The associated costs of a pre-purchase building and pest inspection are shouldered by the buyer. Depending on the qualifications of the inspector and the level of detail of the inspection, you can expect to shell out between a few hundred dollars and $1000. You should also know that a building inspection and a pest inspection are often separate services; although some companies offer packages combining the two.

So why should you add the costs of a pre-purchase building and pest inspection to the already substantial property investment you are about to make?

It’s about doing your due diligence and being able to make a more informed decision with regards to signing that contract. Paying for a building inspection will give you a better idea about the overall condition of the property – you’ll know of any major and minor structural issues; maintenance problems; safety hazards; and evidence of previous or current pest activity/infestation.

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The inspector you’ll hire will give you a comprehensive report detailing any defects that will require immediate repairs; risks for future damages that can be prevented or that you should expect to spend on eventually; and whether or not the current condition of the property is common for the its type, age, and location. You can also maximise the added expense of paying for a building and pest inspection by directly discussing the report with your inspector, so you can clarify items that are too technical and confusing.

You can use the information in the building and pest inspection report to negotiate a lower price for the property. If you can get an estimate on the total cost of the repairs that need to be done, for example, you can use this same number when renegotiating the property price with the seller.

If there are specific stipulations in your contract that completion of the sale is subject to a satisfactory pre-purchase building and pest inspection and certain repairs should be shouldered by the seller, then you will also get your money’s worth for investing in an inspection. Worst-case scenario, you won’t be happy with the results of the inspection and you’ll decide to withdraw from the contract. This could mean paying for another building and pest inspection for another property.

Compared to the high costs of unidentified, future liabilities that you’ll be forced to take care of because you purchased an issue-burdened property without having it inspected first, the hundreds of dollars you’ll pay for an inspection is a trifling sum. And the guaranteed comfort and security you’ll get from a well-informed purchase is priceless.

When looking for an inspector to hire, always ask prospects if they offer a combined building and pest inspection, as this would cost less than separate inspections. And only hire a licensed inspector, with many years of experience, and, preferably, one who is also familiar with the location. You should make sure that the inspector is adequately covered by insurance, particularly for professional indemnity. Again, remember that you might have to pay for a building and pest inspection for more than one property, so you should add these costs to your budget.