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News and Articles




Home Buying Tips:
Pre-Purchase Property Inspections

Buying a property is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life. You need to examine the property thoroughly in order to determine if there are hidden repairs that may cost you thousands of dollars in the near future, not to mention the stress. The information that you gather from a thorough inspection can also be used to your advantage when negotiating a purchase price.

How to inspect the building

The building inspection can be separated into different sections:

External Inspection


Inspect for possible water leakage. Look for cracked tiles or capping that are loose, and look for mortar that is broken or loose and falling off. Water may also leak through flashings around chimneys, skylights, air conditioners, ducted heating etc. Look for flashings that are bent, or may have been lifted, and look at the gutters and downpipes around the house.

There are several things that indicate a problem with the guttering. They include rust, overflowing, which can be identified by water marks on the fascia, rotten fascia boards, mould and moss growing around the house which may be due to overflowing gutters.

Rising damp can also be a problem when the gutters overflow and the water goes into the wall cavity.  The water then gets absorbed by the walls, which can result in structural damage.


Look for cracks in the brickwork and cracks in the mortar. If the cracks are wide then there can be a structural problem. If it's a timber house then look for rotted or cracked boards.


Plumbing on the outside of the house should be examined for leaks.

You can identify many defects by walking around the property and paying attention to detail.  Appropriate precautions must be taken when climbing a ladder or walking on the roof of a building.

Internal Inspection

Each room in the house needs to be examined separately. Look for cracks in the plaster and door and window frames. Look for mould or stains on the ceiling as this may indicate that there is water leaking through the roof.

Roof Space

Things to look out for:

  • cracks and splinters in the beams
  • beams that may be affected by water leakage
  • wet insulation, indicating a roof leakage
  • mould around plumbing pipes

Sub-floor inspection

You can inspect the building under the floor provided the house is on stumps and there is adequate space to get underneath. If you go under the floor, be careful not to damage any ducts from the ducted heating or air conditioning. The same applies when crawling in the roof space. When under the house you can look for water leakage around the plumbing. High moisture levels provide ideal conditions for termite and cockroaches, and the water can cause wood rot. The most likely places there may be a leakage is under the shower, sinks, basins and pipe joins or there could be broken pipes.

Once you have a list of defects on the property, it is very important to get an estimate as to how much it will cost you to do the repairs. If you identify damage or a problem and are unsure as to the extent of it, you can seek professional advice.

You can have pre-purchase building inspections done professionally, where you are given a detailed report listing all the defects and an estimate of how much it will cost for the repairs to be done.

When buying or selling a property it is essential that you use a Conveyancer to guide you through the process and explain the contracts and government regulations.

Email Melbourne Property Conveyancing P/L or call us on 1300 761 524 for further information or assistance.