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What to Expect in a Building Inspection When Buying a Property

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A building inspection aka ‘home inspection’ or ‘property inspection’ is always recommended and ideally you get it done before signing the sale and purchase agreement.

However that’s not always possible so an inspection can also be a conditional clause in the S&P agreement and your lawyer can assist you with it’s inclusion in the contract.

Commercial or residential, buildings can and do have hidden issues even the new builds.

Water or weather tightness can be a big challenge so we’re talking construction i.e. the roof, walls etc.  A building inspection can alert you to obvious moisture areas as well as provide feedback on findings on plumbing, electrical, heating, building safety, and potential fire hazards.

Pest infestations are also often found in hidden crevices and your building inspector can while under the house or inspecting the roof, locate a nest which can be eradicated before it becomes a health hazard.

According to a survey research by the National Association of Realtors, almost one-third of real estate contracts were terminated due to home inspection reports.

Often buyers are caught up their emotions of how a property makes them feel as well as the aesthetics, size and design without realizing that there might be hidden issues between the walls, under the floor or in the roof and being forewarned with a comprehensive report is being forearmed.   You’re in control and therefore you can make an informed decision – to purchase or not!

What can you expect with a property inspection?

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has crafted a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics which outline the things you need to know about property inspection and the report that comes with it. To give you an idea, here’s a handy list.

Limitations of the Report

A property inspection is not all-encompassing. Just like any report, it only serves a particular purpose and that is to note a property’s current condition. It does not appraise a home’s market value or verifies compliance with fire safety regulations or building code as imposed by the local or national government. It only covers the physical state of a property and identifies issues that may need repair or replacement.

The standards and policies of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) have explicitly stated several limitations to property inspections.

Use of Current Technology

Good thing we have current technology to help inspectors see beyond what is visible to the naked eye. Inspection measures taken involve the use of gadgets and other forms of technology to get more accurate findings and properly address the areas of concern. A building and pest inspection Gold Coast company is a good example of maximizing the use of technology in providing its services.

Some modern technology in an inspector’s toolkit include thermal image cameras and moisture meters. Men don’t have X-ray vision to see beyond the walls, but thermal image cameras can.


These cameras are not for your photo-ops but for detecting possible problems without causing damage to the property. They can quickly identify poor insulation, electrical issues, moisture, building envelope leaks, inefficient HVAC systems and much more. With this, inspectors can diagnose areas where energy efficiency should be improved. In turn, this will save costs on energy bills while keeping the property safe.

Moisture is an indicator of potential damage to structures, which is why a moisture meter is a staple in building diagnostics. Mold, decay and rot may be existing due to elevated moisture level but at times they may not be apparent — a moisture meter aids the inspector to detect these areas.

Apart from current hazards, the device measures building material to detect if moisture content levels are within the acceptable parameters.

Experience and Certifications

Building inspection is a regulated profession. Find professionals that have both the meaningful experience and certification that prove their skills and expertise.

Buying a house is a huge investment and you should only rely on a report issued by a specialist.

You may check organizations like ASHI and InterNACHI which govern professional inspectors to ensure you’re not dealing with someone unlicensed.

A property purchase should always be contingent upon an inspection to put the control back in your hands. Whatever problems are unearthed, you can make an informed decision and  proceed with the purchase, negotiate the price, or cancel the deal and walk away without being tied up by a contract.

You don’t buy a car without a test drive first, so why purchase a property without an inspection.