Many people ask should a reliable building inspector tell you to buy or not buy?

Is this the right question. Should the question actually be do I want to buy the defects that the building inspector has advised exists in this house?

All houses have defects. The one you are living in right now has defects. If you are looking at houses, they all will have defects.

So we ask you; Do you want to buy the defects in a given house?

Can we suggest that only you can answer that question?  You may not be worried with the faults in your home but others will. Some people would not be concerned about having defects in the house you wish to purchase you own where as you may be.  This is a very individual thing.

You might not have the expertise to fix a given defect, whilst others have, or have access to that expertise. Some people are happy to live with a defect. Still others, including you, are probably living now with defects they do not realise exist.

What then should you expect from a building inspector doing a pre-purchase inspection?

Are you worried about whether the house is likely to fall down a week after you buy it?  Are you worried about that crack over the doorway? Maybe you are worried it is full of salt damp, or maybe you want to be sure it is not overrun by termites.

We have heard that some inspectors will indeed tell you whether to buy or not buy. Inevitably they conduct the inspection inside 20 minutes and give you a simply buy or don’t buy message.

It is the building inspector’s job in our opinion, and the Australian Standard for Building Inspections AS34349.1 certainly reads this way, to let you know what defects exist. Certainly it is important to let you know the significance of a fault, whether it is a major or minor defect, whether it is a safety hazard, or even where it may be desirable for further investigation.

To do this would take around 1 1/2 hours for a standard 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house.

The answer then! The building inspector should not be telling you whether or not to buy. The building inspector needs to identify the defects and provide sufficient information explaining the impact this defect has on the building. It is then up to you to decide whether to buy or not. You will have the information you need to make a qualified decision.

Good Luck!