Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects says home buyers’ mortgage stress can be increased considerably by purchasing faulty properties

The group’s pre-purchase home inspection figures show that at least one in three homes sold have a range of problems that could add thousands of dollars to the cost of a property, especially if the faults discovered involved structural, plumbing, electrical, termites or illegal building, general manager David Hallett said.

“Buying a home is a complex exercise and if people purchased a lemon with major faults it could lead to a major personal and financial crisis,” he said.

“In the current booming housing market Archicentre is receiving an increase in calls from concerned home buyers after they have already signed the contract of sale.”

Hallett said that often the decision not to carry out a property inspection can make a major financial and social impact on buyers who in some cases run into serious debt problems.

Often the unbudgeted repairs or maintenance are added to the mortgage, compounding the affordability problem with a $30,000 repair cost turning into $50,000 over the life of a normal loan.

Archicentre inspectors have warned that new DIY products to fill gaps and cracks are perfect weapons of mass deception which can help dress up properties.

Typical warning signs for lemons include the use of gap filling products, wall panelling, strategically placed furniture, pot plants or rugs and newly painted surfaces.


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