Myth 1: The seller will tell me about any defects or necessary repairs.
It is a common belief that when someone buys a house, the seller is required to mention any defects present. This is a myth.
In Queensland the seller has no obligation legal or otherwise to advise the buyer of defects, necessary repairs or previous termite attacks in the property.
Under current Queensland law, property sellers are not required to inform potential buyers of defects that are “likely to be discovered by a buyer exercising reasonable care when inspecting the property”.
Myth 2: A new house will have already been inspected.
There is a common belief that laws and regulations require new homes be inspected by a building certifier and that the certifier will inform them of any faults within the home. This is a myth.
In fact, building certifiers only make sure a building is code compliant. They make sure a building meets government regulations around height, character, and any other legislative requirements. They do not examine the quality of the workmanship or compare the building with the contract.
Myth 3: New houses are in good condition and do not need building inspections.
Another commonly held belief is that because the house is new, it will be in perfect condition and does not require an inspection. While this may seem logical, it is a myth.
Unfortunately, new homes are built subject to the builder’s interpretation of quality workmanship and industry standards. In addition, the construction company may have cut corners by using poor quality materials or cheaper, less qualified, inexperienced subcontractors.
Even experienced builders can do work not up to standard when they are faced with contract deadlines that require them to rush the building process.
Myth 4: I can do the inspection myself.
There are some aspiring DIY handymen and women who may be tempted to purchase or hire inspection equipment and do the job themselves. This is not a good decision.
For example, they might think that by buying or renting a thermal imaging device and conducting a scan, will tell them all they need to know.
Thermal imaging devices are not x-rays. They only tell you temperature variants and do nothing to address other types of building defects.
Even a newly qualified building inspector must have 5 years of experience as a licensed builder before they get their certification. They are familiar with the standard of workmanship that should be evident and defects visible only to the trained eye.
In addition, building inspectors are insured, or should be insured, for the work that they undertake. If they make a mistake, the buyer has the option of legal recourse to rectify the problem. If you don’t get an inspection or do the inspection yourself you do not have any recourse for problems that present at a later date and were not seen.
Myth 5: The inspector will tell me whether or not I should buy a home.
It is not the inspector’s job to tell you whether you should purchase a property. His job is to provide an unbiased objective report on the condition of the property.
You will receive a report that lists all issues as major and minor. You can use this report to inform your decision and the report can be used as evidence when negotiating the price.
Ultimately the decision to purchase is yours.
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