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Top 5 most expensive repairs in housing Investors looking to buy a bargain might think they’re saving money by avoiding a building and pest inspection, but the exact opposite is often the case. Archicentre, the property and building services division of the Australian Institute of Architects, says 80 per cent of property transactions don’t have an inspection for structural or termite problems.

Queensland manager of Archicentre, Ian Agnew, says if people buy a property with major faults, it can lead to a financial crisis down the track.

“To limit the risk of financial stress in purchasing a home prior to making an offer, arrange a pre-purchase inspection to ensure the house is safe and sound from an independent professional and trained person, such as an engineer, architect or registered builder,” he says.

“A professional inspection of the home will assist buyers in determining the condition of the property and the cost of repairs, providing them with a bargaining tool to factor in repair or maintenance costs into their budgets.”

Archicentre estimates there are hidden defects in one in three properties, and lists five problems as the most expensive.

1. Restumping

Without a proper inspection of the sub-floor area, it’s impossible to obtain a clear indication of the state of the stumps. Inspectors have found anything and everything to try and cover up shonky stumps, including wedges of scrap wood between stumps and bearers, props sitting on bricks, and stacks of bricks under bearers.

2. Roofs

Roof faults cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair. Archicentre says a leaking roof can have a major impact on the interior of the home and can penetrate electrical wiring. Cover-ups include painting a roof to cover rust and temporarily plugging holes with silicon.

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