Home inspection services are still relatively unknown in South Africa, unlike overseas countries like the US and UK, where up to 80% of house sales are concluded only after a thorough home inspection.
John Graham of home inspection company, HouseCheck, says that most home buyers in South Africa don’t bother with a home inspection – even if they are aware of them.
“Buyers are often financially stretched and are tempted to save the home inspection fee, which is understandable. However, many buyers afterwards regret not having commissioned a home inspection that would have highlighted problems before they committed to buying the property.”
says distraught home buyers often contact him once they have bought a property and have found problems after moving in. But, unfortunately, it's often too late to sort things out at this point.
A home inspection shouldn't be confused with a valuation by an estate agent or bank valuer. A valuation provides an approximate indication of the market value of a property. In contrast, a home inspection report is a detailed analysis of the condition of all the various components of the property.
Graham says a home inspection report should document and evaluate significant defects and safety concerns or potential threats concerning the property.
A professional home inspection should include an examination of:
the roof and roof cavity walls, floors and ceilings doors, windows and cupboards drainage plumbing, electrical and gas installations systems visible portions of the foundations exterior features such as paving, boundary walls and gates, swimming pools and lapas. “A professional home inspection is much more than a list of all the defects in a home. A home inspector should identify any issues and suggest remedial action and indicate the potential costs of repairs,” says Graham.
“A home inspector should also identify any obvious building regulations or law violations. Problems like these are quite common in older homes built before the latest building regulations. Home buyers need to be aware of these deficiencies to make more accurate decisions on how to proceed.”