The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is reminding prospective home buyers of the importance of doing their research before committing to a purchase.
While buying a home is one of the biggest purchases Victorians are likely to make, doing so without taking the time to consider the construction aspects of the property you’ve got your eye on could lead to some nasty surprises down the track.
In addition to arranging finance and reviewing contract details, home buyers are encouraged to arrange a pre-purchase inspection with a registered building practitioner who offers the service.
This inspection should review a property from top to bottom, including the roof space, whether the property is in a bushfire-prone area and advise consumers of the merits of having a pest inspection.
State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini said a pre-purchase inspection can help prospective home buyers learn more about what they are buying and if any defects exist.
“With the purchase of a home being one of the largest purchases in most peoples’ lives a pre-purchase inspection is a valuable investment that can save you from unexpected and costly repairs down the track,” Mr Cialini said.
“Fresh plaster and paint can hide a number of issues, including structural wear and tear, mould and cracks in plaster.
As well as engaging an appropriately trained building surveyor, building inspector or architect, Mr Cialini said purchasers should also undertake their own due diligence.
“Checking the history of a building, specifically if there have been building permits issued for building and renovation work is also highly recommended,” he said.
All new homes, renovations and additions to existing homes are required to comply with the energy efficiency requirements. In Victoria, performance equivalent to a 6-star NatHERS rating has been required since 2011.
A home must also use no more than 5 watts/m2 for fixed lighting and have a rainwater tank for toilet-flushing or a solar hot water system.
Renovations, additions and relocations must perform to a minimum 6-star energy rating for the building fabric, but do not require a rainwater tank or a solar hot water system.
When buying an established home, consumers should consider the benefits of sustainable features that can reduce living costs, make the home more comfortable to live in, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and add to the value of a property.
Visit vba.vic.gov.au/check to make sure the builder doing your pre-purchase inspection is registered.