Pre-purchase house inspection

6 questions to ask before booking your pre-purchase house inspection

Before signing on the dotted line to secure your new home, you may want to get an expert’s opinion in the shape of a pre-purchase house inspection. The last thing you want to do is end up with an asset that’s going to cost you money in the long run.

There are a number of building inspectors carrying out pre-purchase inspections who you can approach, but you need to make sure that they’re going to give you useful, reliable advice. Ultimately, your decision will probably come down to how much experience each inspector has and how useful the information they provide you with will be.

So what sort of questions should you ask before a pre-purchase house inspection?


What experience do you have?

Before booking a pre-purchase house inspection, you want to make sure that your inspector knows what they’re doing. Find out how long they’ve been inspecting, and what they did prior to inspections that gives them insight into how homes are constructed.

I started out as a builder back in the 80s, and, combined with my time in the NZ Police as a Forensic Crime Scene Examiner, that’s given me the ability to pick up things that others might not. Industry knowledge is vital – and great observation skills are even more important.


What kind of qualifications do you have?

Inspectors should be experienced and qualified – completing New Zealand Building Surveyors Training Programme modules has given me knowledge on key things to look for, including weather tightness, and any inspector worth their salt should have done similar training.

The modules also cover topics such as decay, fungi and moulds, cladding systems, forensic techniques, and the properties of moisture.


What kind of feedback have you received from clients?

Before booking a pre-purchase home inspection, make sure you’ve heard what the inspectors’ other clients have said. Google their name or search for them on Facebook to discover unedited testimonials from clients. One of the nicest parts of the job as an inspector is hearing nice feedback, so most inspectors will share some on their website well.

One of my favourite testimonials, from Marcia Gates, highlights why I became an inspector: “I just wanted to thank you for the comprehensive and professional report you provided us with when we were considering buying a property recently. We were totally unaware of building construction and pitfalls we may have encountered without the professional report we received from you. We also thank you for being so pleasant and honest to deal with.”


What sort of pre-purchase house inspection reports are available?

Whether you’re a purchaser or the vendor, a home inspection report can be pretty helpful. In both situations, a report will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a property, giving the vendor a clear view of what they might need to fix up before selling, and showing any potential buyers the true condition of the home so they can avoid any nasty surprises!


How quickly can I get my report?

The home buying process is long enough without reports dragging it out even more. Make sure you know upfront when you’re going to get your report so there are no nasty surprises. We turn our reports around in only one working day so that you get as much time as possible to consider what’s covered in the report.


Know your inspector, know your property

Pre-purchase house inspection reports are necessities when you’re considering buying or selling a property. Reports, however, are only as reliable as the inspector you’re working with. Make sure you’re working with one who’s got the experience and know-how to make sure you know what you need to know. Get a quote for a pre-purchase house inspection now.

building inspection reports

What to look for in building inspection reports

How to get peace of mind from your pre-purchase or pre-sale building inspection reports

Pre-purchase or pre-sale; there are a couple of different types of building inspection reports. While they both make up an important part of a negotiation around a purchase, they are sought by different parties in a negotiation, for different purposes. First let’s take a look at the key differences – before we delve into what you should be looking for, in either case.

If you’re wanting a pre-purchase building report

A pre-purchase inspection is perhaps the more common form of building report. Like you might subject a used car that you were looking to buy to a mechanical check, you want to be sure that the house you are buying contains no hidden surprises. Whether you’re buying an investment property or looking to purchase the home of your dreams, a professional inspection assesses the condition of a property, ensuring that you’re not signing on for unknown or unforeseen significant problems. Believe it or not, even new builds may have issues (I inspect new builds all the time), so just because it’s new and has a CCC (Certificate of Code of Compliance) doesn’t mean it’s free from issues. A building inspection report is designed to give you, and your bank, the confidence that you are making a sound purchase.

If you’re wanting a pre-sale property report

More and more homeowners are being advised to get a pre-sale inspection of their property in order to make this report available for potential buyers. Following New Zealand’s leaky home crisis, both property buyers and the banks are more wary, especially when it comes to particular types of homes. Not only highlighting problems, a building inspection report can also highlight areas where value can be added. A pre-sale building report shows transparency and can give the vendor an opportunity to repair things highlighted in the pre-sale report they were unaware of. It and can be used as a powerful negotiation tool when it does come time to get someone signing the dotted line.

So what are the most important things to look for in a pre-purchase or pre-sale building inspection report?

Trusted credentials

Not all building inspectors are created equally, so don’t be afraid to ask to see some credentials. Many building inspectors used to be builders, which gives them practical knowledge. Look for a combination of vast experience and special skills or lines of specialty that set your inspector apart, as well as what official training and certifications they have. The best inspectors should be continually increasing their knowledge base with updates in the industry – I’ve recently undergone Pool Fencing and BOINZ Accreditation Courses to ensure my skills and knowledge change and grow as the building industry and housing market does.

Thorough and detailed

Make sure that the building inspection report that you’re going to get following your building inspection is thorough and details, taking into account all aspects of the property of interest. Comprehensive building inspection reports covers more than just moisture-testing and external weather-tightness and should also provide detail right from the type and condition of the foundations through to each aspect of the home’s construction methods and materials, and the condition these are in. You can view one of our comprehensive sample building inspection reports here, to see the level of detail that you can expect from The Property Inspectors.

Great follow up

Reading the report is one thing, being able to talk through and interpret the results is another. A great building inspector will not only provide you with a thorough report, they’ll also be available to discuss any issues or concerns that you may have following their findings. Wherever possible, I’ll call the purchasers to discuss the inspection before I even send through the report, so you understand every part of it.

If you’re ready to get a building inspection report, get in touch today.