All posts by Brett White

Engaging the Right Inspector

When you are looking to purchase a property, you’re going to need a Building Inspector. Recommendations are helpful:

Look at google reviews they are a great platform or social media
Work colleagues or friends that have had positive experience
Websites are a great source of information
WARNING: It is advisable not to use an inspector recommend by a Real Estate Agent as they may not be independent. Many produce reports that are favourable towards properties selling fast and often cover up major defects. It makes sense that they won’t get ongoing referrals from an agent unless they are producing reports that help the Agent sell properties.

The Questions You Need Answered When Making Enquiries

Are you qualified to conduct the required inspections?

It is not a requirement in Victoria to hold any formal qualifications to carry out inspections. This means that anyone can be operating and conducting building and pest inspections such as an ex-car salesmen or landscaper. How would you feel if the person conducting your building inspection was not aware of a collar tie (roof framing member) or a window flashing detail or the correct waterproofing details for wet areas?
We believe the inspectors should be Licensed Builders and have the Wood Destroying Pest training completed by what we believe is the industry leader Rapid Solutions. Anything short of this is a risk to the purchaser. To ensure your building inspector has this qualification ask for DB-U Number (Domestic Builder-Unlimited category)
See Our Details:
Brett White DB-U 10825
Insured by Rapidsolutions.com.au

Do you have the correct insurances in place?

We believe it is essential that Professional Indemnity Insurance and Public Liability Insurances are in place to protect all parties and give longevity to the report. A large number of inspectors are not insured, this is a great risk for the consumer. If they fail to inform of a Major Defect or issue you have no option but to sue them personally. In addition if they are sued by another purchaser and disappear your report has no backing and its life span is over.

Some Dire Samples

  • If inspector has no assets, then you will have little hope of being compensated of any shortfalls.
  • If the inspector falls of a ladder when conducting your inspection and becomes permanently disabled, they could sue you.
  • If the Inspector damages the vendor property whilst conducting the inspection. Who pays for this? I have seen damage to roof tiles and holes in ceilings due to inspectors falling through the ceiling whilst investigating the roof void.

Is your Building and Wood Destroying Pest Inspection in accordance with AS4349.1 and AS4349.3?

These are the Australian Standards for setting the guidelines for conducting Building and Pest Inspections. It is essential that the reporting and inspecting be conducted in accordance with the set standards to inform the purchaser with the required information to make an informed decision with their purchase.

How long have you been conducting Building & Pest Inspections for?

A lot of inspectors will count the years they have been building or renovating as inspection experience time, this is incorrect as it is a completely different skill set. It is important to be specific.
“How many years have you been conducting inspections or how many inspections have you done?”
We believe to ensure you get the best inspection for your money it should be a minimum of five years experience or over a thousand inspections.

Is it ok if I can attend the inspection?

We believe you should be welcome to attend the inspection if you so desire or have someone attend on your behalf. But we do recommend that you do not interrupt the inspection process. It is best to talk to the inspector after he completes inspection. The vendor does need to give their consent as well.
If you are unable to attend don’t be concerned. We like to call you after we have sent the reports/s so you can have the opportunity to view the Major Summary page first to give you some insight in reference to the report/s we do this as we understand it may be difficult to grasp all the report findings.

Can I see a Sample Report and does the report include photos?

We recommend that you ask to view a sample report, this is a great way of viewing what you will be receiving with your report/s.
• Is there a Major Summary Page?
• Does the report include photos? A photo speaks a thousand words.
• How detailed is the report?
We use the very best reporting software that allows us to provide extremely detailed reports including photos with annotations and highlights;

Building inspection done by Brett White Building inspection done by Brett White Building inspection done by Brett White
The software also allows us to provide a Summary page this is essential to allow you to determine between major and minor defects and allows you to view the Major Defects without having to scroll though the full content of the report. So if you are time poor you can view the major defects call the inspector to be confident to move forward with confidence. See sample;

SIGNIFICANT ITEMS – Summary:

Items observed that require attention are listed under the appropriate subheadings within the body of this report. For ease of reading, some of these items have also been listed here. This list is in no way to be considered complete or comprehensive.

You must read the entire report and not rely solely on this Summary. The order that the items may appear in this summary is not an indicator of their importance.

MAJOR/SAFETY DEFECTS ITEMS:

INTERNAL AREAS

WALLS
Internal Walls Condition:
High moisture reading was noted to walls adjacent to wet areas in the bathroom. This indicates a possible shower leak and/or other free moisture source and/or timber pest attack. This should be further investigated without delay. If the waterproof membrane of the shower has broken down, this will require replacing to prevent timber framing decay to surrounding areas. A licensed builder and timber pest controller is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.

WET AREAS

MAIN BATHROOM:
Shower/Bath Condition:
It appears the shower recess is leaking. This has caused some wet rot decay damage to the surrounding components. (Please refer to heading Subfloor and Footings- then refer to-Wood decay damage) for further information. Rectification is required and the extent of works should be determined by a Licensed Builder without delay.

ROOF SYSTEM INTERNAL

ROOF FRAMING:
Roof Supports – Type and Condition:
Additional support and/or rectification is required to the cut & pitched roof area in the form of; collar ties over the lounge. The additional and/or replaced roof framing members must be provided to assure the roof frame structure is adequately supported. RECOMMENDATION, A licensed builder is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.

SUB FLOOR AND FOOTINGS

FOOTINGS:
Type & General Condition:
The building is constructed on a combination of strip footings and concrete piers.
Additional support and/or rectification is required to the timber floor structure in the form of joists under the lounge area. The additional and/or replaced framing members must be provided to assure the frame structure is adequately supported. RECOMMENDATION, A licensed builder is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.

Note: the area in the sub floor just if front of the access door appears to have been dug out, the lowered ground levels area may have undermined the concrete stumps footing in this area. A more invasive inspection is recommended to ensure the base of the footing to the concrete stumps in this area is on a stable base.

EXTERNAL AREAS

EXTERNAL STAIRS:
Type & Condition:
No steps are present to the double hinged doors to the front elevation and this presents as a safety/tripping hazard. This should be rectified to prevent such issues without delay. A licensed carpenter is required to provide a further assessment and to offer suitable rectification as required.

BRIEF SUMMARY – TIMBER PEST

TIMBER PEST ACTIVITY OR DAMAGE
Active Termites Found:
No – At the time of the inspection no visible evidence of termite activity (live termites) was found in the areas able to be inspected. Please read the report.

Damage Caused By Termites Found:
No – At the time of inspection no visible evidence of termite activity or damage was found in the areas able to be inspected. Please read the report.

Damage Caused By Borers Found:
Yes – Evidence (flight holes) of borers of dry seasoned timbers or borer damage was found. Please read the report.

Damage Caused By Wood Decay Found:
Yes – Evidence of damage resulting from wood decay fungi (wood rot) was found. Please read the report.

Warning: If safety concerns and/or hazards are not addressed, serious injury or death may occur.

Definitions:

• The definition of a major defect is the defect is of sufficient magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property.

• The definition of ‘major defect’ includes defects that have to be rectified to avoid the development of unsafe conditions, and thus any defect that is a safety hazard has to be reported as a major defect, however, if in the opinion of the inspector, a defect is a serious hazard to the occupants or is about to become a serious hazard to the occupants it is considered that the inspector has a professional duty to ensure that the report clearly identifies the hazard in such a manner that it is not easily overlooked by the reader of the report.

CONTACT THE INSPECTOR:

Please feel free to contact the inspector who carried out this inspection. Often it is difficult to fully explain situations, problems, access difficulties, building faults or there importance in a manner that is readily understandable by the reader. Should you have any difficulty in understanding anything contained within this report then you should immediately contact the inspector and have the matter explained to you. If you have any questions at all or require any clarification then contact the inspector prior to acting on this report.

We also like to set ourselves apart by providing an assessment on all elements so you can view all items. Where are competitors just to document the defects only. We also use the four “W” system.
• What the defect is
• Where the defect is
• What to do about the defect
• What will happen if you don’t do anything

We believe this arms you with the information to deal with mediate or urgent issues and then implement a maintenance program.

• How long does the inspection take and when do you receive the reports?
The inspection time can vary from property to property dependent on the size, age and condition of the property. We finish inspection/s once all areas have been reported on. Roof, Sub-floor, Roof Void all accessible areas.

We have heard of cases were reports are not delivered until days after the inspection. We deliver reports on the same day of the inspection. We are actually getting close to delivering reports from site. See one of our reviews;

“Brett is really helpful and very efficient in finding out the defect, he checked the property at 12:56 (I was with him), and sent the detailed report at 14:43. …MoreBrett is really helpful and very efficient in finding out the defect, he checked the property at 12:56 (I was with him), and sent the detailed report at 14:43.

His website is quite professionally made, and contains very extensive information about what he is going to provide. 
Although there is no sample of the report provided on the website, he is very happy to share if you sent an email request. 

I was really hoping to get that property, and about to negotiate private sale, and it turns out the owner is getting quick fixes of the property and the property itself has major structural damage (Foundation major structural failures with cracks everywhere). Brett explains all the issues in detail face to face and professionally in an easy to understand way. Looks like the house is not able to be fixed that easily.

I wonder how much more I will cost if I did not use his services and bought the house blindly. 

Really great job done, Brett.”

• How much does the process cost?
With all the information mentioned above you could imagine that the price could vary greatly and it does. Ask yourself do you want the inspection company that provides the cheapest price? Is that the only criteria you are using to judge who you engage in the inspection?
I know who I would be trusting to inspect and report on one of my biggest investments.

InspectEast

Who Needs a Building Inspector?

So you are looking to purchase a property, for investment or your family home. It is a very exciting and emotional time, all you want to do is pick up the keys and enjoy your home…Wait…You have all heard the horror stories.

We took possession of our property and you would not believe it, the stumps had all failed and the house needed to be completely re-stumped. The newly renovated shower was also leaking and had damaged the structure. The bathroom needed to be completely re-built or there was damage to the frame from termite attack so we had to remove the roof to replace all the damaged timbers. While we were at work our hot water failed in our apartment and flooded the lower level apartment’s and we discovered it was illegally installed etc.

How To Avoid This From Happening To You

Due to cases like mentioned above most people enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their purchase is not going to be a money pit because they are risk adverse and have their properties inspected by a licensed and insured inspector.

However we still hear the horror stories of people who don’t bother with the correct checks and end up with the dud. We recently conducted an inspection for one of our valued clients in the Bentleigh area, the property was renovated had great street appeal he was very excited and looking forward to the auction on the week end. We received the phone call and booked in the inspection in with the agent.

Once we completed the inspections we forwarded the reports to our client (same day of the inspection) we then called to talk the client through the extensive defects present at the property. Here are a small portion of some of the issues we identified;

Additional Re-stumping Required

building inspection where additional restumping was required

The property had been completely re-stumped and this was used by the agent as a selling point. However the stumps were not positioned under the joints or connection points of the bearers so at every connection point of the bearers there needed to be put in additional stumps to ensure the structure remained stable, also where the floor had dropped due to the lack of support it need to be lifted back to its correct position with hydraulic jacks.

The Roof Angle Was Too Flat

building inspection where the roof was build with no fall

The roof to the extension area of the rear of the dwelling had been built with little or no fall and the material used was not suitable, this led to water entry to the structure causing further defects and concerns.

Flaws In The Roof Structure

Building inspection where it was found that the roof needed to be looked over by a qualified repairer
The roof frame structure was altered, it was clearly not undertaken by a licensed or qualified tradesperson. The impact of this work had meant that deflection or sagging had occurred to the roof covering in this case tiled roof. It was like looking at a waves at the ocean. The roof needed to be straightened and additional framing installed to rectify all in a confined area.

Building inspection where it was found that the roof needed to be looked over by a qualified repairer

Sounds expensive……yes! However, as you would understand our client did not proceed with the property. Our client did not have tens of thousands to spare after laying out the funds required to obtain the property, that is without considering the time and stresses placed on his family involved in fixing the issues.

Our client went to the auction and could not believe the amount of money that the purchaser paid for the property. Did they buy the property with the full knowledge of the hidden defects and future costs to rectify?

We do not affiliate with agents and remain completely independent and we do not inform the agents of the condition of the property. This information is reserved for our clients. We had a phone call from the purchaser of the dwelling because the agent must have informed him that we had conducted the inspections. He asked to purchase a copy of the reports.

We went through the steps of arranging this process and sent a copy of the reports to the person who did buy the property, we then made a call to him once he had enough time digest the contents of the reports. During the conversation with the purchaser he went very quiet. He did a lot of sighing as the facts sunk in to what was required to bring the property up to standard.

Our first client went on to buy a property in great condition just down the road a couple of weeks later, needless to say he had his inspections in place.

This is just one example, were we have been able to save our clients a bucket load of money, don’t end up owning some other persons problems.

Whether you are buying an investment property or the family home, don’t be the person who ends up with the dud. So the correct answer is “Everyone” buying property needs a Building Inspector.

Don’t get caught out use InspectEast

Save Time in Your Small Business With These Property Tips

Spring is generally a peak season for buying that new home or investment property. Time is always of great essence. You want to acquire the best property within a very small window and that can exert undue pressure on homebuyers leading to costlier financial and lifestyle mistakes. Here are some tips on how to save time and get set on buying that new property this spring:

Get Your Finances Ready

Financing is always a huge hindrance when buying a new property so getting your finances ready in advance of the big decision can be a huge plus for a potential homebuyer. You should have saved sufficient deposit as well secured the right financing in time as this will help streamline the process.

To begin with, there are certain key preparations that you should make. These include the following:
• Review your budget and evaluate your financial situation. Are your regular savings sufficient to cover the initial deposit or do you need to up your money game and set aside more cash for the property acquisition? In some cases, you will also be struggling to save while also servicing debts so you will need to restructure your finances to meet your property purchase objective. If you can save more money now and have an excellent credit record, you will boost your chances when applying for loans. In the preparations stage, you should not just build strong and steady savings but you should also take time to establish a strong credit profile.

• Maximise your income by going after any outstanding invoices out there. When it comes to buying a home, you will need all the money you can lay your hands on. Make sure you separate your personal loans from your business finances when going after your invoices.

• Clear all personal debts ahead of time. These small debts will be like an albatross around your neck so you need to get them out of the way. Lower borrowings will boost your credit profile and hence increase your chances of getting mortgage or loans quickly at fairly favourable rates. These debts can include credit card debts and overdrafts among others.

• Talk to your personal accountant or financial advisor for additional assistance in organizing your finances to meet your goal. A professional accountant can offer you a few critical tips that will strengthen your financial profile.

Carry Out Market Research

Real estate markets are quite competitive and in some cases quit complex. Without a backstory on what the market offers, you are unlikely to spot the best opportunities or grab the best deals that will offer you value. Spend time to read some literature and carry out some thorough research on what the market offers. You can do this in multiple ways:

• Download and use a property app that you can use to gain market insights into the various suburbs in the locality where you wish to purchase the property. An app can have various features such as estimated market prices, affordability tools and calculators.

• There are various online property calculators which you can also use in determining data such as the upfront costs, forecast repayments, determine the amount of money that you can borrow based on your financial profile and so on. These can prove quite useful in counting the costs of acquiring your property and managing your cash flow.

• Leverage the free property insight reports for the suburbs as well as properties that you wish to invest in. These will include current information on the latest sales prices, current listings as well as the price estimates of the individual homes.

• Explore your options: As a potential buyer with money and a great credit profile, you have plenty of options so take charge and make the right choices. Some of the things that you can factor in include life’s goals and business objectives among others. Some agencies can also offer you professional support to help choose the right property at the right time.

Organise Your Paperwork

Buying a property involves a lot of paperwork. To save time later on in the transaction, make sure you have prepared all the requisite paperwork that you will need later on to process the property transaction. The amount of paperwork varies from one person to another. Some people, due to their line of work or business, have more complex paperwork so it is advisable to start early on to ensure you are not overlooking some important aspects. You will require paperwork such as business financial statements covering the most recent financial year as well as the most recent personal and business tax returns.

Get a Conditional Pre-Approval

Here is another time-saving tactic for someone planning to purchase property. Applying for a conditional pre-approval will allow you to get through with the property purchase process with more confidence since you will know the amount of money that you will be able to borrow.

Find a Suitable Home Lending Specialist

For even quicker decision-making and faster loans processing, find a suitable and reliable home lending specialist that will suit your needs. A professional home lending specialist can be a big boon in your property purchase journey helping you with various aspects of the transaction such as expert support, helping you pick the right lending option for you and guiding you through the application process. Home lending specialists can also assist in restructuring loans to suit your unique circumstances.

Exterior Water Management: Make Sure Your Pipes Are In Order

There are many things that you reflect on when it’s raining. The heaviness of the rain, the pretty rainbow that follows and perhaps if you are a homeowner; I hope the my roof won’t leak!

One thing few of us think about is “where does all that water disappear to once it leaves the roof?” It’s not like it spills around the house because everything dries up nicely right after.

Little do we know that wastewater goes through a long journey each time we sit in the window and watch the rain go down. Nor do we think about the implications of this wastewater not being dealt with correctly, or how expensive it can be to fix these issues.

The Difference Between Waste Water Types

The first thing that you should know is that wastewater is not the same everywhere. There are actually two types of wastewater going into our sewers. The first one is foul water sewage that contains dirty water from toilets, showers, kitchen drains, and so on.

The second, and the one that concerns us, is the surface water sewers. This one can take two paths: it is either saved by the owner of the house, or it can be carried into the sewers.

Rainwater is nothing like the dirty water that we flush down the toilet; it can actually be used to tend to things around the house (for instance, water the flowers, and so on). For this, the water will flow into the gutter, through a pipe, and then a container that the owner set to collect the rainwater.

The second course is as follows: it goes back to where it comes from. Essentially, harmless rainwater is carried to soakaways and rivers. Just like in the circumstance above, the water goes from the roof into the gutter, and then it’s connected to the natural water flows.

There are also combined sewers that will carry both rainwater and foul water; however, this option is usually avoided, since it calls for unnecessary treatment. The newer developments prefer to separate the two, also to avoid overflowing the sewage system.

It’s important to understand what kind of system the property you own or are thinking about buying has, and to have it inspected thoroughly to ensure there are no defects. Any kind of leaks or weaknesses in the system can lead to costly damage to other areas of the property.

Cleaning The Water

Depending on how dirty the water is, it will be sent into two different treatment places. Foul water will obviously go through more processing to get rid of the dirt. However, even if rainwater is clear, it will still need to go through some cleaning before it’s released.

Think about it: at some point, debris will start gathering on your roof – which will eventually dirty the water. Once it goes into the gutter, down the pipe, and into the sewer, it will eventually all be collected into a settlement tank, where the water is cleaned of all the solid matter.

If your roof has a leak, then it’s the dirty water that will seep through the leak and into your home. To avoid having this costly issue occur, it’s important to get an inspection done to identify such problems. This will allow you to arrange a roof repair before the rain starts to fall.

Our Four W Method Of Reporting Defects

So, what is required to meet the 2007 Standard?

The 2007 Standard limits the extent of reporting to major defects, providing a general impression regarding the extent of minor defects and any major defect that is an urgent and serious safety hazard.  The standard then advises that the major defect should be;

1. Clearly described (as per Table 3.3 of the Standard)
2. Have a general statement as to any minor defect/s arising from the major defect
3. Have an explanation as to why it is a major defect i.e. what are the consequences of NOT attending to the major defect?
4. Have a referral to a qualified person that can provide a scope and cost of the repairs.

However, quite often the simple identification of a defect alone is not enough. Their correct format of reporting is called the four W’s. By following the four W method, we articulate each and every building defect to our client by not only identifying the defect, but also explaining why it is a defect and the consequences of the defect if it is not attended to. We outline what the defect is, where the defect is located in the house, why it is considered a defect in the first place and exactly what should be done to rectify the defect.

Our Four W Method:

1. What is the defect?
2. Where is the defect located?
3. Why it is a defect?
4. What should you do about it?

Thorough reporting of each and every defect is vital after a building inspection. If you have been presented with the four W’s on a house you are considering you will be best equipped to make an informed decision.

Inspect East Building Inspections produce reports that better satisfy our clients need to find the major defects more easily and therefore better informed to make important decisions.

Melbourne the Most Desirable and Expensive

Melbourne has been voted the world’s most liveable city six years in a row as of 2016. It’s not surprising then that most of the worlds famous locality is seeing property prices now grow faster that its main national competitor, Sydney.

Homes sold in Melbourne went up by an average 6.9 per cent in the year to September, compared with just 3.2 per cent in Sydney, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

What’s causing this? The simple answer is supply and demand. The affordability of Melbourne housing combined with the city’s reputation for culture and sport is extremely appealing for national and international homebuyers alike.

Melbourne is now expanding by about 100,000 people every year. A lot of these people have the money to purchase homes, and are doing so.

The median dwelling price in Melbourne is a little over $700,000, compared to Sydney where it is around $1 million.

Forecasts predict Melbourne to become Australia’s biggest city by 2050, with figures showing the city’s population growth outpacing Sydney for several years in a row. Sydney’s population hit 5 million in 2016, whilst Melbourne is around 4.7 million.

This large and fast past demographic growth is accompanied by growing house prices

Currently, the lower house prices in Melbourne are also a drawcard for potential homebuyers. This is particularly appealing when combined with accompanying lures like education, café’s and community culture.

It’s very possible then, that if this trend continues, Melbourne may surpass Sydney when it comes to price points in the near future.

Why It Pays to Get An Expert

Already using Social Media? Follow Amalain.com.au for the latest about tips and tricks when it comes to buying or selling a home and dealing with real estate agents. It pays to have an expert in your corner
These days, businesses need to find a mentor who can help them grow their business and achieve their goals. Having an expert to assist and guide you and provide professional advice in whatever niche you belong to can indeed make things easier.

When it comes to real estate, the same rules apply. Hiring an expert advisor can be a huge help when trying to find and purchase your dream home, in your ideal location and at the right price. Yes, there may be a wealth of property-related information on the internet but getting professional advice tailored to your unique situation is always a better option.

Be sure, however, that you don’t just choose a professional based on who charges the lowest price. Do your research and pick the one who can best represent you and help you to secure the property you so desire.

According to James Tuckerman, founder of Anthill Online, clients get what they pay for. A client needs to be willing to employ the very best professional for the role they are trying to fill. The person offering the best service will have the experience to back it up and clients need to understand that expertise, experience and skill may come at a price.

Here are reasons why it pays to get an expert.

Insight on Current Market Conditions

Buyers advocates work in the real estate market daily. We have comprehensive information on the present condition of the housing market. We can provide you with the specifics depending on what type of residential property you want, its location and home size.

We can help you compare prices and give you information on the type of homes that recently sold in your area.

In terms of prices, as market experts, we can also give you the accurate pricing for properties that fall within your budget.

Access to Off Market Properties

If you’re purchasing a property, a buyer’s advocate is the right professional to hire.

We have a wide market knowledge and many sources within the real estate industry. Our established relationships with real estate agents mean we save you time, as we work with local real estate agents to find the right home for you. We are able to make appointments to view each property at times that work for you.

Depending on your requirements, a buyer’s advocate can help you find homes that are not advertised to the general public. Known as “off market”, we are able to source properties that suit your specifications before other buyers get a look in.

There are many off market properties are available in the market, but they are not listed publicly. This is where our experience and expertise proves invaluable.

Help in Negotiating

Negotiating is a vital part of a real estate transaction. Very few home owners looking to sell or those looking to buy a new property are skilled or confident when it comes to negotiating. As such, as your vendor advocate we protect your interests during the entire sales process.

On the buying side, we are trained negotiators. We will ensure that you as the buyer are our top priority.  We are adept at securing properties prior to auction and bring the expertise you are after on auction day.

Guidance in Paperwork and Contract Signing

It’s a reality that any real estate transaction often involves understanding and signing a lot of paperwork. Whether you are buying or selling a home, the paperwork that forms part of the transaction can be quite complicated.

Keep in mind that each state has its own laws on selling and purchasing property and they have to be followed diligently. This is where an expert can guide you throughout the process.

Looking to buy in Melbourne and sick of missing out at auction? Thinking of selling and wanting trusted, impartial advice and hand holding to protect your interests throughout the entire selling process? Talk to us about how WE MAKE IT EASY to buy or sell your home.

Call us now on 03 8609 1234 for a confidential free consultation.

2016 TRENDS IN RENOVATIONS

KITCHENS

Tactile surfaces are a design trend that is more popular with wood grain look bench tops back in fashion. Silent range hoods with motors installed outside the building are being utilised so the kitchen can be enjoyed in peace and quiet.

Ceiling down lights seem to be a thing of the past. The strategic use of pendant lighting where interesting materials are highlighted, such as, metallic, coloured glass or matte ceramic is hitting the scene. Lighting underneath overhead cabinetry, inside the pantry or any other task lighting is gaining popularity.

Pull out cabinetry for pantry items, dinner sets and pots and pans. Plate warmers and espresso machines are often installed. Dishwashers, fridges and microwaves can be discretely disguised with cabinet facades.

Butlers pantries, two ovens, wine cellars or dedicated wine fridge, built in steamers and ice-makers.

Bigger bench tops that double up as island bench tops for serving food or can replace a dining table

Concealed docking stations for smartphones, iPads and iPods and in-bench power points make life easy.

Snazzy splashbacks are now an essential design element of home renovations. Glass splashbacks can now display all of your home security, a TV screen and the internet. Subway tiles are still on trend as are natural stone splashbacks.

BATHROOMS

Timber has emerged as the new trend in vanities and cupboards. Stone and rock on bathtubs and sinks.
Standalone bath tubs are a hot trend and built in bathtubs have fallen down the ranking in popularity.
Large tiles instead of smaller mosaics
Smart storage with all drawers vanity unit as opposed to having doors under the basin. Mirrored or wall cabinets above the vanity allow for easy access to items stoes and required on a regular bais.

ADDING PET AMENITIES

Dog showers, storage space and feeding stations.

WINDOWS

Double glazing is a very popular option helping to reduce heating and cooling problems. Look also to draught proof your home as well.

WARDROBES

Utilising storage capacity within a wardrobe is to build the wardrobe to the ceiling thus providing you wish a shelf above the hanging rail for the storage of large items such as suitcases. Incorporate both single and double hanging rails allows more efficient use of the storage of dresses, pants, shirts and shirts.

INDOOR-OUTDOOR LIVING

Indoor to outdoor architecture is also becoming increasingly popular. Living areas now open up to an enclosed patio or decking, making a seamless connection between the outside and the in. Big floor to ceiling windows instead of walls can provide unobstructed views to the outside while still separating the living spaces from the garden areas.

Not all building reports are equal. What separates a good report from a mediocre one?

To begin with always use a suitably qualified person (such as a licensed builder, a surveyor or an architect) to provide a professional building inspection. These professions should see through any cosmetic improvements that might otherwise be missed by an untrained eye.

A professional inspector will ensure that the format and content of the report complies with the relevant Australian Standards.
It is crucial to ascertain if the building inspector intends, subject to accessibility, examine the roof cavity and underfloor areas. Timber pest activity and damage, structural damage and rot and decay can be detected by a thorough examination of these areas.

Ensure that the person you choose has adequate insurance cover, particularly for professional indemnity and public liability.

What is a good building inspection report?

Ask about the layout and content of the report. A good report should be set out in an orderly, easy to read fashion, with supporting photographs and lots of assisting information. We use 3D software and it produces a report that has labelled colour photos. It is easy to read and can be emailed to you on the day of the inspection. Hand written and box ticked reports are not adequate. Ask for a hard copy of the report for your files if you want to keep for future reference.

The report should give you:

– A summary of the overall condition of the property (considering its age and type)

– A list of any areas or item that wasn’t inspected

– If necessary, a recommendation that a further inspection or assessment be carried out by a suitably accredited specialist (e.g. pest inspector, electricity supply authority, water supply authority, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, surveyor or solicitor).

Inspection glassBecause Building and Pest Inspections are visual only, they are not intrusive. The Inspector can only inspect areas that they can visually see and access. Making sure areas are not locked on the day of the inspection -areas such as manholes, garages and subfloor doors. If there are areas that you are particularly concerned with make sure debris or furnishes are moved for the inspection.

A dedicated inspector should go through the report with you to make sure you understand the key elements. Time spent going over the report with the inspector is an important part of the inspection process.

Areas you can follow up with after the report may include – discussions with your Solicitor or Conveyensor on areas that have been noted in the report -additions, extensions and improvements that have been undertaken. Searches may need to but undertaken.

Choosing an independent inspector is an important step. Your report is for your eyes only. Reports should only be passed onto Agents or Solicitors with your approval. Choose your own Inspector that you feel comfortable with not one that is recommended by the real estate agent

Google reviews are a good was of finding out how others have found their inspection reports.

The Legal Tips You Need To Know About Buying Property

Buying a property is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. It’s easy to get swept up in emotions when you think you’ve found “the one”, especially when you’re a first home buyer or you’ve been searching for ages. But it’s very important to carefully consider the legal and financial implications before you sign a contract. Thorough research could save you a fortune and ensure you avoid a serious mistake.

From the hundreds of real estate contracts she’s read during her career, guest blogger and Melbourne property lawyer Kate Ashmor from Ashmor Legal shares three legal tips to keep in mind when you’re considering a purchase:

1. Carefully inspect the property and check the condition of EVERYTHING before you sign the contract.

A standard clause in the contract makes the vendor (or seller) only responsible for delivering the property to you at settlement in the condition it was on the day of sale, fair wear and tear excepted. So if the central heating wasn’t working on the day you signed the contract or there was a leak in the bathroom, bad luck. Turning on all appliances and checking all light fittings beforehand will give you an accurate picture of the state of the property; you may be able to negotiate on price if something like an oven or garage door isn’t working.

2. Consider obtaining building and pest inspections.

Older period homes may have hidden issues with foundations and roofing, as well as termite infestation. Newer homes can have waterproofing and drainage issues. Investing in a building and pest inspection report could save you a fortune if you avoid buying an issue-plagued home. If relevant, read the Owners Corporations Annual General Meeting minutes carefully – will you be required to contribute to major capital works in the future? Look out for the condition of driveway concrete, fences and stairwell carpets too.

3. If you buy “subject to building and pest inspection” ensure the special condition is broadly worded.

You can insist on your wording of the special condition in the contract, so there’s enough wriggle room to terminate the contract if the inspection picks up any issues, regardless of their seriousness. Avoid the word “major” before ‘defect” and “live” before “pest infestation”. It’s your offer and you’re entitled to insist on your wording, regardless of what the selling agent says. But remember: when you purchase at auction, the contract is not subject to anything (it’s unconditional), so you’ll need to arrange your building and pest inspection to occur before auction day.

Note: the above is general information and should not be considered as legal advice.

© Ashmor Legal Pty Ltd 2016, all rights reserved.

Here’s how to contact Kate for assistance with conveyancing:
www.ashmorlegal.com.au
Facebook: AshmorLegal
Twitter: @KateAshmor
Instagram: Kate.Ashmor