The Red Flags in Pre-Purchase Home Assessments

Updated: Jan 13

A home assessment is your safety net when purchasing a property; whether it's your first home or your forever home, a pre-purchase assessment will help ensure your investment is sound and pick up on any hidden problems you can't see. They're also a common request from banks to reassure their lending.

A pre-purchase home assessment assesses a property from the foundations to the roof, including insulation, moisture, plumbing and more. The report you receive will detail the quality of your home and outline problems and upcoming maintenance. And beware: a top-dollar price tag does not mean your potential new home comes problem-free.

There are some red flags you need to look out for when looking over your home assessment report.

  1. The roof: the quality of the roof is one of the most important parts of any home. If your home assessment report comes back stating issues with the roof, ensure you receive qualified advice to see what your next steps may be; this may be either costing up the repairs to see if it's worth fixing or asking the current property owners to fix the job before purchase.

  2. Moisture: if a home assessment report shows high moisture readings in the property, be alert. Moisture can cause structural damage to walls, flooring and foundation that can be expensive to repair. This can be caused by water intrusion and drainage issues, which can cause mold and lead to health issues. It can also impact resale and future property values, as well as being a hard problem to remedy.

  3. Hillside properties: many hillside properties require the opinion and guidance of a structural engineer and a civil engineer due to the structure being built to withstand being built on a cliff. There can be additional costs with hillside properties, including more expensive retaining walls and expensive foundation repairs if anything is wrong.

One piece of advice: don't skimp on a quality home inspection. The cost of a home assessment is worth it in the end. An experienced home inspector will walk you through the final report and help identify the most significant issues, prioritising issues from urgent to not so significant or urgent. If there are serious problems with the home yet you choose to move forward with your purchase, you can negotiate repairs with the seller, although the seller is not obligated to say OK to all, or even any, of your requests. If this is the case, you can pull out of the purchase agreement as long as you have stated a pre-purchase home inspection on your purchase agreement.

QSPlus are here to help you read and understand your inspection report. We can also help you with everything from your pre-purchase inspection to qualified advice and repair estimates so you know what it is going to cost to repair the problems in your new home. We can also provide you with maintenance schedules and upcoming work needing to be done on the property over the next few months.

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