Who are the HABiT home and building inspection team Dunedin?



Do you do LIM reports?

Yes we look over LIM reports if it is requested. We don’t do them as a matter of course, we only do that if it is requested. There is an additional cost involved in that as it is liaising with lawyers and councils so yes there is more time involved.
A LIM is a Land Investigation Memorandum, it documents all aspects of the dwelling including the section. It looks at the stability of the land and gives a bit of history as to whats gone on in the past. It should include building consents and building permits that have been issued for that dwelling. It can look at surrounding dwelling or neighbouring dwellings. Sometimes what is planned for that area.

What are the benefits of a vendor getting a building report done?

A lot of people get a pre-purchase inspection done but I am getting a few agents that are getting a pre sale inspection done. It gives the vendor an idea on how to help sell their house and what problems they have with the dwelling so the sale goes through a lot smoother.They can choose to address the problems before it goes to market so there are no surprises along the way.
Also they know what the real remedial cost is, if it is work that needs doing. It gives them the opportunity if they aren’t going to fix it to get a quote. So when it comes to negotiations they have a quote saying the roof will need $3000 spent on it.
A potential buyer could come along with a builder friend and they may say hey that roof is going to cost $8000. It gives them the chance to find out what the true costs of remedial work will be rather than some fictitious price.The sale goes through a lot quicker, often you get to the last day of due diligence and they might get their report the day before or 2 days before and there is some problem that pops up that both parties weren’t aware of. Sometimes the vendor is just as unaware as the purchaser so sometimes its a surprise to all parties including the agent. Often that sale is slowed up a lot by having to get prices to do remedial repairs. It may put off the purchaser if they weren’t aware of it, they may think hey what else could be wrong with this property.Dunedin1

5 top maintenance areas

1.Clearing out gutters and drains to stop them overflowing.

2.Carry out minor repairs before they become major repairs.

3.Keep up a good coat of paint to timber cladding,window frames,sills and trims before the paint deteriorates.A lot of the time that leads to rot which is quite a costly fix. You know the joe average handyman could have gotten out there with a bit of sandpaper and sand it up, prepped it and painted it and saved that rot. Where as when the sills rots its quite possibly a complete replacement of the window.
If you are handy enough checking roofs and just making sure that everything is secure, make sure your flashings are secure.A lot of nails will work out of place with flashings, corrugated claddings etc and then water starts tracking down and this will damage the ceiling linings.
4.Check your sub floor and ceiling space areas to make sure that there is no leaking plumbing or roof leaks they you may have missed with an external check. Sometimes especially the plumbing underneath the floor can leak for quite sometime without you being aware of it. If it goes unnoticed for too long you will soon get rot in the floor joists, the underside of flooring and the timber bearers and it can become quite costly to fix.
5.Another maintenance area which I see it quite a lot is when people top up their gardens with bark etc and they cover up the vents to the subfloor area. If you cover up the bottom weatherboards right up against the cladding you are getting moisture right up against the house. If you have covered up the vents then the subfloor area won’t be getting air and if you have a damp subfloor area then you get the moisture dew forming on the subfloor timbers which will cause deterioration and rot. Its fairly common sense, the vents have been put there for a reason, don’t cover them up.

We are more than happy to go out and do maintenance reports as well, like the condensed version of a building report and just project a bit of a maintenance plan for people. This does have an extra cost. The report its self as well as picking up the significant faults, does become a bit of a maintenance plan anyway. It will identify areas like the soffits and fascia and windows to watch for. They may not necessarily go back to renegotiate for those but you would certainly use it as a bit of a prompt to do some maintenance work after purchase.

If things are maintained, paints kept on windows and fascia etc the house looks tidier for a start. You would certainly sell it quicker, it would be more appealing. You may command a little bit more money but I guess it depends on the area and the situation the house is in.

Describe the houses in Dunedin.

We are lucky in Dunedin as we have such a wide range of housing. We have got some beautiful old homes in Dunedin. I guess when you are looking make sure that the house has been well maintained, keep an eye out for that. Different things to look for in different areas I guess. There are a few subdivisions opened up in Taieri and over the hospital way so there are plenty of new builds going on. A lot of franchise groups are getting those builds.
A lot of investors are building and renting new places so they are building a new place rather than buying an older place. A lot of investors are getting rid of houses that are starting to need a lot of work, piles etc. They are getting rid of their old stock and upgrading.
We have got a lot of out of town people buying at the moment. If you are looking at the university market it is critical to get an inspection as some of those houses need a lot of work. They are hard to inspect!

What do you love about being a building inspector?

I guess its fairly rewarding being able to help out somebody during the major purchase of their lifetime and steering them in the right direction. Making sure that they aren’t buying a dud so to speak. That is rewarding and it is evident from the comments we get back from people. They may go through with the purchase of the property but we may have picked up on something the roof for example, a clay tile roof and we have saved them 6 or 7 thousand dollars or a complete replacement of a roof which could be $15,000, $18,000 so for them they are pretty over the moon.