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Hidden Building Dangers Pose Grave Risks for Property Buyers

June 20th, 2018

Every property purchase presents potential risks for both buyer and seller, but it is the buyer who generally faces the greatest risks. Whether you are a homeowner, a small business entrepreneur or a developer, knowing what to look for when purchasing a home, building, factory or other edifice requires knowledge and assistance.

Home inspectors and other construction experts provide assistance during the process, but not all potential risks are evaluated by these professionals. Additional inspection services may be required to ensure no major problems or dangers are present prior to purchase, as basic surveyor findings can be rather generic.

What should property buyers ensure is inspected prior to purchase? Below are a few examples of potential risks.

Mildew, Mold, and Fungus

Any home or property can look perfectly acceptable from the outside, but the interior – and in particular, the real interior – can be an entirely different story. Most surveyors and home inspectors will evaluate various aspects of the home for overall quality and safety, but what lurks in the walls, under floors and above ceilings can easily be overlooked.

The use of borescope inspection services can be utilized to examine the condition of properties in these troubled areas. Especially true for older properties, no purchase should be made before a thorough examination of these areas is conducted.

Unapproved Extensions and Additions

It happens more than one might think: a purchase of a spacious, beautiful home or property occurs, months or even years go by, then suddenly it is discovered that some elements of the property were constructed without permission.

This, depending on your jurisdiction, could be an expensive and problematic issue. Even if you are not the one who built the additions or extensions, you’ll be held liable by local government bodies. In some cases, these add-ons are built to code but without the proper permits; in other cases, they are entirely illegal and must be rectified or removed.

Vacancy Damage

While age can affect the quality of a property, long periods of vacancy have an even greater impact. In many cases, homes and buildings that have not been inhabited for a year or more develop substantial problems that may not be immediately visible.

While some issues – such as vandalism and squatting activity – are noticeable, other issues develop from long periods of vacancy. The effects of weather, a lack of heating/cooling during winter and summer months and moisture damage can all cause underlying issues that only a qualified surveyor or inspector will uncover.

Presentation Tricks

Last but not least, the purchase of a property can be encouraged by any number of tricks designed to hide or minimize various forms of damage. While these may be superficial for the most part, knowing what you’re getting before you sign anything is crucial.

Some common examples include lighting tricks to hide troubled walls and floors, furniture positioned in certain ways to minimize the visibility of aesthetic damage, and excessive fragrances designed to hide unpleasant dampness emanating from the property. For more examples of these tricks, click here.

Whether it is a residential, commercial or industrial property, the initial surveys and reports might not reveal all of the dangers present. By examining these problem areas and insisting on detailed inspections before purchase, disasters waiting to happen can be avoided.

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