A skeptical potential buyer asked me as I was doing a Building and Timber Pest Inspection for him.

What would you really expect to find in a building less than 5 years old?

I highlighted a few examples of recent issues I have found in near new buildings. All were properties that presented rather well and advertised in the real estate websites as “impeccably presented, Immaculately maintained”

Two cold water taps in the ensuite – the potential buyer replied oh that would easily be fixed it probably wasn’t connected to the hot water system. I replied actually the hot water line had not been plumbed in and potentially could have caused huge expense and inconvenience to the new owners.

Leaking showers are often found in brand new or renovated bathrooms often resulting in tiles, plaster and waterproofing having to be redone. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I discovered this shower had a substantial leak.

bathroom inspection

Many new bathrooms now have the modern look tiled shower bases and once I have run the shower for a few minutes I have discovered that not enough fall has been allowed for consequently the water pools or floods out of the shower and into the bathroom.

shower leak

Sometimes the termite barrier has been compromised either by the builder or the owners by putting garden beds up against the building resulting in the termite barrier being compromised.

termite barrier

No insulation installed either in the walls or the ceiling. This is sometimes expected that it is picked up with the certificate of occupancy but is often overlooked.

Leaking roofs or downpipes not connected– hard imagine this being a problem in a new property however often with a multitude of trades climbing over roof to install flashings etc. tiles can get cracked.


Rubble and rubbish stored under the subfloor – rubbish can be expensive to dispose of and can sometimes hide defects and is conducive to timber pest or termite attack. Rubbish can also be a harborage for rodents and other pests.


Many times the builder or owner agrees to rectify these issues before settlement, which makes the cost of a building inspections well worth the money. My potential purchaser agreed that he wouldn’t be bidding for any property unless he had a building and pest inspection done regardless of the age.

Having an inspection prior to a home purchase in Victoria is vital as laws governing house sales in Victoria stipulate that it is “Buyers Beware”. It is up to the purchaser to conduct relevant check to establish the condition of the property.