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House inspections, when they matter


Well, some of you know we are planning a tree change to the Sunshine Coast.
We did 2 short inspections of a renovated ~100 year old Victorian Queenslander & an offer has been accepted.
We currently live 1900km away in Melbourne.

Yesterday the pest & building inspection was done.

The photos in the reports look like the same house, but the report seems to be talking about another house to the one we thought we were buying.

Termites in proximity to house, previous evidence of termites, borers, wet rot, rusting gutters etc...

Is there someone here who has some expertise in this stuff, who can look at the reports for me & advise me:

  • If this is normal and is only a matter of throwing money at it to fix it

  • How much money (wild estimate) to pay people to rectify

  • Run screaming from the house in a southerly direction

People are dissapointed, I can tell you that.



  • edited October 2014

    Termites in proximity to house, previous evidence of termites, borers, wet rot, rusting gutters etc...

    I don't know anything about any of that... X_X




    I'm going to go get a coffee and then compose my tome in response.

  • But John, tomes take too long to compose. :-q

    As it stands, it is looking likely that even if we get a $50,000 discount, we won't be buying this house.

    We are still committed to moving to the Sunshine Coast though. :-b

    Just dunno where we are going to live. :'(

  • I presume that someone on the other forum around Noosa, knows a RE agent or better, an inspection company, and likes you ......um.......forget it
    Maybe get a 2nd opinion. Like a prostate examination.
    My experience with house inspectors and inspections is, that they are all different. Some will list every little blemish, hopefully with a priority/urgency indicator.
    "Gutter rust" - is that one spot of rust or the whole thing needs replacement ?? sometimes it is hard to say. I had crispy lamb and coleslaw last night - was on the phone and forgot it in the oven.

  • Hah!

    My guess would be that 50k would fix it, but there'd be no way to know without doing an invasive inspection. Plus the hassle and difficulty in getting it done right.

    Any house that old is going to have "evidence of termites", it's what happened when live ones were found that matters, from my experience. I'd be looking for a house that is easy to inspect (mine is, so it's a bit tragic the damage they did).

    It's a bit of a worry about the rot and gutters, from the photos the house looked nicely done - ? So that raises the question of whether they were just patching over problems on purpose.

    Anyway that's the reader's digest version :-P Maybe you could move up there and rent while you look for a place?

  • Nigel, you put the coleslaw in the oven? I'm not sure if I want to come over now...

    I think building inspections for house sales probably overstate problems, better for them that way than the other way around.

    Graham, what's on the outside walls. You could go up there and remove some of it and have a look see. (Just a suggestion :D )

  • You guys...

    John, it is weatherboard, but I'm not keen on disassembling a house for pest inspection, nor is the seller I'd reckon.

    Current thinking, is we rent & look.

    Renting with dogs will be a problem I expect.
    Living without my black, bouncing, bonza, beaut, barking, bastard, bad Buckley dog would be a problem.

  • Any way you can get a bit more detail from the inspector?

    "Termites in proximity to house" means close to nothing on its own.

    "previous evidence of termites" is close to meaningless in terms of telling you if there's any damage. Termites are artists at hollowing stuff out while leaving it looking untouched, so you really do have to get the full picture on that one.

    The extent of the "gutter rust" might be a good gauge of the inspectorial vigor since you can check that one yourself.

    Inspectors have clever devices that pick up the patter of termite feet and detect damp/wet wood through walls. I suspect you might need to pull things apart to quantify the problems though

    It could work in your favour if it brings the price down and puts other people off. If it's on stilts, it should be possible to set things up for the future so that termite attack is difficult and detection is easy.


  • Jules, you seem to know your stuff. Can you you hop over to the Sunshine Coast and have a look at Graham's prospect? He'll make it up to you in a very special way .....

  • Jules said:
    I suspect you might need to pull things apart to quantify the problems though

    yes indeed. This is what you need for a proper house inspection / termite hunt

  • The 2 reports are quite detailed, with photos & everything :D

    Following is the summary page

    In respect of significant items:

    *Evidence of active (live) termites: Yes (see item 3.1.1)

    *Evidence of termite activity (including workings) and/or damage: Yes (see item 3.1.3)

    *Evidence of a possible previous termite management program: Yes (see item 3.1.4)

    *The next inspection to help detect any future termite attack is recommended in: 6 months (see item 3.1.5)

    *Evidence of chemical delignification damage: No (see item 3.2)

    *Evidence of fungal decay activity and/or damage: Yes (see item 3.3)

    *Evidence of wood borer activity and/or damage: Yes (see item 3.4)

    *Evidence of conditions conducive to timber pest attack: Yes (see item 3.5.5)

    *Evidence of major safety hazards: No (see item 3.6)

    *Due to the level of accessibility for inspection including the presence of obstructions, the overall degree of risk of undetected timber pest attack and conditions conducive to timber pest attack was considered: *Moderate to High - see Item 2.

  • GeeEmm said:
    *Evidence of active (live) termites: Yes (see item 3.1.1)

    Hm, that's not good. Did they actually find termites or only "evidence"?

  • Some were collected

  • I've been thinking of starting a termite collection myself. Trouble is it's hard to find those really tiny pins....

    But seriously, if they are active, I'd take option 3 (run away). The vendors will have to do something about it I think.

  • BTW I'm sorry it's not working out, it looked great in the photos you showed us.

  • Thanks John

    Life moves on. As it turns out, we are now committed to the move, irrespective of the house being acceptable or not.

    Aint it funny how life changes direction? :->

  • Does/will the new house have a dedicated music/movie room ?

  • Why do you ask TwoDogs? :D

    The house in Yandina would be a no. But that's all up the wahzoo now!

    Anything could, and likely will happen.


  • It's nice up there - except for the Queenslanders and the Victorian holidaymakers.
    The good thing is that the driving culture is almost identical, so you will fit in.

  • Our oldest son, who lives in Maroochydore calls the roads "the lawless state"

  • I crossed the border once and within minutes had had a close call.
    Still, in every city the driving test is too easy. Batt the eyelids, a bj and hey presto, licensed to kill. I always wanted to be an inspector, open to bribes....

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