Apartment Specialists Podcast No: 119
What is the essence of a building report when you buy an apartment? Why do you need to look at it? What do they do? Watch this podcast to know the answers.
Andrew Murray here from Apartment Specialists. Today we will be talking about "Building Inspections." If you have bought an apartment and you want to get a building inspection. I am just going to run you through a typical example. I have taken out the names, address and all the logos of the company. To give you, basically, the essence of what is in a building report when you buy an apartment. I will just take you down. Normally, you would obviously have the address here and obviously the time and the weather.
It was raining when they did the report, so that was taken into account. I will go briefly through it but if they are looking at the building, also the structure and the cladding, they will also be looking at the type of the building and they will be grading it. And they will look at the cladding, because they have a cavity system - all that kind of thing.
Here you can see pictures of the building and they comment on it: "A multi-level apartment complex. Appears to be constructed of solid concrete and aluminium joinery. The concrete exterior appears to have various detailing and features. The ground floor has a small flat roof over it, which is clad in waterproofing membrane system." What they do is, they then look on the roof as they look around the areas as well as the cladding. To look at for example, this membrane situation.
Therefore, seeing that they can see on top of the roof. You can see here where you have got the membrane and where it joins. They will also look at that and they can see here where there has been water pooling. Obviously, it was wet and it just rained. They talk about that and they look into it and see, "Is that membrane performing? Are there any visual signs of any water ingress or that membrane failing?" Bear in mind that they can't actually dig into it, but the best they can do are - the people you hire would generally be experts, which is good.
What they also do then is, they go into the apartment- and they have different ways of looking at the apartment. Obviously, they will look at it and take photos. They will check if there is any obvious water damage. So you as the purchaser, would be able to do that. They come in with moisture readings and all sort of infra-red camera kind of things. You can see this here where, obviously, the red is showing the moisture and all that kind of thing.
In this portion it says, "The thermal image shows no thermal anomalies." Moisture readings taken in this area dry at time of inspection, even though it was a very wet day." You can see the window here and you can see where the photo without the moisture gun or photographer . They have taken photos there and you can see there's no real moisture at all. That is pretty cool and you can actually see visual images of what it all looks like.
They will also use what is called a moisture reading where I see them doing it. They put it against that metal thing there, so it will actually give you a reading. If it's above 40, then that's seen as damp. If it's above 80, then it's seen as wet. They look especially around all the windows and the showers and everything where water would be. You'll see how high that is and it's seen as a strike inspection.
Even though when it is just been after raining and you would think there will be some moisture around the windows. So it is open and still 35, so it's good. In here, you can see where they've gone and you can see white around the shower. You got 27 there, which is fine but then here where they open the door, and you can see some kind of water. I mean, you'd expect that in a shower with condensation and all that kind of thing. If it's at 50 then it's a little bit damp. Okay, let's go to that location down there. What they do in this area is inspect the whole apartment.
They will comment, "It is in good condition" even though the tenants are a little bit messy, or the previous owners. What they do is, they go round the whole complex. Check out the sprinkler system, the alarm systems, the lighting, the condition of the apartment complex. They will provide you a summary of their inspection. They will often also have a disclaimer in here, which say they cannot guarantee and that is what they are saying 100%. They cannot go through putting holes in walls. And they will also give a risk here, so basically they will talk in terms of very low risk: "The apartment's exterior appeared to be concrete, which is extremely robust and a good product, in terms of waterproofing."
It is very good to get a building inspection. Obviously, I know most buildings but I think you should probably always get one. I do not see why you should not. When you think about how much money you are spending and a building inspection is only usually about 500 to 600 dollars. It is probably something you should do every time and when you think about the risk you are taking, when buying an apartment.
The thing is, the better your due diligence, the minimal the risk. If you do very, very good due diligence, then you are basically making your risk as close to zero, as possible. That is why if you are spending hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars. You might as well spend that extra two or three thousand on your due diligence. Make sure that your purchase is 100%, because you will be kicking yourself if you miss something. When something as simple as a building inspection, you could have brought that up. Anyway, I hope that helps. Talk soon.