The purchase of a home is one of the biggest investments people will make in their lifetimes. But it is also among the greatest sources of anxiety. A home inspection helps ensure homebuyers of the quality of their investment by making them aware of its condition and alerting them to any concerns. This can serve to relieve stress, increase confidence and even reduce the threat of legal action in the future.
What does the home inspector do?
A home inspection is a comprehensive visual examination of the home’s overall structure, major systems and components. A qualified home inspector inspects, reports and makes recommendations in regards to the home's safety and major systems such as the structure, roof, attic, ventilation, plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling, grading, siding, drainage, and so much more.
Should I attend the home inspection?
It is recommended that potential homebuyers accompany the inspector as the inspection takes place. It can be a valuable learning experience. You can also take this opportunity to get more familiar with your new home, to take measurements of rooms and/or windows. More importantly, you can ask your home inspector questions on the spot.
How long does a home inspection take?
A professional home inspection usually takes between three and four hours, depending on the size, age and condition of the house. It is critical that the inspector can access all areas and/or systems. If certain areas are inaccessible, the inspection can be hampered and take longer than necessary. The client may need to reschedule and pay for a return visit to the site.
Hiring Home inspector
Take care to hire a fully trained, professional home inspector. Interview several and ask if they are members of a trade organization such as the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors and if they have Errors & Omission Insurance.
What type of report should I expect?
The inspector will give you an inspection report which detaisl property conditions. Carefully review the limitations contained in the report since the inspector can only report the condition of what s/he sees. 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.
Some of the benefits of a home inspection:
Knowledge: Understanding exactly what you're buying - old or new
Peace of mind: Helps in making a sound buying decision
Savings: The home inspection reveals the need for repairs or replacements before you buy
Fewer surprises: The home inspection limits the number of problems you may discover after you move in
Education: A good home inspection also gives you invaluable details about your new home in addition to information about the condition of the property. You'll learn where the main shutoff valves to the utilities are located, how the house operates and more!