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Tips To Help Protect Your Property From Termites

A large percentage of termites are mainly subterranean, which means they dwell in the ground. These insects create tunnel systems in the soil which may extend to a maximum depth of three feet. Here they make mud tubes that will connect their colonies located underground to food sources above such as wood material in your homes.

There are also some termites who live in water sources such a leaky tap or any damp areas produced by rain. They look for a place where there is moisture, so they will be able to survive and populate.
Lastly, termites prefer to invade wood or any types of material that have cellulose.


Do not bury scrap wood or waste lumber in your yard. If it is in the soil termites will be attracted to it.

Decaying Vegetation

Clear downed branches or decaying twigs and plants before they submerge into the soil.


Mulch provides a useful purpose but is best placed in areas of your garden that aren’t directly adjacent to the walls of your home. It can provide a food source and water source in the form of moisture and irrigation.

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Termites will consume any material that contains cellulose. Some of the more obvious signs could be small holes in wood, crumbling drywall, sagging doors or floors, insect winds and small shelter tubes
Minimize excess building materials and scrap wood touching the ground. Concrete slabs or stands can be used to raise the wood off the ground.

Limit stockpiled timber or firewood near external walls or raise above the ground.

Limit wood to ground contact. Home improvement centers now offer concrete supports that raise the wooden support beams for decks and patios off the ground.

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Termites cannot survive without a source of water present.


Identify and fix all water leaks in and around your home. Do not give termites a free water source that is close to your home.

Any standing or pooling water should be dealt with as well as leaking gutters.

The most common example of leaks around I see on a daily basis is the hot water service relief valve and air conditioning unit condenser overflow points not being connected. This can easily be remedied by connecting them to the storm water system.

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Landscaping Considerations

– Avoid gardens alongside your home especially if you have a chemical barrier at the perimeter. Normal gardening or use of topsoil may ruin the barrier and void your warrantee.

– If you must have gardens alongside your home do not raise the beds above the existing ground level especially with slab-on-ground construction. The ground level or finished paving level must be at least 75mm below the damp-proof course line or the bottom of the weepholes. Never cover up the weepholes.

– Don’t plant flower or shrubs that will hide weepholes, vents in the walls with timber floors or the exposed edge of concrete floor slabs.

– Areas under suspended floor should be well ventilated and dry. Don’t close off sources of ventilation.

– Be aware that the later construction of unprotected additions such as carports, pergolas, porches, access ramps and steps to your home may allow termites to bridge an existing termite barrier. Even installing something like a new water heater on the outside of your home could damage the termite barrier or make it difficult to detect any future termite activity.

– Take care when selecting trees to plants. If you plant the wrong tree too close to your home, its roots may damage the termite barrier under or beside the concrete slab or cause the slab itself to crack.

– Don’t affix wooden trellises to exterior walls

– Keep all shrubs, bushes and other dense greenery away from the foundation of your home.

– Remove infested trees and stumps

– Don’t allow leaves to accumulate in gutters and drains.

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Home Inspections

I generally recommend an annual inspection, whether it is done by a Licensed Inspector qualified in the area of Timber and Pest Inspection, or by yourself (but you need to know what to look for).

– Inspection of all potential entry points to timber structures

– Inspection of all termite barriers for any bridging or breaching by termites, building trails of mud or galleries across those barriers.

– Inspection around perimeter weepholes in brick walls just above concrete slabs or just below suspended floors

– Inspection for wood and other possible food for termites around the perimeter of the concrete slab or under timber floors.

How Small Leaks Can Become Big Headaches

Drip, drip, drip – A dripping shower head can be annoying but is usually easily identified and easily fixed. A drip or trickle of water going unchecked behind a wall or under a shower recess for days, months or even years can cause substantial and expensive damage.

Leaking showers are the single biggest major concern I see on a weekly basis.   If the problem is not identified and rectified quickly water can damage, erode, rot and destroy almost any surface. This can lead, eventually, to substantial structural problems.  Persistent moisture may also encourage timber pests, compromising the structure of your home and generally result in its devaluation.

We look for difficult to spot problems that can easily be covered up by vendors.  These issues are not only found in old bathrooms but are often found in newly renovated ones  concealed behind new paint, fresh silicon not to mention air freshener.  In many instances waterproofing has not been installed to the Australian Standard 3740-2004 or has been damaged over time. This is critical as an essential backup layer designed to keep water from leaking from a shower.

Underrated water issues are significant especially as they can mean expensive repairs down the track.  Many would be buyers are blown away when confronted by the costs to repair as well as the inconvenience of your bathroom being out of action for a prolonged time.

Have you factored these potential costs into your budget?

– Repairing structure damage

– Bathroom Demolishment of works

– Retiling and waterproofing

– Reinstalling or purchase of new shower screen

– Silicone, painting and grouting works

– Reinstalling shower trays and waste

– Installing new wall sheeting

– New plumbing works

– Building Inspection costs

Why Repairs need to be addressed immediately

– Development of mould

– Damage to paintwork and plasterboard

– Tiles may lift or fall off

– Structural damage – Wall frame flooring floor joists bearers

– Structural damages, floorboards, beams or bearers

– Development of wood rot

– Eventually collapse of structure

– Attracts termites and wood decay


Important Questions When Hiring a House Inspector


Never sign a contract before showing it to a competent solicitor working on your behalf, not someone recommended by the real estate agent. There are many clauses used in the industry that may bind you to the contract regardless of faults found by building or pest control inspectors.


Do not accept reports arranged by the current owner or real estate agent they will more than likely be biased! You may not have any legal recourse against the inspector that has not been hired and paid by you if undisclosed problems are found later. Insurers of building and pest control firms usually demand a disclaimer be put in their report against third parties. Check with your legal advisor.


Make sure the inspector does not disclose any information regarding the outcome of the inspection with or in front of the agent or current owner, this can lead to arguments also biased opinions from unqualified people. Make sure your Inspector is aware of this, before employing them.


Do not use unqualified friends or relatives to carry out inspections on your behalf unless they have the appropriate inspection licences and indemnity insurance. You don’t want to have to take legal action against a relative or friend when something goes wrong.


Be aware your lender does not arrange or carry out inspections, they do valuation appraisals only. You must arrange building and pest inspections yourself.


Do not allow the real estate agent to dictate who you may or may not use to carry out Inspections on your behalf, this should ring alarm bells! Remember the agent has a vested interest in selling you the property regardless of problems.


Do not use building or pest control firms recommended by the real estate agent. Collect brochures and cards, ask the agent for a list of their “referrals” that do favorable reports for them to achieve a sale, so you know who not to use. Watch out for Inspectors or company’s that are eager to contact “their friend” the agent and arrange the inspection for you.


Do not allow the real estate agent or current owner to misinterpret the building or pest control report to suit themselves, they are not qualified and will be biased.


Before anyone is employed to do your inspection ask to see their Registered Building Licence and check the expiry date. Check if their professional indemnity insurance policy is current.


If the inspector claims they are licensed to do pest and building, ask how long they have run a pest or building business for, before doing inspections. Do they have the necessary experience?


Do not talk to the inspector until they have completed the inspection, so you do not break their concentration and you know exactly how long the inspection has taken. Remember it is an inspection not a social meeting. Ask questions on completion of the inspection.


Do not employ anyone that does generic tick box or check point reports which lack detailed information on specific problems


The report must comply with the Australian Standard AS 4349.1 property inspections Part 1 Residential buildings


Make sure the Inspector has the appropriate equipment to carry out an inspection. Ladders, torch, moisture meter and a camera. Thermal imaging devices are sometimes helpful to back up they should already know, but are not a necessity as they can mislead you into thinking there is nothing wrong, when there is a problem, this can be a costly mistake.


Watch out for inspection services that offer guarantees that limit their liability to a minimum they may not be covered by professional indemnity insurance


Ask the inspectors what areas they access and cover in their reports before employing them. Try to be there during the inspection to ensure the inspector accesses all areas they said they would. Especially the roof exterior and roof interior (past the access hole). If the inspector does not want you to be there during the inspection, you don’t want them!


Does the Inspector take photos of problems also for proof of areas accessed?


The comments above are a guide only. Seek legal advice from an independent competent legal advisor before doing anything!

Building Inspections & Finance – Two Critical Parts of Buying a Property in Melbourne

Why You Should Always Get a Building Inspection Before You Buy a Property in Melbourne

With all the costs involved in buying a property, it can be tempting to cut corners, saving a couple of hundred dollars by neglecting to hire a building inspector to give it the once-over.

But this is a fundamental mistake that home buyers make. With such a large investment as a house, you cannot risk blindly buying a dud.

Why Are Building Inspections So Important in Melbourne?                  

Getting a building inspection is even more important in Melbourne, with the very changeable and sometimes extreme weather conditions, which can inflict more damage and wear to houses than in other Australian cities.

A good building inspector will check all potential problem areas of the property. These checks will ensure that your dream home fits all the Building Codes and Standards of Australia, because if it doesn’t, you need to know about it.

The real condition of the property as assessed by a professional building assessor may have a large influence on the price you are prepared to pay for this investment. Not only that, you need to know about any hidden costs involved in getting your property up to standard, so that you can budget for them and you won’t be left in the dark with some unpleasant surprises.

Financing Your New Home – Introducing Rapid Finance

So you’ve got your property thoroughly checked out, and are satisfied that with the building inspector’s report, you’re backing a winner. What next?

Well, you’re going to need the cash to buy your new home. But what if you have bad credit?

Rapid Finance are a reputable finance broker with offices around the country. With a decade of specialty finance experience, they can find you the best home loan to suit your circumstances, even if you have bad credit!


Finding Your Ideal Property

Buying a home is one of the most exciting joys in this life, whether it’s your first home or twentieth. Finding your ideal property should be a fulfilling andpositive experience. That’s why we have gathered several common sense tips that will help you get the most out of this process.

Property sold

Aim for the long-term range

Buying a real estate property is always considered a long-term investment. But even if you buy it purely as an investment and don’t plan to spend in it the rest of your life, you should still consider making it feel like home.

God knows not all of us have a 20-year plan, or even 10-year plan for our life. But based on your current situation you can still make some plans for the forthcoming several years. From a new child birth to another child coming back home after graduation, your life can change in the next several years. And it makes sense to be prepared for such changes and make enough room for everybody to feel comfortable in this new home.


Be flexible

Try to purchase a house with an open plan. Whether you are starting a family or planning on expanding one, you need to have as many universal spaces as possible. There will be times when you will need your house to serve as a home, party space, working space, place for family reunions, office, and anything in between. So you should keep in mind that the rooms in the house may change their functions with time; and some spaces will need to be converted to something insp else or completely remodeled or rebuilt. It’s also good to leave some space for additions to the house or around it.

Family life is an ever-changing concept, so a family house also should be flexible and potentially accommodating to all possible needs. So keep in mind some flexibility when you are looking at those properties.

Property for rent

Location is the key

We are not referring only to the town you choose to buy your house in. You need to take into account such important factors as proximity of a commute route to the house, its distance from work, possibility of traffic jams, proximity to schools, churches and other important functional destinations.

At the same time you need to carefully look at the neighborhood and imagine yourself living there. Would you feel comfortable with the community around this particular house?

Another important aspect is comfort of living. This includes noise pollution, proximity to roads, clean air and safety in general. One thing is living along the road and another is living in a secluded cul-de-sac. Although the latter is more expensive as a rule, it makes a much safer and more pleasant surrounding for living in the long run.


Make a list

It helps to create a list of the most important things you are looking for in a house and use these criteria for sifting out all the unfit options. With the internet nowadays, you have such an unlimited pool of available options. Shopping for houses has become fun. It seems like you have myriads of opportunities to find your dream home. You do. But be careful not to get lost and distracted by these numerous options and in the end get frustrated. Use your checklist to discard the ones that will most definitely not work for you, prior to calling agents and going to see the houses. Otherwise, you will end up spending too much time looking at houses and your eyesight will become mulled. Having too many choices may seem like a good thing, but in reality it is not. An ideal situation is to narrow them down to 2-3 houses and choosing from them.


Make sure to view several at a time

It seems a good idea to view one house at a time. However when you do this, you forget the real picture of the house the next day and have a blurred fantasy instead. So when you compare it to the next one, it is not objective. Try to view several houses at a time, so that you could go off fresh impressions.

In most cases, people end up buying a house that differs drastically from the initial picture they had in mind. So make a list, keep it in mind (or have it with you) and try to stay open-minded when you go and look at houses. The variety of properties available for sale nowadays is crazy, in terms of design ideas and structural features, so you can rest assured your ideal dream home is out there waiting for you.

7 Of the Most Important Home Buying Tips

Whether you are buying a house the first time or you are a seasoned buyer, it is still a stressful event in your life. No matter how much you read and study the subject in advance, you still might make a couple of mistakes. So we have compiled a list 7 of the most important home buying tips that will help you sail through this process seamlessly.


Make a checklist


Before you start shopping for a new home, sit down with your loved ones and make a list of all the things you want and don’t want to have in your new home. Work on this list for a couple of days trying to find compromises on all items with your family and take into account wishes and needs of all family members. Once you are happy with this list, turn it into a checklist of things you will look for in the homes you will consider. You can also give this checklist to your realtor or a broker, if you are planning to work with one.



Plan your finances

Once you are done with the checklist, plan your finances carefully. There is nothing more important than planning a workable budget and sticking to it when you are buying your first home. By doing this you will have a good idea how much you will have left every month once those mortgage payments kick in.


Know your limitations

Do not overstretch your planned budget. It is very easy to convince yourself that you can afford a house you really like that falls out of your budgeted amount. It’s easy to get carried away and jump into overly optimistic thinking mode persuading yourself that you will get a promotion or find a better job. Whether it will or won’t happen is an unknown variable. But what is a sure thing is that you will place your family in a very uncomfortable financial position for the next couple of years. And if nothing turns up to increase your income, or if you experience financial difficulties for a prolonged period of time, an already overstretched budget may turn your otherwise tolerable scenario into a nightmare.


Find a mortgage broker

Mortgage broker

A mortgage broker is a specialist that helps find the best mortgage deal for your specific situation. If this is your first home purchase, this specialist will help you understand all the nuts and bolts of the process and explain all the features available.



Consider inspection

Even if the house you chose seems impeccable, still hire an inspection company to have it checked for you. Only a trained professional can properly check the house for quality, safety and overall conditions. If an inspector finds some serious flaws with the house during inspection, you can safely get your deposit back and retrieve your offer. Or you can significantly decrease the price with further negotiations. You can also negotiate to have the seller make all the repairs prior to the purchase.

In any case, you will have a better idea about the property you are going to purchase and make an informed decision.


Make an offer

Your agent will advise you on the best price you can offer for this house and the conditions you can ask for. He will then send your offer to the seller’s agent and the seller will either accept your offer or issue a counter-offer. This process may take a couple of steps, going back and forth. Once you agreed on the price, you will move on to the security deposit phase. When you place a deposit with the seller, you lock in the price and ensure that the property is removed from the market while you are doing all the paperwork and settling all the money matters. After the deposit you can have an inspection of the property.


Move in or move on

house inspection

If the house inspection does not reveal any serious problems and you are able to work out the deal with the seller, this is the time to close the deal. Closing the deal involves a lot of paperwork. But in the end, you will become a proud owner of a new property.


Getting Your Home Ready For Inspection

I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to complete a house inspection on behalf of a potential buyer only to find that the owner hasn’t prepared it properly for the inspection.

It’s such a critical mistake by a seller, because it creates suspicion in the purchaser as they think the seller may be trying to cover some things up, which can ultimately result in deals falling through.

Attending to a few routine items can make all the difference in a building inspection, and will ensure the home is ready and free of the long list of minor defects whose presence on an inspection report can scare of potential buyers.

make sure your building inspection checklist is complete

Here are some tips for preparing your house for inspection:

  1. Make sure the electricity is on in all areas of the home, inspectors will not do this for you.
  2. Make sure gas or fuel is switched on for all appliances, once again, inspectors won’t do this for you.
  3. Make sure the water is on and functional in all fixtures, inspectors won’t turn this on for you.
  4. If there are any light bulbs burnt out, replace them.
  5. Clear out and stored items or junk from under sinks.
  6. If there is anything blocking ceiling access such as personal items or shelving, remove this prior to the inspection. The inspector will not remove these to gain access.
  7. Use a screwdriver to ensure the hardware on all doors/windows is secure, and make sure they all open and close as they should.
  8. Make sure the roof and gutters are cleaned and free from debris.
  9. Have a look to make sure there are no leaks under sinks or drains such as in the bathroom, laundry or kitchen. If there are, have these fixed prior to inspection.
  10. Make sure your heating and cooling is serviced, and have records of the last service that was conducted.

Taking the time to tick off these relatively simple items will greatly reduce the number of minor items that may have otherwise shown up as defects in your inspection report. The smaller the defect list in the report, the more chance you have of getting the deal you want on the home!

If you have any other questions feel free to give us a call for an obligation free chat on 03 8657 0007.

Why Getting a House Inspection is a Must

If you’re about to embark on purchasing a new home, it will certainly be in your best interest to have a home inspection completed.

Not only should you get it done for your own peace of mind, but most lenders will require that you have a building inspection completed before they will proceed with the loan. The lending institution has just as much skin in the game as you do, so that is why they require the inspection to be completed.

The process of getting a home inspection involves hiring a company who will send out a building inspector who will go through the home you are looking at purchasing. With you present, the home inspector goes through the whole home, and does an in depth inspection to make sure nothing in is need of major repair that may not be visible on the surface.

In short, a home inspector goes through a home and checks fixtures, plumbing, wiring, and the foundations of the house to make sure it is all structurally sound. Then they’ll inspect the outside of the home along with the roof to make sure there isn’t any exterior damage.

damage found in Melbourne termite inspection

In additon to the home inspection, it would also be in your best interest to inspect for wood boring insects, such as termites which can wreak havoc on your houses structure.

Pest inspections are also required by banks and lenders before they’ll grant a loan.

Some inspection companies offer both building and pest inspections and some don’t, Inspect East do offer both.

Aside from being required by lenders, it’s still very much in your best interest to have an inspection completed. They cost anywhere from $300 to $1000+ depending on the size of the home, and you are allowed to be present and ask questions through the entire inspection.

Think about this; imagine you found your dream home and went ahead and purchased without an inspection. Everything is fine when you move in and all is good in the world and your family is super happy and excited. Then a few days later it pours down rain and water starts coming through the ceiling. There’s a ceiling issue that wasn’t identified!

After this kind of experience you’ll certainly be wishing you’d had the inspection. While it might sound far fetched, these kind of things do happen. So don’t take the risk because a new roof can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000+.

If you get the inspection done, you can have the peace of mind that your house is in good order and is safe to live in for you and your family. In case anything does go wrong though, and it’s covered under the house inspection, you can hold the inspection company accountable for those damages and not be out of pocket yourself.

In summary, a house inspection is extremely important for both you and your lender. You both have a large interest in the property so just go ahead and get the inspection done so you can sleep easier at night.