Often packaged with a building inspection if you can find the right company, an independent pest inspection is also a vital part of your due diligence when buying an investment property.
Total cost: between $300-600 for the two together.
Imagine a property with framework eaten away by termites, or where rats or mice have eaten away at most of the electricals...
At best, replacing the pest-damaged parts of your property will cost you thousands of dollars more than you anticipated if you didn't have an inspection first. At worst, you may have to knock the whole place down and start again, although this can be fine if that's what you wanted to do... in fact it's a bargaining chip!
Regardless, if you decide to buy, you will need to make sure that pests such as mice, and especially termites, are completely eradicated before you continue work on the property.
- Be aware of the area where you are buying. There are parts of Australia, including some suburbs in Brisbane (Forest Lake being one...), where termite mounds were simply bulldozed to make way for new housing estates, built mostly with pine frames. If you are buying in a termite-prone area, make sure the house has a steel frame!
- Beware of buying rental houses next to blocks of units and villas, unless you plan to build more villas and units yourself. The units themselves might not have a problem, but having all those bins out the front every week sure attracts vermin, and they all seem to go for the easy-to-get-at house. The cost in pest control and complaints from your tenants can be high (we made this mistake with our first investment property). It's not a completely stupid idea to buy here, but make sure you sit out the front on bin night, and the next couple of days, to see where and how all the units' bins go out and come back in!
- Just like a building inspection, make sure you go independent. A pest inspection provided by vendors with a business in pest control is not a guarantee that they are telling you the truth, as some investors I heard about discovered!
Remember again that all building and pest inspections should be independent of the vendor or their real estate agent if possible.
Do you have a question about inspections?
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Just remember, we're not financial advisers, so you should use the information we give here as a guide only (in relation to your personal circumstances) and see an accountant or financial adviser before proceeding further.
Return from Pest Inspection to Due Diligence
Return from Pest Inspection to Investing in Rental Property