A home inspection clause is common on Agreements of Purchase and Sale, and allows the buyer a designated time (typically 5 business days) to have an inspection done at their own cost. Inspections range in price depending on what needs to be inspected; there is an additional cost for septic inspections and other specialty services.
Qualified home inspectors check for structural stability and issues with water penetration, leaks and cracks, mould, insulation levels, windows and doors, electrical and plumbing, roofs, attics and HVAC, and will often provide a written summary of their findings. It is important to note that there are things that inspectors cannot see or detect and buyers need to budget for the unexpected.
Here are a few things to be aware of:
SEWER LINES – Partially blocked or damaged sewer lines are unlikely to reveal themselves to a home inspector. Like some illnesses, these problems don’t manifest overnight. Running water through the fixtures and flushing toilets for a short time may not be adequate to reveal a serious problem. Inspectors will likely be able to determine the type of drainpipe and it’s approximate age, and they may also look for trees in the line of the sewer pipe that could cause damage.
ELECTRICAL - During the inspection, an inspector will look at the electrical panel, the service, type of wiring and test the outlets throughout the house. They are looking to ensure that the service is adequate, find out if there is aluminum or knob and tube wiring, and ensuring that outlets are grounded. In some cases further investigation from a licensed electrician may be required.
While inspections are intended to identify any issues with the home they are also a great education for the prospective home owner on how to keep the house running year round.