The difference between major and minor defects
An inspection report can save you from walking into a house purchase blind. However not interpreting your report correctly can be just as bad as avoiding an inspection altogether. When seriously considering purchasing a new house a pre purchase inspection should be an essential step in the process. A house inspection is designed so that you as the buyer knows exactly what kind of condition your would-be home is in. A house is one of the biggest investments a person can make, so ensure you know what you’re paying for.
The next step beyond getting an inspection will be to understand the content of your in-depth report. Often a buyer will skip to the final pages and read the overall conclusion of the inspector. The team at House Inspections Melbourne pride themselves on their thorough work and document every defect that they find. So once you have received your inspection report it is important that you recognise what defects are deal breakers, and what might be able to help you negotiate.
What’s in the Inspection Report?
An inspection report’s conclusion on overall condition is compared to the average buildings of approximately the same age and construction. Be mindful of this when looking at your report. If you are looking at buying and old property it is likely that there will be a higher instance of defects than that of a new-build. However, keep in mind that the report will compare other similar properties, so an old home can still gain an above average overall rating. The inverse will also apply; not all new-build homes will score above average ratings, as there can be significant defects found in comparison to other new builds.
When it comes to cracking of the home an inspector can find one of three types of defects: an appearance defect, a serviceability defect, or a structural defect. Whilst uninformed buyers may be concerned with appearance blemishes, these types of defects are generally minor and easily fixed. If your inspection report reveals serviceability or structural problems this should raise a red flag. Serviceability defects are those that impair the buildings function, ie. letting in water, so that its purpose is compromised. A structural defect is going to affect the architecture of the home, where the house could be potentially unsafe.
A good inspection report should also highlight the severity in instances of both minor and major defects. Whilst minor defects are an inconvenience, major defects should be your main concern. These faults will require rectification to avoid unsafe conditions or further deterioration of the property. Make sure you understand the impact that major defects can have on the structure, and liveability of a home.
Major defects to keep an eye our for include:
- Timber Pests – termites can cause significant and ongoing structural damage to a property
- Black Mold – whilst some homes may have mold in wet areas from incorrect ventilation, black mold found in walls and crawl spaces is a big problem. Poisoning can occur if there is prolonged exposure to black mold, including chronic coughing and sneezing.
- Drainage Problems – it is essential that water is effectively diverted away from the house. Stagnant water can occur if the property does not have an efficient drainage system. This type of water pooling can cause structural damage and create an environment conduce of mold and termites. Working gutters and roofing should be considered when evaluating the home, but it is fundamental for the surrounding area to allow runoff.
- Bowing of walls or ceiling – it is highly likely that bowing has occurred due to a structural problem, and can cause the house to become unstable.
House Inspections Melbourne recommends that you read their inspection report in its entirety. When considering the information in a report it is crucial to understand that problems are not mutually exclusive. To truly understand the condition of a property you must not take elements out of context. But don’t be put off by poor report findings. You can still purchase a home that is in below average condition. A pre purchase inspection is all about arming you with information. Know what you are buying, be prepared to renovate and negotiate on price once you learn what you are dealing with.