Before closing the deal on a building, whether it is meant to be for residential or business use, it is important to get a pre-purchase building inspection. That will insure the potential buyer that there will be no expensive surprises along the way. There are several things that could be wrong with a building that may not be evident without close inspection. These potential problems could later become very expensive over time and could put the new owner in debt. That is why it is an absolute must to have the building inspected before purchase. These are five potential problems that should be checked before closing the deal.
1) Structural Problems
It is very important to know whether or not a building has had extensive structural damage before purchase. Structural, or foundation damage could have been caused by past earthquakes, fire, flooding, hurricanes, or tornadoes. If the building has a wooden foundation, there could be extensive termite damage, especially if it is an older building. Structural damage can be one the most expensive problem to fix. If there is extensive structural damage, the seller may not be willing to fix the problem, but may be willing to reduce the asking price. In that case, it will be up to the buyer to decide whether it will be worth buying anyway or to go on to another building to purchase.
2) Roofing Problems
A roof would need to be thoroughly inspected for leaks. The inspector will check to see whether or not the roof is sound and whether or not it will need repairs. A good roof will usually last for 25-30 years or more and will show damage when it needs to be repaired or replaced. Although roofing can be quite expensive, sellers are usually willing to work with the buyer to repair a bad roof before purchase.
3) Electrical Problems
Problems with the electrical wiring in a building can become one of the most dangerous problems. If the building is older, it is important to make sure that the electrical system us up-to-date by today’s standards. Years and years ago, the main thing home electricity was used for was to light the building. Toasters, electric frying pans, and slow cookers later came into existence which caused the need for higher levels or electricity. We now have computers, fax machines, printers, microwave ovens, video game systems, heating, air conditioning, and electric appliances and we have need for even higher levels. Without the proper amount of current, a fire is a strong possibility. The seller will usually assist in having the building re-wired.
4) Plumbing Problems
Before purchasing any building, it should be inspected to make sure all plumbing is up to par. All pipes should be free of cracks or weak spots. The inspector should tell whether or not there are tree roots affecting the underground pipes and that all pipes are well insulated. Finding these problems before closing the deal will save you a lot of money in the long run. Find out whether or not the seller will make these repairs before purchase.
Mould is one of those things that can easily be overlooked by the untrained eye. An inspector will be able to locate the problem and give advice on what to do about it. Untreated mould problems can cause sickness, and in severe cases, brain damage, so it is important to discuss removal with the seller if mould is found on the premises.
This article was written by Brad Porteus of BSP Construction Consultants – market leaders for building inspections in Perth, WA.