Purchasing Property

In Part 4 of our guide to buying property, we look at the Property Reports available to ensure there are no surprises when purchasing your dream home.

Now that you have found the property that you like, you will need to make sure that you are 100% happy to proceed with the purchase. When you agree to purchase a property you take the property “as is” at the time of inspection and exchange and, unless the vendor intentionally withholds information that creates a breach of warranty under the contract, you may not default from the contract or seek damages from the vendor. It is therefore imperative that you are satisfied with the condition of the property prior to exchange of contracts. We strongly recommend you obtain pre-purchase reports for the property which can be organised and reviewed by your solicitor/conveyancer.

Pest and Building Reports

This report will identify significant building defects or problems and provide repair requirements for the defects found. The inspector will compare the property inspected with buildings of similar age and construction and will give an overall rating for the dwelling.

A pest inspection will report on all areas to the homes sub-floor, roof void, internal rooms, and areas within 50 metres of the dwelling or within the boundary lines. The inspector will report on defects such as:

  • Termite activity past or present.
  • Past termite treatments where evidence or paperwork is provided.
  • Borer damage to dry seasoned timbers.
  • Significant decay.
  • Poor sub-floor ventilation.
  • Recommendations to help prevent future termite attack.

We recommend a pest inspection be carried out in conjunction with a building inspection so any termite damage that is detected by the pest inspector can be checked by the building inspector to determine if repairs are required.

On average, a combined pest and building report costs $500.

Strata Inspections

If you buy a home unit or townhouse it is important to undertake a strata inspection report. The inspection report will inform you of things such as:

  • What insurances are in place on the building;
  • What the quarterly levies are;
  • What the financial position of the strata scheme is;
  • If there are any ongoing maintenance problems;
  • If there are any special levies struck for the cost of any works to be done; and
  • Any other matters that may have be reported in the records or minutes of meetings.

On average, a strata report costs $350.

When you order a pre-purchase report will depend on the type of exchange the property is subject to. If you purchase at auction or subject to no cooling off period, you will need to ensure that all pre-purchase reports are ordered and reviewed before you sign the Contract of Sale. When you exchange, subject to a cooling off period, then the pre-purchase reports can be ordered and reviewed under the cooling off period.

For more information on Purchasing Property check out our other blogs:

Part 1: Finance and Deposits

Part 2: Stamp Duty

Part 3: Review of the Contract 

You may also be interested in our Selling Property series:

Part 1: Getting your property ready to market 

Part 2: Selecting an agent

Part 3: The Contract for Sale

If you have any questions or need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us at Southern Waters Legal. We offer a free 15 minute, no obligation chat if you want to go through your circumstances.

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