While there’s undeniably a lot of fear associated with having termites, borers, and other pests in a property, BuildingPro founder Andrew Mackie-Smith believes that good and experienced investors can turn this rather unfortunate situation to their advantage, especially in terms of price negotiation.
Pest inspections are seen as a necessity, especially in designated termite zones where there are greater risks of damage caused by termites, fungal decay, and borers.
“Rotting timber can be a major problem[;] ... that can be a very costly thing, especially with decks and timber houses where you’ve got handrails and weatherboards and fences. Borers can [also] do extensive damage,” Andrew said.
“These little insects can do a heck of a lot of damage to properties and it can be very costly to rectify. It’s pretty important to have an inspection done if it’s [in] a termite zone.”
However, Andrew said that pests are rarely a reason to pull out of a purchasing contract. In fact, property investors can use the pest infestation to gain leverage in the negotiation for the final purchasing price.
“There’s quite a lot of fear associated with termites, but in all reality and from my experience, quite often the termite damage is only minor and can be repaired and treated for a small cost,” he said.
There may be circumstances when the damage is very significant – to the point where the property has to be demolished – but, according to him, these are rare occurrences throughout the decade he has spent as a builder and an inspector.
“Usually, the damage is at the minor end and can be rectified with some timber replacement and a termite barrier,” Andrew explained.
Builders nowadays are equipped to build different termite management systems, both physical and chemical, to help the investor maintain the safety and overall quality of his investment property. At the end of the day, having a good and reliable property inspector can help an investor know the next best thing to do upon finding out about the presence of termites and other pests.
“[Pests are] definitely not reasons to pull out of the contract straight away. It’s a reason to get more information, ask more questions, perhaps get some quotes, and understand your costs, and then, you can make a good, informed decision,” he concluded
Tune in to Andrew Mackie-Smith’s bonus episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about potential red flags in pest and building inspections, and the ways in which investors can tackle these issues head-on.