Whether buying a new or pre-owned property, you should not forego a pre-purchase building inspection. It would be a smart move to include the cost of a building inspection in your budget as the cost of not having your dream home inspected could give you nightmares. The questions you need to answer are: Why do you need a building inspection? And how much does a building inspection cost?

You should inform your real estate agent that you want to hire an inspector before sealing the deal on your family’s dream house. A standard building inspection will:

  • Detect building defects, risks for future damage, and/or unapproved structures/additions/alterations;
  • Detail the condition of the major elements of a house, including the roof space and ceilings; walls; doors and windows; wiring; plumbing and guttering; and HVAC system, among others;
  • Financial or legal issues hanging over the property;
  • Confirm that the building meets safety requirements and local guidelines, and conforms to its registered plan;
  • Determine whether or not there is asbestos, for properties built before 1985;
  • Detect presence of and damage done by pests, which is a separate and different kind of inspection.

Knowing about the overall condition and status of a property you’re intending to buy will be crucial to your decision. You can renegotiate the property’s price; require the seller to make the necessary repairs and/or take care of the legal or financial issues; or prepare for additional costs, if you would be shouldering the repairs yourself. Whatever issues the building inspection will uncover will have to be taken care of before you sign any contracts and before you move your family into your new home to ensure their comfort and safety.

How much does a building inspection cost? This will mostly depend on the size of the property. Inspection of a small property can cost about $300 or less; an average-sized house could cost up to $500. Inspection of properties in the city will, of course, demand a higher price – up to $1000 for a 4-bedroom property, compared to about $500 for the same property located in a regional area. The complexity of the structure will also affect the total cost of a building inspection.

To get the most out of your money, only hire a qualified inspector with an in-depth knowledge of the industry; many years of practical experience; excellent reviews from previous clients; knowledge of the area where the property is located; and preferably a member of a certified building association.

Remember that how much a building inspection costs should not deter you from having one done. It is a necessary expenditure as the inspector’s report will help you and your family decide whether to go ahead with the purchase or to keep looking. After all, you can’t put a price on being able to sleep soundly every night knowing that your family is comfortable and safe in your new home.