A property inspection is an up close and personal, in depth and detailed visual inspection of a property, its design, layout and structure. It's should be done by a Property Inspection Company who specializes in the field, who knows what to look for and where. A Property Inspection gives you a detailed and accurate report of the condition and state based on visual observation of the property you're interested in. You don't always know what to look for and think it looks perfectly all right when in fact a property inspector will see a whole other picture.
You want all the facts before moving in to your new home and need to know exactly where you stand. A Property Inspection is an excellent method of identifying problem areas or things in need of maintenance or repair before moving in to your home.
The last thing you want is to move in to your new home and then finding out the carpets in the living room have stains on them (which were previously hidden by rugs) or that the garden has a sinkhole (which your 5 year old is stuck in now) that was unseen when you went to look at the property.
It won't break your bank account and it will definitely save you money and effort in the long run. Getting a property inspected costs (on average) between R3000.00 and R6000.00 (depending on the size and age of the property). Obviously the larger the property, the more expensive it will be.
Think of it like this; spending R3000.00 now and identifying everything that's wrong with the property will enable you to budget beforehand for everything that needs to be taken care of, it eliminates that surprise later down the line. Before you sign your contract make sure there is a property inspection clause specified which clearly defines the terms of the property inspection to both the buyer and the seller.
They found problems during the inspection!
This doesn't mean it's the end of the world, it doesn't even mean you don't have to buy the property. In fact this is a good thing. Now you know where the problem areas are! If the problems are small you'll know to budget for them so you can have them fixed, if the problems are major however you might even be able to negotiate with the seller to lower the selling price of the property as a result of this major problem being present.
It is excellent to know about all problems or areas needing attention at the start if your budget is tight or if you want to avoid any repairing of fixing entirely.
The Real Deal
During May 2012 we approached a property inspection firm in Bloemfontein. We wanted to find out for ourselves what these property inspections consisted of, tariffs and what feedback would be given to the client. Our first choice was the team of Inspect-A-Home. We recorded our findings with a video and property inspection report. Read the property inspection blog here.