Pre-purchase Building and Pest inspection in units and apartments
Pre-Purchase Building and Pest Inspections are essential when buying a property. Whether houses, units or apartments Brisbane property agents will insist upon a pre-purchase inspection.
As such in this blog we will look at how to buy a unit or apartment in Brisbane as well as what a building and pest inspection checks for in an apartment.
We will also tell you whether you need a timber pest inspection in your apartment/unit, or just a building inspection.
Buying units or apartments Brisbane
When buying an apartment or unit, there are several important factors to consider.
The cost of purchasing units or apartments Brisbane
The average cost of buying a unit in Brisbane is $390,000. This makes it a cheaper option compared to the likes of Melbourne or Sydney.
However, the price varies depending on your suburb.
The cost for a unit in Mt Gravatt is $390,000, while at New Farm the cost of a unit is $647,500.
The Brisbane property market
When buying a unit, you should have some idea of how the market is going.
Currently in Brisbane we have an oversupply of apartment and high-density housing.
This condition was caused by a drop in population growth and lower demand, due to poor economic conditions and the coronavirus pandemic.
An oversupply of homes with not enough demand causes unit prices to drop.
Meanwhile, an under supply of units and high demand causes prices to increase.
By knowing the current market, you will be able to plan your purchase accordingly.
Buying an apartment or unit vs buying a house
it is important to remember it is different from buying a home.
When buying a home, you are the only one responsible for making repairs. When your home has leaky plumbing or broken windows, the buck stops with you.
However, with an apartment it is different.
When you own an apartment, you are only responsible for repairs in your apartment, the body corporate is responsible for repairs in common areas.
The body corporate, also called an owners corporation, represents the common interest of all the owners.
The main purpose of a body corporate is to look after the communal areas of the building.
Such communal areas include the stairwells, pools, gardens, driveways, laundries, lobbies, common walls, and the exterior.
This body corporate decides how much owners must pay in fees, they make and enforce their own rules, obtain insurance from owners, and keep records relating to the common property.
Your involvement in the owners corporation
If you own an apartment, you are automatically a member of the body corporate.
As a member, you will have a say in the rules and regulations of the property.
These rules and regulations are set out in the annual general meeting.
The body corporate must hold an annual general meeting once per year within 3 months of the end of their financial year. You must be given 21 days’ notice prior to the meeting.
At this meeting you can:
- Vote on any decisions regarding property
- Discuss concerns about the conditions of the property and request maintenance
- Learn about new purchases and sales in the building
- Ask questions
- Determine if annual contributions need to be raised to pay for construction costs
- Discuss insurance
- Decide on the annual budget
What does a building and pest inspection check in an apartment?
One of the most important things you can do when buying property is to get a building and pest inspection.
This is true of apartments, units, and houses alike.
When you book a pre-purchase inspection in a unit or apartment, inspectors can only report on the internal of the apartment that you are purchasing, along with any other areas included in the purchase such as car parking space.
It does not cover any common areas such as lobbies, stairwells, elevators, driveways, and other places available to all occupiers.
These common areas belong to the body corporate, while your apartment is owned specifically by you. This arrangement is called ‘strata title’.
Furthermore, units generally lack areas such as roof voids.
Do I need a timber pest inspection or just a building inspection in an apartment / unit?
It is recommended that you get both a building and pest inspection when purchasing a unit or apartment. Whilst the report only investigates the unit that you are purchasing, the purchaser will be liable to fix damage by termites in their unit if it is discovered there has been an infestation. This could potentially cost tens of thousands.
Also, you should inquire with the body corporate about getting a copy of the strata inspection report.
This strata inspection will tell you of any issues across the whole building.