Sarah & Pete* were keen but very green first home buyers when they came across a unit that ticked a lot of boxes.

The house was near their family, it was spacious enough to suit them for 5-10 years at least, it had a great floor plan and looked in good condition (being less than 10 years old).

What happened next is a testament to their understanding of how little they knew and that they needed the help of property experts. Sarah & Pete had used the services of a buyers agent to find the property and negotiate the purchase. The agent negotiated with the vendors agent on the price AND several other key terms, most importantly (in hindsight) that the purchase was subject to a building inspection.

When the building report came back it raised some serious red flags. At this point the choices were to renegotiate on price based or pull out of the contract. It was agreed to do the latter.

What could be wrong with a house less than 10 years old with no obvious signs of issues…the building inspector found a handful of issues:
* The pathway surfaces slope towards the house rather than away meaning that there is inadequate runoff of water away from the foundations
* A storeroom area built onto the house was deemed to show sub-standard workmanship and there was no evidence of a building permit for the shed (as was needed)
* Variances in floor levels and wall movement were observed to be well above what would be expected in houses of similar age suggesting a major structural defect which would need further investigation and fixing.

It was possible to fix all of the issues. However, the cost to do so would be significant.

So Sarah and Pete have dodged a bullet. Buying this house would have led to some major headaches and hefty bills to fix the problems over the years as the defects became evident. Instead they will keep looking and will soon enough find a home that is as good as it looks and that they can live in comfortably.

If they had not been supported by a buyers agent there is every chance they would have bought without doing a building inspection and been oblivious to the defects until the problems became visible and unavoidable. The cost of fixing these defects may have held them back as they sought to secure their financial future, directing money to fix the defects rather than paying down the home or investing elsewhere. This would have been the exact opposite outcome to what they hoped when they made the purchase.

If you need a referral to a building inspector, we can help you with this…just ask!

(* not their real names)

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