Hiring a Home Inspector
It is often said that one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make will be your home. However, unlike the guarantee a buyer receives with most purchases, there’s no money-back guarantee or return policy if you’re not satisfied with your recently purchased home. Once you buy a home, you’re on your own to maintain it, repair it, anticipate problems and pay the bills. This is why it’s best to know as much as you can about potential problems before you buy.
What Home Inspectors Do
One of the best ways to see if a home is in good condition, livable and safe is to hire a professional home inspector. A properly trained home inspector will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect how another component works or how long it will last. Home inspectors will go through the house and perform a complete visual inspection to assess its condition and all of its systems. They will determine the components that are not performing properly as well as items that are beyond their useful life or are unsafe. They will also identify areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past. Inspections are intended to help homebuyers better understand the condition of the house, as observed at the time of the inspection.
A pre-purchase inspection for a 165 to 205 m² (1,800 to 2,200 sq. ft.) home typically takes about three hours and costs around $500 (price may vary by province). Following the inspection, the buyer is presented with a written report, including all the details of the inspection. The home inspector should be willing to answer any questions a buyer might have and to clarify the limitations of the inspection to avoid misunderstandings. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends that potential buyers accompany the inspector during the inspection. This can be a valuable learning experience.