There are many factors to consider when purchasing a property. Most buyers will consider price, location, size, aesthetic and functionality to help form a decision. However, one of the most crucial aspects of the purchasing process is the building and pest report.

The report helps buyers to make a more informed decision when house-hunting and could save you thousands of dollars in the long-term. This is especially the case if you receive a bad building and pest report.

What is a building and pest report?

A building and pest report collates the findings of a building and pest property inspection. The report details the condition of the property, from cosmetic issues to major structural damage. A building and pest inspection can uncover things like termite damage, design defects and structural cracks.

Why is it important?

Organising a building and pest inspection and obtaining a report is vital when looking to purchase a property. The report will detail issues that may not be visible at first glance and would otherwise be missed. Such problems can include structural movement, roof damage, water penetration, rising damp and mould issues. An inspector should examine the entire property, both interior and exterior, to identify any existing issues.

Understanding the defects of a property and the cost to maintain or fix them will help you make a more informed decision when purchasing.

When should you conduct a building and pest inspection?

A building and pest inspection should be organised prior to purchase. This is particularly important for those going to auction, as buyers who are successful are entering into a non-negotiable contract.

Having a building and pest inspection before entering into a contract will allow you to fully understand the condition of the property and the associated holding costs.

The inspection should be completed by a licensed builder, surveyor or in some cases an architect. Arranging an independent inspector is also encouraged. If you’re buying in an area where termites and pests have been a problem, be sure to organise a separate termite and pest inspection for extra peace of mind.

How much does a building and pest report cost?

There are many factors that can affect the price of a building and pest inspection. Location, property size and the level of detail all play a part in determining the expense. A typical inspection and report can cost anywhere between $400 to $1,000. In some cases, there are additional charges for a building certificate and pest inspection.

The biggest mistake is to do nothing. You may save a few hundred dollars in the short-term, but the property can turn into a longer-term nightmare if it’s riddled with problems.

How to identify a bad building and pest report

While most properties have minor faults, it’s important to understand which ones are the deal breakers. Structural damage or movement, water penetration and unhealthy mould levels are problems that should flag concern. In serious cases, these issues present danger and have the potential to cause harm for those living within the property. With that being said, receiving a bad building and pest report doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon the purchase.

What are your options if you receive a bad building and pest report?

It’s almost impossible to receive a perfect building and pest report, so don’t be alarmed if the property has a few faults listed. However, it’s important for buyers to be fully aware of such faults and understand the severity of each of them.

Most defects can be corrected. It’s simply a matter of understanding the facts and expenses involved. If the property has defects that are likely to cost a significant amount to fix, perhaps it’s best to walk away from the sale. On the other hand, if you are in a position to rectify the issues, assuming they can be fixed, and correcting them fits within your budget, there’s no need to abandon the purchase.