Top tips: What homebuyers need to be aware of when purchasing a home

Ryan is a qualified builder and home inspector and has worked in the building and construction industry for over 25 years. He now proudly owns and operates Dependable House Inspections and serves the Auckland Region. With an extensive background as a building official in charge of signing-off on code compliance inspections and working as a project manager for different residential construction companies, you know you’re in safe hands when it comes to building inspections with Ryan.

We’ve asked Ryan a few questions about his inspections and some tips homebuyers need to be aware of when purchasing a home.

Above: Ryan inspecting shower wall for dampness or moisture / photo supplied

  1. What services does Dependable House Inspections offer? 

We offer pre-purchase, pre-sale and maintenance inspections all with written reports in an easy to read format that meets bank requirements

2. What are some of the obvious faults you pick up on properties that come up time and time again? (ie poor painting etc)

Lack of maintenance is the most common cause of issues on the exterior. Exterior paint is recommended to be replaced every 5-7 years. The next most common problem is leaking showers

I’m surprised at the number of houses that don’t have a soft wash on the exterior prior to going on the market. This makes such a big difference for a minimal cost.

Ryan Meynell

3. What major faults can purchasers look out for when they attend an open home? 

A close look around the showers pays off. Leaks are not always visible but any mould or staining is a flag for closer inspection. General condition of the paint on the exterior tells a lot about how a house has been looked after. Any cracks in the cladding requires inspection by someone who understands the way a house is built to evaluate the level of risk.

Above: Ryan inspecting the roof for any damage or obvious leaking / photo supplied

4. How can dampness be recognised in a building? 

On the exterior it depends on the cladding as to how it presents and generally a moisture meter is required to confirm. Inside there can be a strange smell or the air feels damp when you walk in, often in basements. This is when the non-invasive moisture meter is vital and testing confirms any concerns

5. What areas of the property do you inspect and which areas do you spend the most time inspecting?

The short answer is everything I can get to. 

Exterior includes fencing , retaining walls, decks, driveway, cladding, windows and roof. I get under the house if there is access.

Inside I check anything that turns on and off or opens and shuts and the roof space if there is access. Moisture testing is included in all my inspections.

Time is generally split evenly between the inside and outside depending on the condition of the home. Most houses I see have had far more time and energy spent on the inside however so this can end up with more time spent checking the exterior.

A critical eye is needed to point out the things that can be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of buying. This help can lead to an informed decision being made.

Ryan Meynell

6. How can vendors easily make their home more appealing to you? (eg a New paint job).

I’m surprised at the number of houses that don’t have a soft wash on the exterior prior to going on the market. This makes such a big difference for a minimal cost.

A soft wash is recommended to look after the paint which leads to the paint lasting much longer and it looks great!

7. What are your top tips for prospective purchasers?

Having someone removed from the purchase decision like a house inspector gives a different perspective than when you are buying for yourself. When buying you can’t help but picture where your things will fit as you walk around the house and how much you want to buy. A critical eye is needed to point out the things that can be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of buying. This help can lead to an informed decision being made.

Ensure you have all your ducks in a row before you start investing in due diligence. Finance approval seems to be a common hurdle at the moment.

8. What is the general cost for a home inspection and report service?

Inspections start at $450+GST for a 2 bedroom house. Houses with plaster exteriors have more cost as they take longer to check and have far more that needs to be checked than other claddings.

More information about cost is available on my website. www.dependable.co.nz

9. What’s the best way to contact you?

Most people like to talk about their requirements prior to booking through my website and this can be done by calling me on 0800 337 373

We work closely with Dependable House Inspections, conducting meth testing and toxicology reporting requirements as part of pre-purchase due-diligence inspections.

If you require a pre-purchase building inspection, meth test or asbestos survey, call the professionals @Dependable House Inspections & Meth Wise – you’re in safe hands with us!

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