Make sure plans match reality and the home meets your needs before you sign.
Make sure plans match reality and the home meets your needs before you sign.

Our nasty surprises

NORTH Coast home buyers are the most likely in NSW to uncover nasty surprises after moving in, a new survey has found.

Sixty-six per cent of homebuyers on the North Coast found hidden problems after buying their new home, compared to the national average of 55%, a national survey of property buying behaviour commissioned by St George Bank has found.

The top three issues discovered were plumbing or water-related problems, poor TV or phone reception and water damage.

St George retail banking manager Andy Fell said the results were surprising as 91% of the buyers claimed to have conducted pre-purchase checks.

Mr Fell said it was a sign local home buyers were not being thorough before purchase.

"Most people will look at a new car for longer than they inspect the home they buy," he said.

Independent building consultant Craig Nowlan from Ballina-based Techton Building Services warned only three items on the top 10 problem list - plumbing and water-related problems, wall and floor cracks and rising damp - were covered during a standard pre-purchase inspection.

"We don't have the right to undertake a destructive or invasive inspection of a property," he said.

"People also need to take some responsibility themselves for factors outside the domain of the pre-purchase report. Let the buyer beware."

But Mr Nowlan said if buyers had particular concerns they could negotiate with the inspector for a more thorough inspection of areas where they may have particular concern.



Plumbing and water-related problems 28%

Poor TV reception 23%

Bad mobile coverage 20%

Noisy neighbours 19%

Cracks in the walls or floors 20%

Lack of high speed internet 16%

Parking on the street is difficult 10%

Rising damp 8%

Future developments in the area 8%

Insufficient parking onsite 8%