When looking to buy, it can be a good idea to have your own property checklist. You can cover most issues yourself, and perhaps rule out unsuitable properties before spending money on a professional building inspector. You may still want to employ an inspector for a property that you are really serious about.
We have a good checklist that you are welcome to. It covers all the main areas that an inspector will look at, and might highlight a few points where you would want further advice.
It is important to consider physical defects in relation to the age and size of the dwelling, and the price. Some inspectors will be critical of a property (which is fair enough), but without the context of how dwellings were built in years gone by, wear and tear, size and price. ie what condition and level of faults is reasonable given the age of the dwelling, size and price of the property. If you are paying $700,000 for a house in Feilding you can rightfully have higher expectations regarding the condition, than if you are paying $180,000. Value for money is very important in this context.