Pre Purchase Inspections: What’s behind the door?

Pre Purchase Inspections

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you might ever make. And it’s a tricky one because no matter how excited you feel, or how ‘perfect’ the house appears, you will need to be practical and put all the facts on the table. It’s smart to get someone independent to guide you.

Open Homes are a wonderful way to see behind the door. Houses from the outside can be tantalising in their mystery. How big is the back deck really? And what style of kitchen appliances lie in wait?

Beware the downside of an Open Home! All those possibilities can be enticing but it can be very easy to overlook some of the brewing issues while you’re wearing those rose-coloured glasses.

Getting a property inspector to examine the house before you make a final commitment is a smart decision. It’s a small price to pay in the scheme of things and it could save you thousands in the end.

A property inspector, who is a qualified builder, can be your best friend. They can check everything behind the door, and even the door itself, to make sure the house is solid and going to remain that way for years to come.

The property inspector will critically assess all the structural elements of the house and the overall condition of the property. Their job is to judge the house as they find it and let you know what you will be buying.

As every purchase decision is different, a good inspector will not tell you not to buy. They will provide you with the facts and help you to understand any faults with the house now or problems that might arise in the future. It will ultimately depend on your plans for the house.

Faults can be fixed and it’s important to put everything into perspective when decision time comes. You need to weigh up the cost of fixing any faults against the value you will gain from the property over the next 5-7 years.

Remember too that some of those flaws and blemishes might seem large when your attention is first drawn to them but you will likely never notice them again once you have settled in and are busy in the day-to-dayness.

Armed with the knowledge and confidence that a pre purchase inspection can offer, you are now in a better position to negotiate the price with the vendor and to determine what is reasonable for a house of that condition.

Elements covered in a Pre Purchase House Inspection

A thorough pre purchase house inspection will cover about 200-250 items on the property. These can be categorised as followed:

Site conditions

Elements such as trees in the vicinity of the house, surface drainage, steps, retaining walls, fences, paths, driveways, garages, carports, sheds.

House Exterior

Items including brickwork, weatherboards, paintwork, sills, balconies, verandahs, decks, plinth boards, roof, gutters, flashings, eaves, downpipes, vents and weepholes. Exterior surfaces are checked particularly for signs of structural movement or cracking.


Elements including the sub-floor structure, footings, stumps, piers, framing, ventilation, dampness, drainage, services, ant caps, and debris that could be attracting termites. Access can sometimes be limited to the underfloor space due to the height available, and obstruction from services such as ducted heating.

Roof Space

Structural elements such as frame, trusses, roof covering, sarking and general condition of insulation and exhaust flues.

Building Interior

Items including all ceilings, doors, walls, windows, architraves, skirting boards, floors, staircases, fireplaces, tiling etc. in each room.

Wet Areas

Thorough inspection of all seals and fittings to ensure there are no leaks or dampness in areas such as kitchen, laundry, bathrooms and toilets.


Items including circuit breakers, safety switches, smoke detectors, hot water service and water pressure.

How do you organise a Pre Purchase House Inspection?

At Urban, we like to make the inspection process as easy as possible. All you need to do is call us or ask us for a free quote via our website page.

Once you’ve given us the go-ahead, we will contact your agent for you and organise a time to meet. We will then let you know when the inspection will take place.

Our inspector will prepare a thorough house inspection report, complete with photos, using our custom-built iPad application.

You can meet the inspector on site after the inspection and go through the report with him then, or if you’re not able to attend, we can email it direct to your computer or mobile.

Remember that our inspectors are available to answer any of your questions or if you need further clarification. We understand that it can be a big decision at this point.

Let Urban take the stress out of making that purchase decision. Contact us today and let us help you through the process.