Things you need to consider when buying a recently renovated property

A buyer’s agent has raised an alarm against buyers who are choosing to skip building reports in the current market, which could lead to costly repairs down the track.

EPS Property Search director Patrick Bright believes buyers need to be extra cautious about recently renovated properties, which could be a product of hasty sellers eager to take advantage of a rising property market.

From his experience, it’s those renovated properties that often reveal “the most expensive hidden problems”.

“I am deeply concerned by the number of properties I’m currently seeing which are being sold without buyers undertaking a building and pest report,” he stated.

“It’s often what you can’t see that is the cause of most concern,” the agent highlighted.

Mr Bright said that it’s important to consider whether the renovation was done professionally, especially after the recent self-isolation periods that contributed to a surge in renovations across the country.

“When I see renovated properties, I am always concerned as to whether the work has been done by a professional or a Bunnings weekend warrior, particularly after the recent lockdowns.”

Unless the building is intended to be knocked down and rebuilt, pest and building inspections are essential in a property purchase, according to Mr Bright.

He emphasised the importance of being well informed about potential problems such as damp, termite infestation, structural issues, shifting foundations, faulty wiring and plumbing prior to purchasing.

Where this isn’t done, the new owner could become liable for costly future repairs.

Mr Bright recommends employing building inspectors who are either retired builders – or, at the very least, an individual “who has had real construction experience”.

Apart from having a background in building construction, these types of building inspectors can also provide a realistic estimate on the cost to fix existing issues, he considered.

The cost of issues that were found during pre-purchase inspections could then be factored into the offer or used in negotiating prices.

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