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How to Ensure Your Dream Home Doesn’t Turn Into Your Worst Nightmare

It is so easy for judgement to be clouded when you finally find your dream home during a long and tedious search. High ceilings, perfect finishes, beautifully manicured gardens, wide open spaces and perfectly styled decor have the ability to whisk home buyers into a dream where they imagine themselves starting a new life in a dream property. The house is so perfect in their eyes that there is little consideration for any possible defects or a building and pest inspection, it’s just not possible that a house like this could have any problems.

It’s a real scenario and you know what they say, ‘never judge a book by its cover.’

I’ve asked Andrew from Action Property Inspections exactly what home buyers should look out for when buying a property. I hope that his answers will help you become savvier in your search for your dream home because, let’s face it, buying a home is the biggest and most valuable thing we’re ever likely to buy.

building and pest inspection

What are some property defects that buyers can keep an eye out for when purchasing a home?

When inspecting a house that is for sale it’s important to look beyond the dreamy façade for things that could pose problems down the track, this is the best way to filter out the lemons. Of course, we always recommend you employ a qualified building inspector to carry out a building and pest inspection so to keep your mind at ease.

Defects you can look out for yourself are:

  • Water damage – stains, corrosion, rising damp, mould, leaks.
  • Sagging ceilings – are they firmly in place or do they have a parachute type appearance?
  • Cracks – are there cracks in walls?
  • Gutters – is there any rust or holes?
  • Downpipes – where do they lead? Into stormwater or onto the ground?
  • Doors and windows – do they open and close freely or do they stick? If they stick there could be subsidence issues.
  • New paint – if the property has been freshly painted, is this to cover something up? Run your hand along the wall to see if you can feel any noticeable deviations.
  • Pests – are there any hollow sounding beams or areas where there has been possible termite activity, particularly where wood is touching the ground?
  • Roof – does the roof look like it’s sagging or undulating? If so there could be underlying structural issues.
  • Creaky/uneven floors – Creaky or uneven floorboards could mean subsidence issues.

This list could go on which is why it’s never a bad thing to be extra cautious, particularly if DIY plumbing looks to have been carried out.  Question everything that doesn’t look normal and get the second opinion of a building and pest inspector. One thing I can recommend is that you engage a separate building inspector and pest inspector so they can thoroughly focus on their areas of expertise. Having one inspector do both is a quick road to missing serious problems.

Why it’s essential for home buyers to employ a professional building and pest inspection

As much as you may think the property is absolutely perfect and that you can’t see anything concerning, it’s always the hidden things that cause the most problems, problems that property inspectors like Action Property Inspections are experienced in finding.

Just as you would insure your car for potential damage down the track, having a building and pest inspection on a potential new home is insurance for your property and peace of mind.

An inspection may only find minor issues which can actually offer you some leverage when it comes to negotiating the property price.

On the other hand, the property inspection could bring a major problem to your light which means that for the cost of an inspection you’ve likely been saved thousands of dollars in potential repair costs.

Have you ever had a dream home that has turned into your worst nightmare because you didn’t have a property inspection? 


Andrew Mackintosh is the owner and inspector at Action Property Inspections and has been servicing the Brisbane area for over 20 years. Ander has over 20,000 building inspections under his belt and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. 

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)
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  1. March 29, 2017 / 9:54 am

    I guess buying a home is more complicated than any other purcahse the average person makes in his or her lifetime. It involves issues of property rights, including various encumbrances attached to the property as well as limitations imposed by city planning bodies.
    In that respect, buying a home has the potential to be a minefield. Most of the time it can be navigated successfully — if there are no problems with the buyer, the seller or the property itself. There are also new laws that have recently come into force in the residential real estate sector to consider. It can all easily blow up, even after you think you are safe.

  2. March 29, 2017 / 11:36 pm

    I totally agree with this article, very important info Thanks!