NO matter how badly you may want to sign it, there are four other opinions that could make or break a property contract.
It pays to listen to the builder, the pest inspector, the bank manager and your mother-in-law. Consider their property advice rather than risk making a costly mistake in your pursuit of home ownership.
A building inspection is essential before buying a home, but only 20 to 30 per cent of buyers get one, according to Archicentre national manager Ian Agnew.
"You don't want to buy something that is going to cost upwards of $100,000 in structural repairs," he said.
"Sometimes the advice is 'do not buy this house'."
You should always use a qualified person, such as a licensed builder, a surveyor or an architect to provide a professional building inspection.
The written report will tell you about any significant defects or problems such as rising damp, movement in the walls (cracking), safety hazards or a faulty roof to name a few. It is usually carried out before you exchange sale contracts so you can identify any problems with the property which, if left unchecked, could prove costly to repair.
While a building inspection report should identify any visual damage that may have been caused by termites, it usually won't include the existence of termites or other timber destroying pests. So it can be advisable to get a separate pest inspection report.
Depending on where you are, the combined cost of a building and pest inspection will be between about $300 and $600.
A survey of more than 1000 Australians by Pure Profile for pest control company Rentokil showed 74 per cent of respondents would definitely take a termite-affected home off their list.
Rentokil national technical manager Simon Lean said he was surprised by the strong reaction.
"It might only be a little nibble here and there, not structurally damaging, but people get very worried about it," he said.
It's not only the physical condition of a property that should be inspected before purchase, according to Commonwealth Bank general manager home loans Clive van Horen.
Mr van Horen said it was just as important to look into the property's market value.
"While most property buyers focus on inspecting the physical property itself, which is of course incredibly important, some overlook one of the most critical factors to investigate at inspection time - the comparative value of the property," he said.
Information about similar homes that have recently sold in your area is essential to the comparative value. Homes sold more than a year ago may not represent current market conditions. Additionally, comparable homes should have the same type of traits as the subject property, such as age, size, number of bedrooms, amenities and condition. It's also important to gather data on homes that are within a 1km radius.
She may be the last person many want to see during the stress of home-buying but your mother-in-law may just have some helpful advice.
Dr Melissa Weinberg, of Deakin University's Australian Centre on Quality of Life, said people buying with their partner might actually benefit from their mother-in-law's help.
"They do have an influence but they don't necessarily need to be disruptive," she said.
"If you have a good relationship with them they can be looking out for your best interest."
She said the level of involvement a mother-in-law had in a major life decision such as home inspecting was often dependent on age.
"When you're a first-home buyer, you're younger and looking for that advice, looking for more people around you to affirm decisions for you," she said.