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
- Overall structual integrity
- All visible insulation
- Walls, ceilings and floors
- Windows and doors
- Septic tank or sewer connection
- Well and water pump, or water lines
- Detached buildings, such as garages and workshops
- Drainage on the lot
- Common areas (in the case of condos)
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.