Buying an older, dated or run down home can be an excellent investment opportunity for Australian homeowners. The chance to extend, renovate and modernise this type of home can result in a huge increase in value and provide you with a beautiful family home in an area that you love.
Before buying any property that you intend to renovate, it's important to organise all of the relevant pre-purchase inspections. This will ensure that you know exactly what you're getting for your money, give you a realistic idea of the scope of the work involved and save you from any nasty and costly surprises that you haven't got the budget for.
A thorough asbestos reporting inspection of the property is highly recommended for homes that were built prior to the 1980s. Asbestos use was banned at this point in time because the potentially lethal health risks that it can cause were finally understood. Here are two commonly asked questions about asbestos inspections that you should understand.
1. Do you really need an asbestos inspection?
It's understandable that the added cost of an asbestos inspection may not be welcome when you've no doubt already paid for a building and pest inspection and possibly other inspections. However, it's well worth the expense and can save you a considerable amount of money in the long term.
If there are materials containing asbestos in the home, then any renovation work that you intend to undertake will be more difficult and costly. Asbestos needs to be removed and disposed of legally by a qualified asbestos contractor which can blow out your renovation budget very quickly.
The other cost involved could be the health of you or your family. If asbestos is unidentified, you may inadvertently release the dangerous fibres contained in asbestos that are the cause of several lung cancers and the lung disease asbestosis. This is a risk that's not worth taking when a simple and inexpensive inspection could prevent it.
2. What are your options if the inspection detects asbestos?
Finding asbestos in your potential home doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't move forward and purchase the property. Depending on the amount and the condition of the asbestos materials, you may be happy to continue with the sale with the understanding of what work will be needed to handle the problem.
Ask your asbestos inspector for a realistic quote for how much the removal or sealing of any asbestos material in the home will cost. The figure might be reasonable enough to warrant no further action on your part and may be affordable with your existing budget. If the work will be extensive and costly, then you may want to consider a lower sale offer to the vendor to mitigate the expense.