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Top tips from the Tiktok Inspector

Episode Outline

00:00Disclaimer 00:16Introduction 00:45Getting to know Zeher Khalil and Ed Waldman 03:08Zeher’s TikTok Journey 06:59Being the “David Attenborough of the Building and Construction Industry” 07:54What is the importance of doing an inspection when buying a property? 08:53Australian Standards when it comes to a house inspection 10:05Which aspect of house inspections surprise first home buyers 10:58The difference between brand new homes and established homes 13:18Questions to ask building inspectors 16:49Does non-compliance and the Australian building codes apply to new builds only? 19:39Top 3 problems identified during house inspections 20:20Zeher’s Top 3 tips for first home buyers 20:47Ed’s Top 3 tips for first home buyers 21:57Black Mould 23:36What are the qualifications of a good property inspector 24:47A house inspection horror story 32:40Get in touch with Zeher Khalil

Show notes

Zeher Khalil is the Founder of Site Inspections, a Victorian firm of expert property inspectors. Also joining us is Ed Waldman, Site Inspections Sales and Marketing Manager. Site Inspections has recently risen to internet stardom, with Zeher’s inspection videos going viral, earning him the title of “The TikTok Inspector”. 

In this episode, Zeher and Ed explain how they get started in TikTok, before giving their top tips for first home-buyers going through the inspection process for the first time. Plus, the shocking story of how a family ended up living in a tent, and the steps you can take to avoid that same thing happening to you.

Get in touch with Zeher Khalil

Founder and Chief Inspector at Site Inspections
Contact Number: 1300 906 980


Michael Nasser 0:00
The information contained in this podcast is general in nature and is not to be taken as financial or personal advice. It does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should consider whether this information is suitable for you and your personal circumstances before acting on it.

Hi, and welcome to The Home Run, your guide to buying the first home in Australia. On the show, I’ll walk you through the home-buying process from every angle. We cover the steps to take the pitfalls to avoid, and the answers to all your questions you’ve been dying to ask. No matter what stage you’re at, you’ll learn everything you need to know about buying your first home. I’m your host Michael Nasser, and I’m a mortgage broker at Lendstreet, and I really love helping people buy their first home.

Today I’m joined by Zeher Khalil and Ed Waldman from Site Inspections. Zeher is the Founder and Chief Inspector of Site Inspections, expert property inspectors, but you may know him better as the viral TikTok star, The TikTok Inspector, and joining the heat is Edie Waldman, the sales and marketing manager for Site Inspections. In this episode, you’ll hear Zeher break down how he got started and TikTok. Ed will give his top five tips for first home buyers going through the inspection process for the first time. And Zeher will share the shocking story of how a family ended up living in a tent and how you can avoid the same thing happening to you. So let’s jump in.

So getting to know you Zeher, tell us a bit about your professional background. How did you get to where you are today?

Zeher Khalil 1:29
So yeah, my professional background, I’ve got a basically a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical engineering then shifted to the building industry, got my registration as a rest of the building practitioner built for for over 10 years. I have over 15 years experience in the building industry, got my diploma certifications, and all that in building and construction, and basically shifted from doing building work to inspecting because there’s a massive gap in workmanship and what people know, with the standards in order to meet the minimum standards, I found that as a gap in the market there and people benefiting from what I know and showing all the positives and negatives in building.

Michael Nasser 2:09
Ed, can you also tell us a bit about your professional background? And how did you get to where you are today?

Ed Waldman 2:13
Yeah, so in a few aspects, it’s quite similar to Zeher’s. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in honors and also did computer science. Following on from that. I’ve worked as a builder and developer for probably the last 20 years on and off, had an uncle who was a registered builder. So I was working as a project manager and things like that underneath him and had an excellent grounding because he was actually a structural engineer. So he’s first gift to me was the two volumes of the NCC all those years ago, so and he said read up. So there you go. And then from there, it’s kind of stuck with me that having to manage many different trades and things like that, you tend to see how some of them operate and want to operate and the challenges that are involved in actually delivering the right outcome for a building project.

Michael Nasser 3:01
So it seems like in terms of the building side of things you’ve done quite a bit from the beginning and actually building and obviously now to inspections. Such a big part of your business is your TikTok page now. How did you get started on Tiktok?

Zeher Khalil 3:11
It was basically just like a coincidence. I just thought I was very camera shy like my first video you got taken down because it went viral. I was doing inspection for really expensive homes, multimillion dollar home for high end client, I was just walking in his front yard saying, Hey, guys, if you guys want to do if you want to cut pay mortgage insurance, you know, you can claim up to $300,000 from the warranty insurance, this homeowner is experiencing the same thing builders gone past whatever. And then I posted on a Saturday morning and then within a couple of hours got 50,000 views. And that client has no social media whatsoever. He started getting phone calls and all that all of a sudden he called me on my mobile number he goes Hey, mate, what are you doing online? Mate? You got my home all over social media. I go what are you talking about? He’s like, mate, it’s all over social media people are calling me what’s wrong with your house, take it down immediately. And I was like, oh my god, man, I have to take it down now so deleted that. I didn’t know you can change it to private. Okay, you know, basically no one can see it. So I lost my views. I lost my life. I lost everything. And I go far out, man. You know, I have to do this again. And I have to ask the client before I post, I think so do it again. It’s like everything started going viral because people actually wanted to know what’s going on in the building industry and how they can benefit if something goes wrong. What can I do? And if you search online, you can hardly find this information unless you contact a lawyer. So we’ve got all this information online, and that’s how TikTok started growing because people wanted to learn.

Michael Nasser 4:36
I mean, I guess everyone that sort of puts up a TikTok video has the dream of going viral. What was it like for you when that first video started going viral?

Speaker 2 4:43
I was like fire out man. I gotta make more content. I gotta wave is coming. Let’s ride the wave and start showing people all this information because they surely standards cost a lot of money to buy and access. So I was showing an extract, say, look, here’s an extra piece of this. And people are going oh my god, look, this guy’s giving that free information and I got a bit excited, man.

Yeah, no one had done it before I guess in this type of space so it wasn’t brand new.

Zeher Khalil 5:03
Yeah, that’s right. I wasn’t faking it. It was all like me being genuine. I wasn’t after the views and people can see that right for you when I watch your video.

Michael Nasser 5:11
Yeah, I think that genuine factor is a big part of that sort of stuff and they can see it and they want to know about it.

Zeher Khalil 5:15
You straight away? Yeah.

Michael Nasser 5:16
Yeah. You mentioned that everyone was happy about the video that you put out. Can you tell me a bit about some of the reactions you receive from builders?

Zeher Khalil 5:23
If you see my filtered list of comments, all that stuff, I get constant abuse and racism, death threats and all that stuff all the time and basically, every time we’ll post that a video, we’re going to expect a massive wave of just negativity, racism, swearing, everything, profanity, it is online and throughout all social media, TikTok, we get more than Facebook and Instagram. It’s just a tradies, you know? Yeah, tradies and the builders that contact each other and then like a may go through his videos, our guest that commenting, and we experienced a lot of negativity but we do have some builders that are using us, okay, they’re actually using us to inspect the work as they go along, because they’re learning and there’s the good builders and there’s bad builders out there yeah.

Michael Nasser 6:05
And like anything, there’s always the good and the bad and I guess the good side here is you’re educating the viewers and the customer, I guess, in some aspect, and the professionals are the ones that perhaps are being caught out and you can imagine why they’re a little bit worried as to what that might lead to. I remember when I first I’ve actually seen a few of your Tiktoks before today, and it was the voice that got me. I don’t know if that was an active strategy or like.

Zeher Khalil 6:25
Yeah, the voice progressed over time, progressed over time, so we started getting a lot of negativity about it and then some people liked it, some people didn’t like it. I basically was seeing what my followers was like, and I started transitioning it until, you know, pissed a lot of people off but the same thing my followers was like that because it was funny and I got their attention, and it pissed off the builders because making fun of me, man. You know.

Michael Nasser 6:48
It’s part of the experience now when you watch it, it’s like, you know, part of it. So it’s a critical part of it, too. I’m a fan. So, yeah. All right, some of your fans have started to referring you as the David Attenborough of the building and construction industry. Why is that?

Zeher Khalil 7:02
I guess that came from a couple of videos because I was referencing like creatures and birds and all that stuff during my videos that there’s a hole in a brick wall and you know that the birds are nesting there. I wasn’t intentionally doing that but people started referencing that. But now people are shifting from David Attenborough to Batman.

Michael Nasser 7:18
Batman. Yeah!

Zeher Khalil 7:21
That’s the latest comments.

Michael Nasser 7:23
Which do you prefer?

Zeher Khalil 7:24
I prefer Batman, I love my superheroes.

Michael Nasser 7:26
are the same, but I guess that’s part of you being genuine, too. I gather like that’s the sort of a little bit of your personality coming through.

Zeher Khalil 7:31
Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, we’re just having fun with it and it’s not a lecture, providing a bit of fun and also being serious at the same time people are learning and having fun with it. That’s a younger generation and people locked alone these days, I guess.

Michael Nasser 7:45
Yeah and you mentioned the serious part of it, I guess and it’s important that we get on to that as well. So I mean, inspections are part of the process that a new home buyer aren’t always aware of. Why is it so important to have an inspection done? When you’re buying a property?

Zeher Khalil 7:57
The best way to answer this is basically from those inspections that we’ve been doing lately, and the horror stories that our customers are experiencing in like me and Ed basically inspected the property recently that for this homeowner that bought a property from an owner builder, and in Victoria, it’s a 10 year warranty. So the family bought it, they bought the property without an inspection and basically, it’s unhabitable, they can’t live in it, because it’s all non compliant works like the average homeowner won’t even know that it’s complying or not, like you need a trained eye to see what’s going on to review the documentation and now there’s no waterproofing in the bathroom being done, that there’s no drainage in the home and for the homeowner, to chase the owner builder, you have to get a lawyer and it’s gonna cost a minimum 20 to 70 grand to go to Vika, and instead of spending that money to check the home, they have to spend it now on legal fees whilst have to fix it themselves and that’s why there’s a big risk.

Michael Nasser 7:57
You mentioned Australian standards. Do you go that extra step when it comes to building inspections or building inspectors the same in terms of how they operate and, and picking up on waterproofing? Or is this more of a new build thing? Or how in depth are you going compared to say other people out there?

Zeher Khalil 8:46
We don’t do just a visual inspection, we go above and beyond for example, we access the roof areas, we go on top of the roof safely, we go inside the roof cavities all the way until we can’t reach anymore like we go every single defect that we pick, it’s not our opinion. It’s simply black and white. Hey look, this is what we’ve seen. This is the breach of the Australian standard basically doesn’t meet the minimum standards which is the Australian Standard and that’s it does not comply so basically you’ve got a non compliant home and if a home is non compliant, and you get insurance and the insurance company comes in for example they say oh sorry your home is not compliant or you’re not covered. Yeah. Well that certain defect. Yeah, so that’s what we do and the thing is for inspector to know all the standards is pretty hard because you got to know all the trades. You can’t just be a carpenter and basically just look at carpet you got to know waterproofing, plumbing, roof plumbing, you know electrical concrete in brookline. And it’s a wealth of knowledge, you got to have all those Australian standards there to reference

Michael Nasser 10:05
In your time working with firsthome buyers in particular, have you seen anything about the inspection process that surprises them?

Zeher Khalil 10:08
Most of the people that get me to do their pre purchase, ah that don’t buy the property, well, some of them do buy it, and they go, Alright, I’m willing, because I love to location, I like the area, I’m willing to spend a bit of money to fix it, how much it’s going to cost me to fix I’ll say, I’ll do an estimate 50 grand, 60 grand a year, that’s all good. But some people don’t want to buy a home, like buying a brand new car, you know, that don’t want to buy with no headaches and there’s one specific client, she’s got us now to her third home and still non compliant and she still hasn’t bought her home. She keeps getting me for the next inspection and still non compliant home and this is a brand new home. This is not like a couple of years old, brand new home non compliant. And they say, Oh, can I get the builder to fix it? I go, Yeah, you can. But if he says no, you got to take him legally because he can’t force him. Ha ha

Michael Nasser 10:57
Do you see a difference between brand new homes and say established homes? Or how much? Are you seeing a difference of there? And what’s the quality like compared to say, a new home or an established home?

Zeher Khalil 11:05
Well, it’s fairly the same.

Michael Nasser 11:07
So it’s pretty consistent across the board.

Zeher Khalil 11:22
Pretty consistent. Yeah. And even with price, like a 500 grand home, or a $5 million home, as you saw on what on a couple of my videos, they’re all the same, the trades do the same mistakes and the homeowner won’t know until a couple of years.

Michael Nasser 11:22
Yeah, I guess at least getting it done. You mentioned a few of your clients will still go ahead and purchase but at least they know.

Zeher Khalil 11:27
Yeah, they know they are on buying a home. And I tell them straight away because sometimes we go to an inspection, pre-purchase inspection and there’s a couple other inspectors there for other purchases. Yeah. And they go in with a tape measure and the level and they go around, and like mate, it’s a beautiful home, nice swimming pool, beautiful, you know, he stays for like 15 minutes, I spent about two or three hours, and they leave and I go mate, you can’t buy this home, you’re going to have water leaks in about two months, you’re going to have the roof is not compliant, you gotta get the plumber back, the whole system doesn’t work. And this is what’s going on. So it’s kind of a serious situation, because you’re going to be spending like at least 100 grand a home. And it’s a small amount to get an inspection done to make sure you know what you’re buying. And it can add on that as well. He’s been through all that all those items as well, man like what we’ve experienced.

Michael Nasser 12:13
Yeah, Ed is there anything you wanted to add to that?

Ed Waldman 12:16
Certainly, I think one of the biggest challenge for a prospective buyer is understanding what it is they’re actually getting themselves into. I mean, at the end of the day property, someone’s largest investment that they’re going to make. And what our services basically do is because we’ve invested so heavily in developing all these diagnostic processes and tools to help us identify, you know, relatively quickly where the main challenges are likely to occur. As they mentioned, you know, we one of the few building inspection companies that jump on a route if it’s safe to do so and actually inspect that because we know that water ingress is one of the major issues that faces building and construction today. We’re probably the only building inspection company that looks for waterproofing actively in bathrooms and wet areas, right? I don’t know of any others that actually really look for that and compare and contrast to the Australian standard. So now the reports that our clients get really opened their eyes up to what they need to be looking for and understanding what the risks could potentially be down the track.

Michael Nasser 13:18
One thing that comes to mind is that unfortunately, it runs in Melbourne, and a lot of our listeners are scattered all over Australia. So if there’s someone say in Sydney or Brisbane or in Perth or wherever, and they are looking to engage a property inspector or a building inspector, what sort of questions should they be asking them to ensure that they’re picking a goodie as opposed to you know someone that perhaps may not be as thorough.

Ed Waldman 13:37
The big area that people need to focus on is that area of compliance, I mean, it’s very easy to walk through a home and pick on defects, right? I mean, we can pick on painting defects, we can pick on a range of other things that really relatively straightforward to rectify for a builder, Oh, get the painter to come back and do some touch ups that’ll look good for a couple of months and then eventually those touch ups will start to come through in 12 to 18 months time where you will notice them again but by that stage, it’s past a defect warranty period, and you’re stuck with it. So you don’t really need an inspector to do that. In my honest opinion. What you’re really wanting to do is to find an inspector who actually is comfortable and understands the basic Australian standards and National Construction Code and can actually walk through a prospective purchase for a property and understand and look for those areas of significant non compliance and as I mentioned, roof leaks. So look for roofing non compliance, check for waterproofing non compliance, because these are the things that within the space of you know, weeks to months, and sometimes one or two years will start to have a very detrimental impact on the quality of life in that home. The last thing you want is black mould all over the place and we did an inspection for a client and you know within this was after the fact she got us in because you know the builders said it’s not a problem. Just do this and do that. They were going to cook a few extra things in the bathroom. But we quickly showed her where the root cause of her leaks right, and how it was actually impacting her bathroom and the bedrooms adjacent to the bathrooms. She had black mould within 12 months of moving into the property. So that actually had a very significant impact on her quality of life. Our report she took to the builder and with a bit of argy bargy, the builder actually agreed to come back and totally rebuild both bathrooms, the ensuite and the main bathroom to give them an idea. So these are the important things that you really need to focus on.

So you’d be asking the inspector, what type of inspections do you do? Or how do you conduct your inspections? What sort of things are you looking for?

Correct. And do you actually contrast what you find back to the Australian standards and National Construction Code? Do you call out the clauses of non compliance, and you can see he’s TikToks, and YouTube’s and Insta posts and things like that, where yeah, he brings up his hand and he shows why it’s non compliant, we then do a test in that bathroom and we actively show it, it’s leaking within one minute is actually having a shower right now. Okay, we run the shower for a bit longer than average. But let’s say people will take maybe have two showers a day two people share and ensuite, within three months that water will travel outside of the shower and start moving towards the edges of the bathroom. And then it’ll be whipped up by other structures in the wall and plaster and framework and things like that. So it really is important to actually ask your inspector and look at their reports, get a copy of their report and compare and contrast that to say a site inspections report which you can pull down off our website and see whether they actually do check for non compliance based on Australian standards and national construction codes.

Michael Nasser 16:49
And there’s the non compliance and the Australian building codes. They’re only relative for new builds and buildings that have a warranty period, I guess, is that correct?

Zeher Khalil 16:58
No. So the NCC and the Australian standards have been in effect for decades, right? Of course, they’ve been evolving, they’ve been tightened up and they’ve been altered and changed over time they’ve been made better. They’ve been improved. But nevertheless, obviously for the first 10 years where the builder actually has in Victoria has to provide that structural warranty period. Yes, you can go back and actually make claims against non compliance. Because basically, they never built to the minimum standard required in Australia. And then that’s basically what you get them on from a legal perspective. But of course, you know, if the bill doesn’t want to come back, as he mentioned, they don’t have to come back. Some do, some don’t. Sometimes you have to go to VCAT, you have to get a lawyer and make sure you get the right lawyer as well a bulldog, basically.

Michael Nasser 17:43
I guess it comes down to that pre purchase. I think that’s where the power is really for the individual and if they’re doing it as part of a pre purchase, then they know what they’re getting into, if anything at all.

Ed Waldman 17:51
And that’s where Zeher mentioned one of our clients who keeps coming back because we haven’t yet found a home for her but her brief to us is I don’t want to see tradesperson in my home for at least five years but that’s a brief to us. Well, yeah, okay, here’s some issues that we identify the builder can rectify it right now before they sell it to you, or what are you going to do? I mean, if they’re not willing to rectify it now, do you think they will come back and rectified in year six? Highly unlikely, right. So it depends on the client briefs that we get as well.

Zeher Khalil 18:24
So there’s something that I’ve actually written down just so I can remind myself that this is very important information for someone who’s going to buy a home from a builder that’s been there just say they don’t longer operational with their gone bust. So if you get an inspection report, and you know about the defects if this is like in Victoria, and you use by the home, you know, but the defects and then you want to claim warranty insurance, because you can claim warranty insurance from the VMIA, the VMIA have a clause, it says here in relation to visible defects in the work of which you should reasonably have been aware when acquiring the building. So they will not pay any money if you know about the defects. when you buy the property. And that happened to one of our clients, you got a report from another inspector and she goes I wanted to claim this waterproofing issues as leaks mould and she saw bought the property thinking that she can get insurance when she submitted the report that looked at the date and the date of purchase and sorry, you’re not covered.

Michael Nasser 19:22
Because you knew about it.

Zeher Khalil 19:28
So you got to be really, really careful when you’re buying a property from the builders no longer active, you’re not covered. So basically you got to spend a couple 100 grand to fix the non compliant work yourself.

Michael Nasser 19:39
Zeher what would be the top three problems you see when you’re doing your inspections.

Zeher Khalil 19:43
So top three problems that guarantee that we’re going to find all the time is roof plumbing, waterproofing and general plumbing, we always find non compliant works there and they’re going to lead to the maximum basically a costly rectification works if you’re going to fix it, you’ve got to rip out the slab, rebuilt all the bathrooms, it redo the roof system and everything like that. That’s a top three that I’ve got.

Michael Nasser 20:08
Would you agree Ed with that?

Ed Waldman 20:10
Well definitely and we can pretty much say that almost every property we’ve inspected has at least two of those out of the three. Yes.

Michael Nasser 20:18
Zeher, what would your top tip for first home buyers be? They’re about to go through the process of purchasing their first home.

Zeher Khalil 20:25
The best tip that I reckon is you have to get someone qualified, qualified and experienced to look over, look over the whole thing, look over the entire home. Because you gotta remember, it’s not a requirement for a homeowner to get an inspector in the US it is. But here in Australia, it’s not regulated yet. But the thing is, it is more cost for what you’re buying. So it can add to that as well.

Michael Nasser 20:47
Yeah, tips Ed for first time buyers.

Ed Waldman 20:49
Well, come in it is somebody’s biggest investment. And at the end of the day, you need to understand what does that mean over the life of the property and the life and the time that you’re going to be living there, whether it’s an investment, because again, down the track, you’ll have tenants in there, you don’t want tenants to start experiencing the black mould, then two properties off the market for a couple of months. You’re losing that income, you’re having to rectify the work yourself. And so so these are the sorts of things we tend to recommend to people to pay the money. Yes, it can be expensive. Yeah, inspections, on our side usually started around the $2,000 mark, but it’s like Zeher said, they’re inspectors that we’ve seen that literally spend if you’re lucky 15 minutes in the property walking through, versus what we spend two to three hours and some builders actually chuck us out because after 60 minutes, they’re sick of us being there. So if we get wind of that sort of builder upfront, well, we send two inspectors to the site. Right. And the builders in say geez we’ve never seen two inspectors inspecting a property before we know we need to cover these important issues, right and be thorough, because that’s paramount.

Michael Nasser 21:56
You’ve mentioned black mould a few times I’m not familiar with what it is. And I mentioned that a lot of the listeners won’t be too familiar with that, can you give us a quick explanation as to what black mould is?

Ed Waldman 22:09
Black mould basically requires certain moisture levels to be present inside the build structure and built environment. So black mould is basically like you can see mould on cheese. Or sometimes you get mouldy bread, which if left in the cupboard for too long, you’ll see those little green spots. Well, in this case, it’s quite black, it’s quite dark, and spreads enormously quickly, impregnates the actual timber structure and actually begins to weaken it likes cellulose and those sorts of fibers that are in timber, it will impregnate your carpet it will get into the floor material actually start to varying the substrate but at the same time and generates spores, right. So it spreads primarily by spores, those spores are released into the atmosphere inside the home and you end up breathing those in so for people who are asthmatic or have some sort of breathing difficulties, other people with respiratory type tract illnesses will really suffer quite significantly, even though they don’t see it because the spools you don’t see their their micron type size, right. So, and again, we’ve got equipment that can detect different particle sizes and things like that, that we can measure inside the home versus outside the home. But we’ve done a lot of water inspections and water leak inspections both from a bathroom as well as water ingress from rain, where black mould is rampant inside the home. And in fact, the one that we did in Flowerdale with that young family that has to live in the tent, there was black mould throughout but it’s it was impacting their life.

Michael Nasser 23:36
Zeher, one thing you mentioned before was a qualified look for someone qualified, what sort of qualifications should a first time buyer be looking for a property inspector?

Zeher Khalil 23:44
So there’s some inspectors out there, for example, that all they have is a police check and a driver’s license, and no diplomas and building construction, those certifications are building construction, no previous building experience or a registered building inspector or a registered building practitioner. So if you can find those qualifications there, at least you know that these guys have at least studied and have been in the building industry for a while, because in order to get the registration, you got to have X amount of years, at least three to five years experience in the building industry. Yeah. So that’s why it’s important to look for those stuff.

Michael Nasser 24:16
Yeah, and I think this probably explains why you guys are so thorough, because you’ve got those qualifications. So you’ve got that background, so you know how to be thorough, whereas somebody who’s just on the police check, and the minimum standards, I guess, is not not not as thorough because they just don’t perhaps know how to be.

Zeher Khalil 24:30
Yeah, they just look for just the visual items, you know, that what they can see. It’s not a requirement for them to list all the non compliant works here. It there’s no requirement for you to do an inspection report to show that on compliance. So that’s what a lot of homebuyers don’t know.

Michael Nasser 24:45
All right on to the horror story. So you’ve been in the news recently talking about a pretty shocking story, a family home so bad that they were forced to live in a tent. Can you start at the beginning of the story? How did the family find themselves in that situation?

Zeher Khalil 24:58
Well, the actual homeowner sent us an email explaining their situation and we thought it was like a scam kind of thing. You know, one of the stories like my husband died, and I’ve got a treasure chest and all that stuff, and you want to send it to me or give me your bank details. So it was like that. And it was just the massive email of like, I’ve bought this property, whatever, because we get a lot of emails from people who send them random emails to us. And some of them are fake, some of them are real. So when I got her details and spoke to her go, Hey, look at is this real? She goes, she goes, Yes, I can’t live in the home anymore really recently bought it. So we basically we charge upfront yeah, so we got paid upfront for the home. And that means she’s serious. She wants to go there. So we went on site, and we will sort of situation, I’ll go and I’ve got Ed with me for this inspection. We will like mate, we can’t charge these guys. You know, they’re in a bad situation. So refunded the money on the day, and we go we had to rebook the inspection again, because her description of what was wrong with the home was like a system with what’s what was on site, it was worse than what she was thinking about. You know, so I’ll go look, we gave her a choice. If you go on social media, if I put your home on social media, you might not be able to sell your home anymore. Or the second thing you can do is basically go to a lawyer and chase the homeowner. So after two weeks, she says to me, Look, I want to go on social media, because I can bring Channel Nine to you. I can put you on social media, and you can get all the help that you need, you know, but that means you got to stay in this home and rectify the home and stay there because a lot of people will know about the home within a couple of hours, everybody will know the home. And basically I contacted Channel Nine, I’ve got a couple of guys there that I know. And they said, Yep, we’ll do the story. I’ll did a couple of stories and videos about the whole home and now everybody wants to help this client basically want to come the actual manufacturer of the panels is panels inside is called Dura Panels. And they’re made out of hay and it wasn’t installed properly. I can look at my video you can see how the edges are not sealed and all that. So that company contacted her and said this is not compliant the way they’ve done it and it’s no warranty, but we’re going to give you all the materials to fix that fix your home. So we’ve got laborers that when I go and help for free we’ve got carpenters waterproofers electricians, tilers, they just want to go and do the work for free for so it was very beneficial. And that homeowner, they did their job. He lawyered up because he’s in trouble. He’s all over social media. Because Matt, he did the property. He waited after the warranty period for homebuilder, which is two years non structural and six years structural, he weighed after the six year period. And he sold it look straight away and is basically being deceptive and he made this family buy the home and now they can’t even live inside the home. It’s got no drainage outside, no waterproofing, mould everywhere you can’t even breathe inside, you go inside you have to wear a mask. It’s So

Michael Nasser 27:47
Ed, Can you also tell us, you know, when you went to that inspection, what was that like?

Ed Waldman 27:51
Yeah, it was a strange one, I’ve got to admit it was almost overwhelming in terms of the amount of issues that we sort of saw even just from the street, what the challenges were massive that these guys were facing and they will try and rectify different sorts of things in different ways. For example, they had a lot of flowing down the side of the hill and down their driveway striking the home and actually coming in underneath the home all because incorrect drainage actually no drainage was really provided by the original owner builder to keep water away from the structure. And this was sort of one of the areas that was adding enormously to the challenges that they were facing. On top of that they had somebody building next door to them who was actually also doing some weird and wonderful things in the process on their site. So there was just so many things being brought to bear on this particular property that even though they were describing that we can’t live inside we’ve got mould we’ve got this they just had every single problem that you would expect to see or actually prefer not to see they were facing. So they’ve spent quite a bit of their time to date you know, just dealing with the surface water issue and correcting the drainage issue around their home because yeah, that was one of the first things that we pointed out to them they really needed to try and get under control and something that you know they were getting help with with with a plumber and friends to actually get that drainage sorted and get it correct.

Michael Nasser 29:13
It sounds since you’ve got involved it seems to have been getting a lot more attention and like you’ve mentioned it’s it’s sort of going down the path of correction with different suppliers also pitching in I know there’s also a GoFundMe page happening now so how things go resume how the things going for the family now?

Zeher Khalil 29:27
they’re still living at the tent at the moment because basically to schedule the works and now that Jura panel wants to come and remove all the interiors they have to remove all the walls like if we got the plug for example the tile to come in now and tall on top of that the wrong substrate. You would have wrecked the whole process. I told her don’t get any works now let’s get the panels first and then so basically we have to coordinate the works for her. Yeah, so it’s not just given the trades because the whole home needs to be stripped.

Michael Nasser 29:53
Wow. That’s massive.

Zeher Khalil 29:55
The whole home so now it’s just a process basically get the trades in One by one, and help them out.

Michael Nasser 30:03
And if you would go back in time and give the family one tip to avoid the situation like this, what would it be?

Zeher Khalil 2 30:07
It’s a, no matter how excited you wanted to have a home because its so nice you got to remember that real estate agents are plays the game the homeowners playing the game they all dressed up nicely. You need somebody to come in and said, alright let’s see what’s wrong with this house, it’s too good to be true.

Michael Nasser 30:22
So, do you guys think this is the worst inspection you’ve ever seen?

Zeher Khalil 30:25
Yeah, it is, the situation and the actual home. so it’s a combination of this guys, its too late to chase the builder, you gotta spend money to chase the builder and also the whole home. The exterior of the home like the landscaping and the drainage and also the interior of the home. So the whole thing, what was like it needs basically to be redone, so it is one of the worst, yeah.

Ed Waldman 30:48
Yeah, look obviously feeling bad for the prospectives it’s significantly impacting the quality of life for the family. They are experiencing breathing difficulties, they did have to move to the tent, to alleviates some sort of problems so certainly it’s got some long term impacts on them. They’ve been in a wealthy family, they spent their last time finding a dream home right, back set on the creek on the side of the mountain, you can hear the gurgle of the creek they ended up getting beaten by it. Look I mean we’ve seen other shockers as well, like a typically, slightly different stories. Our inspection process is what we’ve described as non disruptive unless somebody request and dig a little bit deeper look for certain things. In this one particular case, it was a highly expensive built and you know, we identified lots of roofing problems, bathrooms non-compliant, we could already see black mold in some of the bedrooms and below and we pointed this out to the homeowner and they are looking for ways to get it under control but then again through social media this is one of the great powers of it somebody shared some other very concerning photos of the building construct process for this particular side which shows some very, very, very worrying photos so this is an area now were still ongoing in discussion of with the homeowners to see whether they’re will be involve in doing some more semi disruptive investigations to see whether those issues were fixed or whether they remain and being covered up by its a or render if you know what I mean so this could end up being the next one which if that happens.

Michael Nasser 32:35
Alright, that’s it for me today guys. Thanks very much and thank you for your time on the show. Where can they listen and find you if they want to get in touch with you?

Zeher Khalil 32:42
Well, we got a TikTok page just search siteinspections, SITE Inspections. Search on Facebook as well we’ve got over 30,000 on Facebook and over 100,000 on TikTok and we’ve got Instagram as well and Youtube and we also got a website as well so its all link together.

Michael Nasser 33:00
Thanks so much for your time again, Ed. Thanks, and really appreciate your time today.

Zeher Khalil 33:04
No worries.

Michael Nasser 33:07
You’ve been listening to The Home Run, your guide for buying your first home in Australia. This podcast was produced by Lendstreet. Lendstreet is a mortgage broker and home loan specialists that helps first home buyers find the right loan to meet their needs. We know applying for a loan can be overwhelming and complex.
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