Essentially, having a pre-purchase property report is an investment that should allow buyers to avoid problems and costs down the line. A full report allows you to gain as much knowledge as you can about a property's condition before you commit to a large mortgage. However, you should also bear in mind that a building inspection report is just one of many checks that you should undertake before making a large financial commitment. Legal searches are important as are surveyors reports, especially if you are buying a property that has been converted from an industrial use, for example.
Sometimes known as a standard property report, a pre–purchase inspection report is a written account of the house or apartment you are planning on buying. This should not simply be a list of things that you can see for yourself, but should be undertaken by a professional with qualifications and experience in assessing a property's true condition. For example, a properly produced report should contain the details of any significant building defects, such as cracks in walls or sections of roofing which need repair. Another common structural issue might be subsidence, where the ground is putting the foundations of the building under stress. Other things that might come up in a pre-purchase property report include rising damp, where moisture has penetrated above the damp proof course, and movement in the walls, often detected in the form of plasterwork cracking.
In addition to these common problems with properties, which buyers will want to know about in advance of making a purchase, building inspection services often also include reports and assessments made of any potential safety hazards. This might be establishing if any roof tiles have become loose and might fall down as well as whether any electrical installation that has been made in the building has been done correctly, with no exposed live wires, for example.
A commonly confused issue in Australia is the difference between a pest report and a building inspection report. These are separate types of report. Although a building inspection report should be able to offer you an indication of things like visual damage that may have been caused by insect infestations, it won't cover everything. In places where termites or other timber inhabiting pests are a possibility, would-be buyers should have a building report and a further pest inspection report conducted before buying.
Finally, it should be said that a pre-purchase property report may come up with unwanted information, but this should form the basis of negotiations prior to the exchange of sale contracts and not necessarily put you off making the purchase altogether.