through the process of a Building Inspection, it’s important to have a good understanding of what is involved.

An independent Perth building inspection involves a registered builder visiting your property, or the property you are looking at purchasing. They will thoroughly check for any structural defects within the building, that have lost their intended structural integrity. This includes the building interior, the building exterior, sub floor space, roof space and roof exterior. For a premium rate, you can also have a more detailed inspection which includes electrical fittings, plumbing, appliances, safety switches and alarms, cabinets, fencing, driveways, drainage etc.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the common misconceptions about Building Inspections.

Building Inspection vs Building Appraisal

Sometimes there can be confusion on the difference between a Building Inspection and a Building Appraisal. These two processes are completely separate and both very important steps when purchasing a property. A Building Appraisal is focused on evaluating the current value of the property based on the condition and the local market value by assessing the value of other properties in the area of the home being appraised. A Building Appraisal is done so that the bank or the mortgage lender can confirm the amount for the loan that they can provide to the buyer.

In contrast, Building Inspections are used to assess the condition of the property so the buyer can make an informed decision on whether the property price is fair value based on the condition report. Sellers can also benefit from having a Building Inspection completed before putting their property on the market by gaining the opportunity to fix any issues that are present to ensure potential buyers don’t have as much leeway to haggle the price down based on issues arising from the condition of the property.

Building Inspection results are guaranteed

Regardless of how knowledgeable your Building Inspector is, there are many aspects to a property that can’t be assessed such as conditions within internal walls etc. Furthermore, Building Inspectors can’t predict what will happen in the future. Therefore, a Building Inspection can never provide 100% assurance that there will be no issues with a property in the coming months or years. However, there is a big difference between unforeseeable issues and making a mistake by missing glaring problems during a Building Inspection.

Make sure your Building Inspector holds Professional Indemnity Insurance as this will ensure the latter doesn’t come back to bite you. This insurance helps protect you from financial losses that may occur due to issues with your Building Inspectors report. For example: If there was a significant structural issue with your roof that wasn’t noticed by your Inspector and after settlement it subsequently caved in, this insurance would cover for any losses you would incur to repair the damage.

Buyers can’t attend during Building Inspections

This is not correct at all!  Being present during the Building Inspections is a great opportunity to be educated about the ins and outs of the property, which is especially important for first home buyers. You will be able to understand the maintenance requirements once you move in, and you’ll have an idea of what repairs or replacements (if any) should be made in the near future. Having this information early can help buyers prepare for extra expenses that could be incurred.

New Constructions don’t need an Inspection

Building a home is a complicated process. There are many subcontractors and employees involved in various aspects during the construction and fit out stages. With so many activities happening at the same time, it’s only natural that there are some things that will be overlooked or unfortunately, even dodgy workmanship conducted. Before moving on from one aspect of the build to another, it is important to make sure that everything is correct and according to the plan, contract and Australian Standards by having periodic Inspections completed.

All Building Inspectors are the same

A Building inspection is only as good as the Inspector completing it, so it would make sense that a “Registered Builder” would be the best person for the job, right? Well unfortunately There is no governing body that states Building Inspectors must be “Registered Builders” in Western Australia. In fact, all you need is a 2-day course to call yourself of a “Registered Building Inspector.”

There is no previous experience required to attend this 2-day course and there are now ex-mortgage brokers and ex-real estate agents completing Building Inspections in Perth even though they have never been in the construction industry.

You’ll want a Building Inspector that knows everything there is to know about the materials used, the structure of buildings, and Western Australian laws & building regulations. A Perth Building Inspector that is also a “registered builder” can also give you a much more detailed report and can easily explain problems that they think are significant or need urgent attention.