Whether dream home or investment property, buying a house will likely be one of the biggest purchases you ever make, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you buy!

Getting a pre purchase building inspection is the best way to find out about any potential problems with the property – potentially saving you time, money and stress by making sure that your new home has no nasty hidden surprises!

What is a pre purchase building inspection?

A pre purchase building inspection is a detailed report assessing the condition of a property and is carried out by a qualified building inspector.

It advises potential home buyers if the property has any major or minor structural defects, and what repairs may be needed to it, so they can make an informed decision on whether or not to go ahead with the purchase.

The report covers many aspects of a building’s interior and exterior, looking for potential issues that could prove costly for a new homeowner to fix, and will be conducted according to the relevant Australian standards.

What do pre purchase building inspections look for?

When you choose ABPOM’s team of experienced & qualified building inspectors to carry out your inspection, we’ll look at:

1) The condition of the building.

You want peace of mind that the building itself is sound and free of both significant building defects and structural issues, so we conduct a thorough inspection of the building proper.

– Roof

Damaged flashings and gutters on the roof of a house discovered during a building inspection

No one likes a leaky roof, so we’ll inspect and report on any structural defects or issues around the roof such as poorly fitting, degrading or broken tiles.

We’ll also check around the roof structure its flashings, gutters and downpipes.

– Walls, floors, windows & doors

inspecting a cracked wall during a pre purchase inspection

We’ll examine the condition of internal and external walls, noting alignment, the proper functioning of doors and windows, and the condition of the floor and subfloor areas such as stumps, brick piers, bearers, floor joists etc.

Additionally, we’ll also assess if there is adequate ventilation, signs of dampness, or pest infestation.

– Safety hazards

Looking out to a backyard pool with a glass safety fence

Here we’re looking for any potential safety hazards of the building.

This can include the condition of balcony platforms, unsafe barriers around balconies or decking, cracked glass in windows or doors and inadequate barriers/ fencing/ gates around swimming pools or spas.

2) The condition of the land around the building.

Because the land around your potential investment is as important as the building itself, ABPOM’s professional inspectors also ensure the property area is free of major and minor defects that may cause issues now, or in the future.

– Drainage

A broken downpipe discovered during a building inspection

The structure of a home may be sound today but can be undermined in the future if site drainage systems are blocked or failing, which may lead to issues with rising damp or even destabilisation of building foundations.

– Trees & shrubbery

Growth of the roots of a tree planted too close to a garden path causing the concrete slab to crack

Small trees and shrubs that are planted too close to a property may show no impact today but are very likely to cause serious cracks in external walls as they increasingly suck moisture out of the ground below the footings of a house or from below concrete slabs.

3) The condition of adjacent buildings.

Many older properties in Melbourne and around regional areas of Victoria may also have other freestanding or externally accessed buildings such as a garage, shed or utility area.

Our inspectors will also assess these structures against the criteria mentioned above for any defects or potential issues.

Very professional

Our building and pest inspection prior to purchasing a property was done as quickly as possible, we received a very thorough and easy-to-read report and the service we received was very professional. We felt really well supported throughout the whole process and everyone we spoke to was very friendly and helpful! Couldn’t recommend highly enough.
Ashleigh Jade Skinner, Pakenham

Pre Purchase Building Inspections FAQ

Have a question about pre purchase building inspections? What’s in one, how long does it take or whether you really need one? Here are some of the most common ones we get asked.

What will my inspection report tell me?

Your building and pest inspection report will advise you of the property’s defects and their location on the day of inspection, along with what will be required to rectify each defect and the type of tradesperson typically required to do so.

The report will also detail specific areas of the building that may require maintenance or repairs to be completed, and who would usually carry them out, allowing you to properly plan your finances before making an offer.

How long does pre purchase property inspection take?

Usually, a pre purchase inspection in an apartment, townhouse or standard size house will take around one hour to complete.

However, depending on the property’s condition, or if the house is very large, more time may be needed to carry out a detailed inspection of all areas of the property and record its defects in the report. In these instances, some inspections can take up to two and a half hours.

When will I get my inspection report?

We’ll always do a same-day report, no matter what, it’s our point of difference!

For an average size home (e.g. 3 or 4 bedrooms), our pre purchase property inspection reports will be emailed to you within 24 hours, if not on the same day. Urgent reports can be requested verbally immediately after the inspection and an emailed report will then follow.

Do I really need a pre purchase inspection before buying?

No prizes for guessing we think that, yes, you do!

Many of the homes that we’ve inspected for potential buyers over the years have seen both major and minor defects that would have cost their new owners considerable amounts to fix.

So, to us at least, for the cost of a few hundred dollars, a professional inspection of the entire property is a small price to pay if it could potentially save you tens of thousands (or more!), whether on negotiating the asking price or in enabling you to walk away altogether from what you may have thought looked like a great deal.

Does a pre purchase inspection include a pest inspection?

Yes. A pest and termite inspection is included in your pre purchase property inspection report.

Can I trust the inspection report? Are there any standards it must meet?

Yes. Our building inspection reports are carried out to Australian Building Standards (AS 4349.1-2007) and also comply, where applicable, with any local or regional governmental licensing requirements.

Are ABPOM’s building inspectors insured?

Yes, for peace of mind, ABPOM’s inspectors carry full professional indemnity insurance and liability insurance. We consider this to be an essential part of our service to you.

How is an independent building inspector different?

ABPOM’s building inspectors choose to be independent so that you can have peace of mind in knowing that we are working for your best interests, not those of the selling agent or other interested party.

Not all building inspectors can say the same.

Should I arrange a building inspection before or after making an offer?

If you are making an offer on a home that is for private sale, we recommend only making the offer after you have received the building inspection report. This will allow you to take into consideration any and all costs associated with rectifying defects or carrying out any necessary repairs.

When there is fierce competition for a house, unit or apartment that you are interested in, we recommend making your offer on the property subject to obtaining a building inspection report on the property you are looking at.

When should I get a building inspection if I’m buying at auction?

If you are considering a property at auction, getting a building inspection before making an offer is no less important than for a private sale – and maybe more so, as emotions can often get the better of us in pressured environments!

Our recommendation for these reports is to have one carried out at least 3 days prior to the auction. This will give you enough time to read the report in detail and ask any follow-up questions with your building inspector before attending the auction.

Forewarned is forearmed!

Do I need an inspection when buying an apartment?

In short, yes, you should still get a pre purchase inspection report when buying an apartment. As we’ve seen in other states across Australia, some apartment developments may still be hiding major structural defects and deficiencies, rising damp, pest issues or unsafe balconies.

Why choose ABPOM to carry out my pre purchase inspection?

We’re glad you asked! With over 30 years of experience, our fully qualified building inspectors are trained to locate and track down even the smallest warning signs that your potential purchase may be experiencing costly issues – now, or in the future.

Covering Pakenham, Mornington, Frankston, Dandenong, the LaTrobe Valley and Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, rest assured, when it comes to building and pest inspection – ABPOM offers you A Better Peace of Mind.

Contact Us

To book your Pre Purchase Building Inspection, fill out the form on this page for us to call you, write to us, or call us direct on 1300 022 766.

Same-day bookings may be available!

For a Better Peace of Mind

Book Today!