As a buyer, you typically make your decision to buy a property after a few short walk-throughs. This is definitely not enough time to analyze the home in its entirety, and you may not have the expertise to carry out such a task. When purchasing a home you want to have the peace of mind that the structure and systems are in good working condition. A home inspector is the best protection available. It gives you the opportunity to acquire as much knowledge as possible about the physical condition of the property.
A typical home inspection usually takes around three hours to complete. It is important that you are present during the home inspection as a good home inspector will educate you a lot about how things operate within the home and how to take care of them.
During the home inspection, your home inspector will inform you of items that are not functioning properly, need to be changed/repaired, and even signs of past problems. They will also provide some estimations on the life expectancy of major components in the home such as the roof, furnace, and the air conditioner.
Some of the components you can expect an inspector to investigate are:
- Roofs and Exterior Walls
- Foundations & Grading
- Electrical Systems
- Doors & Windows
- Ventilation, Heating/Cooling Systems
- Basements/Crawl Spaces
- Ceilings, walls, and floors
- Overall structural integrity of the building
Once the inspection is complete, your home inspector will likely provide you with a written report of everything that was discovered during the inspection. This will range from very minor to more serious fixes that may be required. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, you are paying someone to critique everything about the property, and the list may be a long one. Overall, most issues should be things you don’t have to fix right away and you can deal with while you are living there. By having the report you can go home, mull it over, and decide if any further action is required before you waive the condition.If serious issues are discovered and you have included the home inspection condition in your offer, you have choices available to you. You can either request certain items to be fixed, negotiate a lower purchase price based on these discoveries, or walk away from the deal. If you don’t include the condition and fail to do a home inspection, you have little legal recourse and the problems are yours to deal with. If you end up walking away from the deal, don’t feel as though you just wasted a couple hundred dollars with a home inspection, consider all the money you just saved by not purchasing the money pit you almost bought.
When choosing a home inspector, it’s advisable that you select 2 or 3 (maybe one your Realtor has recommended) and have a discussion with them. Find out how long they have been doing inspections, what their background and experience has been. There are many inspectors who choose this career as a retirement option, they may have been a contractor for many years and so it was a great transition for them.
Do your due diligence and find a home inspector you feel comfortable working with. Whether you walk away from the deal or go ahead with the house of your dreams, you will have the peace of mind and realize that the money you spend on a home inspector is well worth your time and money.
A blog helping people understand more about Real Estate in Ontario and Canada