Advice needed: Couple buying their first home and inspector found 42 defects

Discussion in 'What to buy' started by Twd1990, 9th Nov, 2019.

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  1. Twd1990

    Twd1990 New Member

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    My wife and I have just put an offer on our first home, a newly constructed duplex from Elderton Homes in Schofields NSW, which has been accepted. We are currently in our cooling off period. This duplex along with another set of duplexes was recently completed by a developer and all four have sold within a few days.

    We hired an independent building inspector who came and went through the house for approximately 3 hours. He documented 42 defects across the house. Although quite a few of them were due to sub-standard workmanship on the finishes there were also a few that were significant in nature (e.g. bathroom exhaust fans not leading outside, ceiling sagging (he said this was unlikely due to water though) and doors not latching etc.) and that it seemed like a “Friday afternoon job”. He however marked that the building was structurally sound.

    The inspector took us through his entire report and highlighted how issues would’ve occurred and subsequently how they could be fixed. In turn we’ve told our solicitor that as part of our settlement agreement we’d like all of them fixed and another inspection done by our inspector to confirm the issues have been rectified.

    With that being said we are unsure if even then we still want to proceed. Our thinking is that if there was 42 defects identified in the areas that our inspector could see (he also was not able to get into the roof as there was no manhole. We have also requested this be put in and an inspection be carried out in there and any defects rectified) what defects lie in the areas that we can’t see. In turn if something major goes wrong with the plumbing (e.g. pipe bursts and floods the house) or the electricity (e.g. something sparks and starts a fire) or something goes wrong with the slab or the frame (I don’t have an example for this as I know next to nothing about building).

    Are we being overly cautious and this is simply part of the buying process, with these number of defects being standard or should we simply look at cutting our losses and move on?

    We’ve spoken to our parents who have both suggested that we cut our losses, however we’re aware that being our parents their natural instinct with us will be to simply avoid all risk.

    Our concern with moving on is that firstly we really love the house, the area and the price. Also, being in the Sydney property market which is really starting to pick back up again we’re concerned that if we drop this one it might be months before we find another that we both agree on and by then we wont be able to afford it.

    Any advice from people who have purchased homes before (particularly from wholesale builders) would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Cant help you with what the market will do. Though if you are looking at that type of property seriously doubt it will take months to find another. Seems to be cookie cutter country out that way.

    This is one reason experienced buyers tend to avoid new builds. How do you know the roof doesnt leak? In an older house, it would be more obvious. Price range around 700-800? That could get you an old house at Quakers Hill, with land underneath.

    Dont love the house (do you love it just because its new and shiny? Usually you can get the love out of your system by looking at lots and lots of houses. Especially the the type your looking at? They are called wholesale builders for a reason). Dont ask people who cant be objective. Whats your parents experience with property?
     
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  3. JetstreamVic

    JetstreamVic Well-Known Member

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    Also if all the others sold within a few days, how do you think your demands of fixing everything etc is going to work out?

    The agent will give you your money back, say to the next buyer you couldn’t get finance and it will be sold next week.
     
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  4. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Just because everyone else is willing to take on a risk doesnt mean that you should. Especially when 'everyone else' are newbie first home buyers who are blinded by the shiny fixtures.
     
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  5. samiam

    samiam Well-Known Member

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    I would be very reluctant to buy something with poor workmanship. What if more defects comes apparent once you starts living there. If brand new there will be some builders insurance but don’t rely on it. We bought and lived in a brand new unit, we picked up many defects later. Few cracks appeared on the walls in some units including us (apparently common) which didnt get fixed for 3 years or so...
    Even now with building a new house, we commonly pick up defects and such a pain to get them fixed
    old house may be better as has tested time!!
     
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  6. Jam

    Jam Member

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    I'm new to this forum, and nowhere near as experienced as most people here are.

    I went through a search and purchase back in October (North Shore). For a strata property. Saw lots of places, many newly built, many off the plan places. No way did I consider any of the new or OTP options though- the newest property in my 'bid seriously' list was 10 years old. The oldest was 55 years old. The place I ended up with is a 30 year old double brick apartment.

    I just assume that the depreciation rate on any new build is as high as it will ever get.
     
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  7. gach2

    gach2 Well-Known Member

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    Have had similar issues,

    First of all the building inspector works for you - He/She will pick everything that 'looks' off.
    Building inspectors are also known to assume.

    Let the agent know who will pass it onto developer/vendor
    The developer will pass it onto to the builder who will usually explain why the inspector believed there was a defect and if there genuinely is one will usually fix it. I guess this is where we will see how Elderton Homes will react.

    Im assuming this is your first time getting an inspection. You will get used to it. Usually a chat to your inspector will be along the line house is all good but get these things explained as I only spent an hour inspecting. Lucky its a new build, an old one will be a lot worse but no one usually cares as long as its structurally all good

    Had the same issues with another builder. Gave a formal reply saying the inspector was wrong on a few things as a visual inspection could not determine 100% to which the inspector replied that was fine and it was only a suspicion and to all other defects the builder rectified prior to settlement
     
  8. Hetty

    Hetty Well-Known Member

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    All buildings have defects. Asking to have 42 defects fixed ain’t going to happen, as someone previously said they’ll just say no and if you back out they’ll sell it to the next person, who won’t ask for 42 defects to be repaired.

    We probably had the same on the house we just bought (old build though) and asked for one thing to be fixed, and it was a safety issue (exposed wiring).

    All that said, I’d avoid a new property. We had an apartment built 10 years ago and it had a myriad of issues so I’d never buy anything that new again.
     
  9. Paul@PAS

    [email protected] Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    All new builds have defects which can be minor and none should be major. I would be speaking to Elderton and they will likely remedy all these as part of the contract agreement - Make the contract conditional on these and provide a copy attached to the contract (you solicitor will assist that) . Our new house had a longish list with paint defects, plaster issues and nail issues and similar. WE had a tap that didnt even reach the bath and a chipped floor tile, broken cornice, a window that didnt slide etc. The builder (Clarendon) had a small team and it was all done in a day. Most builders wait for owners to move in as they see stuff a supervisor wont see in the same way. Why do it twice ? One thing I would always check is that the roof tiles are complete. One tile slid back by a sparkie and it can ruin your day...eg the sagging ceiling ?

    You will also find some things wont be installed until after you move in (or same day) by arrangement. Builders dont want fixtures like a AC, HWS and whitegoods pinched. Discuss this too and if required co-ordinate for install on the settlement day. (Our house had a massive team of tradies that afternoon!). Carpet etc and blinds and all screens and security doors. The AC was installed the next day.

    Your structural concerns are likely covered by a structural building warranty. Discuss with Elderton. We had Clarendon back long after settlement (8 years ?) to fix a learning pergola brick post. Fixed no drama. A small builder a hassle.

    The exhaust not venting externally is quite normal. You can reduct it (kitchen) or add a whirly bird (roof) etc. This is very normal in kitchens where a range hood will not vent externally. Its your cost to fix and a bunnings DIY kit can be installed with simple brickwork mods. Most kitchen cabinets come ready for this ! (Remove half a brick) Thats how they sell cheap houses. eg You may find the TV antenna point isnt connected to an antenna too.
     
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  10. Lacrim

    Lacrim Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't buy anything newer than 20 years. Just buy an older place and factor some money in for cosmetic renos.
     
  11. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    This seems excessive. I know a few people who bought new houses and apart from the usual small things, they are fine.
     
  12. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    quote..
    With that being said we are unsure if even then we still want to proceed. Our thinking is that if there was 42 defects identified in the areas that our inspector could see (he also was not able to get into the roof as there was no manhole. We have also requested this be put in and an inspection be carried out in there and any defects rectified) what defects lie in the areas that we can’t see. In turn if something major goes wrong with the plumbing (e.g. pipe bursts and floods the house) or the electricity (e.g. something sparks and starts a fire) or something goes wrong with the slab or the frame (I don’t have an example for this as I know next to nothing about building

    Every building will have defects in one way or another ,anyone that buys a 50 year old house in Brisbane and the building report does not find some white damage would be very rare ..

    With your report what do you think is the most serious as sometimes those report just pit people against each other..
    If you could post the list it may give a better idea of the fault list and then help..imho..
     
  13. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    A house is not made in a factory on a production line, people are involved and are only human. There will be defects. Nothing noted would appear to be of a structural nature, poor workmanship, inadequate support of plasterboard during construction etc just require to be itemised on the defects list which is to be addressed by the builder. They will have a short period which the items should be notified (if you do this with the solicitor/building inspector) and request it to be done before settlement.

    .

    There is usually an inspection prior to settlement to ensure that everything you inspected at the time you entered the contract is in the as-inspected condition.