As you can see on my web page www.century21.ca/bill.stevenson I am offering, for a limited time a free home pre-inspection to home sellers. This facilitates the sale of a home quicker and , I believe, for more money. The report shows that the seller has nothing to hide and should a problem be found on that report it will either be remedied or an abatement may be provided. I believe the report will give the purchasers the comfort of an inbiased third party opinion, and lead to more and better offers.
Even with the pre-inspection report, or especially with one from “a couple of years ago” I recommend that a buyer does a home inspection as well, for their own peace of mind if for nothing else. Whether it is one you pay for, or one I (currently) do a reputable home inspector is there to give you an honest and straight forward opinion of the home in question; unlike the agent, the buyer or the seller they are paid only to inspect and to give an honest and neutral opinion. As a buyer, even when you are purchasing an “as is” home from an estate or bank sale, or especially a new home I always put in a clause about the doing an obtaining a report by the home inspector that is satisfactory to the buyers in their absolute discretion. That way even if it is an “as is” you will still have an out if the amount of work that needs to be done is more than you are willing to undertake.
One thing you have to remember is that the inspector is not a psychic, they will look at the condition of the house and may be able to tell you that something like the furnace is towards the end of its functionality, but they will not be able to tell you how long it might last. I had a case where a motor burnt out on a sump pump about 3 months after a home was purchased; the inspector only could say that it was in good working order at the time of purchase. A home inspection is a visual assessment of the houses structure and systems, and does not normally include outbuildings plants fences etc, though pools are normally looked at. So they are looking at the structure, the exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, home interior, appliances, ventilation and fireplaces/wood or pellet stoves.
In doing their job the inspector will look at the exterior of the home and judge the condition of the outside walls, soffit, vents, decks,the roof, chimney, eaves-trough and the drainage conditions. In the interior they will look at the condition of doors and windows, the plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets and switches,lights, smoke detectors and appliances (at least the ones I recommend do) . They will also inspect the heating and cooling systems, HRV and water tank. Another thing he will be checking is the attic and basement/crawl space, checking for leakage, significant cracks in the foundation, and also to ensure there is adequate insulation and ventilation. However remember that it is for the most part a that they do not take things apart. An inspector wants you to feel confidant and that there are no surprises or safety hazards.
Honesty and integrity are the keys, and the 3 Inspection companies I have listed on my coupon page i trust to do a thorough job so you will be happy with the report and the home.