It is an exciting time. You have decided on the house you want to buy and are on the point of submitting a bid to the vendor. Before you do this, it is essential that you employ the services of a home building inspector to ascertain whether this is indeed the dream home you thought it was.
Ask any friends, relatives or colleagues who have recently bought a house who they used for their house inspection, and if they would recommend that person. If they would recommend them, get the details and make contact. An industry association will also be able to furnish you with the names and numbers of reputable building inspectors. Failing that, consult the Yellow Pages.
When working out who is the best building inspector for you, ask to see the inspector’s building consulting license. Any hesitation he shows in supplying this should be a warning sign to you and it is wise to seek another consultant. Ask for details of the building inspector’s experience in the industry, his qualifications and details of the insurance cover he has for public risk, professional indemnity and for the death or injury of any employees. The names and contact details of three clients with similar properties should also be asked for. You should contact these people and ask whether they would recommend the services of this building inspector. Was the work carried out professionally, and was the report comprehensive, picking up any potential problems?
Do not stop at contacting one consultant. It is helpful to get three quotes for the inspection of the property and the report. Ask each of them whether they are a member of their industry association and if they follow the Code of Conduct of that association. Do they have a set procedure for settling any disputes which may arise, and if so, what is the method they use? An experienced and competent home building inspector should be happy to answer all of these questions, and in fact should be pleased that you are taking his job so seriously.
The report is crucial to this whole process, and you need to find out what the format of the final product will be. Ask for one or two sample reports, and find out how long the inspector envisages that the report will take to complete and be sent to you. Find out whether a verbal report is to be provided on the day, and if so, how much this will cost. It is also an important step to ask whether the building inspector is independent of the vendor or whether he is acting as their agent.
Although the report will give details of any damage inflicted by pests such as termites, it may not include details of whether these pests are currently present, so you may want to get a separate report to cover this. The major problems of the house will be included in the basic report, but you may want to pay more to find out what the cost of repairing these problems is likely to be, as well as the cost of minor repairs and maintenance.
Once you have received the report from your home building inspector, hopefully all will be in order, and you can have the confidence to make a firm bid on the property and finally become its proud owner.