Avoid catastrophe when buying and selling a property with a structural report

Having helped hundreds of families purchase a home throughout my real estate career there is always one suggestion I make. Avoid catastrophe and costly damage by getting a professional to perform a comprehensive structural report on the property you are looking to purchase.

Yeah sure they can be ‘another’ cost to worry about… but you wouldn’t go without home insurance… so consider a structural report your purchase insurance policy.

I always recommend a very professional company to conduct a report and I have Houspect on speed dial in my iPhone as they have always completed a wonderful job for clients eyery time. I asked them to put together a report below to tell you what they do and how they can help.

Houspect Pre Purchase and Building Inspections

If you want to be sure of what you’re really buying or want to show buyers you are committed to selling, you simply must organise a pre-purchase inspection. Even the most well-presented homes can have hidden defects that cause lingering headaches and expense long after the property settles.

Chris Walshof Houspect, Perth’s leading building inspection company, says

“when people decide to purchase a $40,000 car, their first thought is to have it inspected for mechanical defaults. However, when purchasing a $550,000 house, they often do not think to arrange for a pre-purchase building inspection.”

When you consider that purchasing a new home is usually the largest investment of a lifetime, it becomes vital that every ‘Offer to Purchase’ states that a pre-purchase inspection must be undertaken.

Is that structure legal?

Chris Walshthe Director of Houspect WA advises one of the biggest concerns for the industry is the number of illegal structures being built by home handymen which do not conform with Australian Building Standards and subsequently do not have the relevant council approval.  In many cases the councils can, and do, demand an illegal structure be demolished.  He advises the best way to avoid this problem is to request a copy of the current plans from the appropriate council; a process which Houspect can advise on.

Instant peace of mind

When purchasing or selling an existing home, Houspect will provide a comprehensive inspection report, usually within 24 hours of inspection, which includes all aspects of structural soundness and the overall condition of the entire property.  A detailed list of maintenance issues requiring immediate attention can also be included if required.  Houspect inspections are designed to meet the conditions of Australian Standard AS4349.1 and give prospective buyers a priceless sense of confidence.

One call does it all

With new legislation constantly being introduced relating to mandatory hard-wired smoke alarms, RCD’s and energy reports, it can be hard to keep track of what boxes must be ticked in order to proceed to settlement. A Houspect pre-inspection means you don’t have to, as their qualified inspectors can ensure no stone is left unturned. They can even inspect for termites, removing the need for multiple points of contact.

Build with confidence

If building a new home, Houspect will carry out inspections of new building works during construction.  They conduct site inspections on behalf of owners at critical stages which coincide with progress payments.  These are:

  • Slab down
  • Brickwork completed
  • Roof cover on
  • Practical completion/handover

Houspect inspections and reports ensure the standard of workmanship carried out on buildings under construction conform to Australian Building Standards.

If you have been an owner builder then you will require a Houspect Builders’ Indemnity Report to be completed prior to sale.  This is an insurance requirement that the house has been completed to industry standards and various forms must be sighted by Houspect inspectors to ensure the necessary standards have been met.

Houspect also prepare reports which cover the important aspects of practical completion of new homes, renovations and extensions, builder’s indemnity, investigation and insurance claim assessments.

Inspected by the best

Houspect aren’t a small one-man band. They are a large, professional organisation with a dedicated customer service team in place to ensure your whole experience with them is seamless and painless. Houspect inspectors are all registered builders with years of experience in the industry.  Each inspector is trained to investigate and report on all aspects of structural soundness and maintenance issues on any domestic or commercial property being bought or sold.  Houspect inspectors are located throughout thePerthmetropolitan area and in all major WA regional centres.

Complete the Houspect Job Request Form on their website today www.houspect.com.au and they will arrange the appropriate inspection for you or your client. For further information, call them on 9383 1043 or email sales@houspect.com.au.

Let us know in the comments below if you have had any past issues where you ‘wish’ you ordered a structural report and can assure someone else not to make the same mistake.


  1. Miriam said:

    Hi Alycee,

    I don’t always read your emails because I am not in the real estate market anymore but usually I flick through what you and Merv send – you never know what you might learn 🙂

    I hope you are both well and surviving the down-time ok.

    I just want to comment on your article about Housepect. After looking for more than a year for a home to buy – and swinging between older, needing reno and newer, costing more – I settled on the latter and bought a well-presented 4×2 in Kingsley about 12 mths ago for $ – not cheap but it appeared to need little work and I plan to stay 7-10yrs. I didn’t use the recommended building inspection company but did my internet research and chose Housepect…I was very impressed by their website claims and also when I spoke to someone about their servcies. I paid for the comprehensive (more expensive) report and also asked for their opinion on the structural soundness of the (non-licensed) patio.

    Whilst their report seemed very thorough, it was only after moving in that I had problems. When I moved in and did my own clean of the bathrooms before using them, I noticed that there were cracks in the shower grout (approx 0.5mm-1mm) I also noticed that some wall tiles seemd drummy. Other tiling in the house also seemd poor in quality but with a 20yr old home I didn’t expect perfect. Not being a tiler, I assumed that the building inspector would have made a comment if these were serious concerns – there was nothing in the report. Within 2 weeks my son’s bedroom wall (adjoning the shower) was soaking wet and starting to mould. I called a shower sealant comapny who said that they could not guarantee their job due to the state of the tiles – I would need to retile. I rang a few companies all saying the same – with quotes ranged from $1000-1500. I re-read the building report which did not mention ANYTHING about the main bathroom. When I rang Housepect they told me that they would have a look. When the (same) inspector came he said he didn’t remember the house but was sure that if there had been a problem he would have noticed it. He confirmed with me that there did indeed seem to be a problem now. Hearing nothing for a couple of weeks and unable to get anyone to ring me back I rang the builders registration board and a variety of other numbers but all directed me to Consumer Affairs. I wrote emails to Housepect seeking compensation for the cost (or part of) for the report (all that I could expect) but they never even responded!

    Long story …but in the end I chose not to pursue it through Consumer Affairs because it was more hassle than the few hundred dollars I might get back for my efforts. However, the complete lack of customer service from the company is a reason I would NOT recommend this company to anyone.

    In the end I ended up biting the bullet and spending $30K to renovate/modernise both bathrooms and the laundry/toilet and I know that this will help my eventual resale. The renovator commented that he had never stripped a bathroom so quickly – the tiles literally just fell off the wall when he started!!!

    …now I have a potentially huge expense related to the fence between my neighbours, the patio and a retaining wall…but that is another story….

    I am VERY disappointed by Housepect and also that there seems to be no governing body for these companies to whom one can report them to. They do not fall under the builder’s registration board and the numbers I did ring all came back to Consumer Affairs who knew little but suggested I go through their general complaint process.

    Just though I’d let you know of my experience. Hope you and your family keep well and healthy

    Miriam Krouzecky

    • Myriam
      Be assured that message is going to be heard by Housepect. I appreciate your feedback. I am sorry you went through all of that. I never heard anyone having such a bad experience with them.
      Thank you very much!

    • Merv said:

      Sorry to hear about your house trouble Miriam. I remember suggesting to many buyers to order a building structural report on the property they purchased.

      I would always inform the buyers that even if the report mentioned a lot of cosmetic/broken issues, it didn’t matter to the contract if the house was deemed ‘structurally sound’.

      I have seen a lot of coverups in houses when selling them and would always tell the sellers to either fix the problem or tell the buyers about them. My bathroom in my house had similar issues that I had to fix and there is no way the inspector could notice… Unless he could see through the tiles we had removed…

      Perhaps Houspect had different managemrnt at the time and didnt really know what/how to respond back then? The market was crazy and they probably had 10 reports a day and did the best they could.

      Buying an old house is like an old car, you never know when it’s going to break down, but you do know it will.