Is your Uncle Joe the Right Home Inspector?

Buying a home may be the biggest investment you will likely make in your lifetime - and hiring a certified and qualified home inspector will increase the odds that you’ll make a good investment, especially if you are buying an older home.

However, most homeowners spend only about 15 minutes looking at a home before they put in an offer! So say experts in this HGTV video:

In the real estate industry, a home inspection is common practice, although not yet a regulated industry everywhere in Canada. The majority of home purchase contracts will include a home inspection as a condition on the sale - but you must request this condition.

A home inspection involves a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to search for items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe. Inspection should include:

  • Heating system
  • Central air conditioning system
  • Interior plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Roof
  • Attic
  • Overall structual integrity
  • All visible insulation
  • Walls, ceilings and floors
  • Windows and doors
  • Ceilings
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Ventilation
  • Septic tank or sewer connection
  • Well and water pump, or water lines
  • Detached buildings, such as garages and workshops
  • Driveway
  • Drainage on the lot
  • Common areas (in the case of condos)
  • Appliances

The Inspection as a Tool for Re-negotiation

Be sure to get a written report, with photos, from the home inspector.  Review the inspection report with your real estate representative and make a list of items you think should be addressed before the sale of the home.

Even though the inspection is not meant to be a tool for re-negotiations, many times it becomes one. All homes have problems and every problem has a solution. Solutions vary from a simple fix of the problem to adjusting the purchase price.

You may be trying to save yourself $250 to $300 for the cost of an inspection but - to put it in the words of fellow realtor, Brendan Clemmens - does your Uncle Joe really know enough about home inspection??

Helen Padar is a sales representative with Century 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd. in Okaville, Ontario.

1 Comment

  1. Julia 05/09/2010 at 12:38 PM

    Thanks for sharing this "checklist." It's important to inspect every little detail of a house before buying it; otherwise, it might be too late to renegotiate a deal if you find something wrong with the property later on.

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