Lawyer, Author and Speaker to the Real Estate Industry, Mark Weisleder, recently wrote an article in the Toronto Star, titled, “20 things to look for in a home inspection”. See below for some great tips from Mark.
To avoid disappointment or surprise defects in your new home, be sure to conduct a home inspection. Sellers do have an obligation to disclose known defects however; the system is ‘far from perfect’ as Mark points out. Before and during a home inspection, buyers can take certain steps and precautions to ensure that there are no surprises on moving day.
- Ensure all electrical outlets are in working order
- Check all windows to make sure they open and close
- Ensure that flooring is in good condition (look under beds and under area rugs)
- Make sure you take a good look at appliances, paying attention to signs of rust or defects
- At the beginning of the home inspection, start the dishwasher. Check for signs of leaking once the dishwasher has ran through its entire cycle
- Test all burners on the stove, and run the oven. Use a thermometer to see if the oven reads its intended heat
- Check the microwave. Run it for 45 seconds with a cup of water; is the water heated?
- Check each toilet. Ensure that the toilet is not running after it is filled
- Be sure to check all sinks, tubs and showers for proper drainage and water flow
- Consider running all the faucets in the house at once and then flushing a toilet upstairs to see whether the water pressure slows or stops in any of the sinks (this could indicate a problem)
- For older homes, a separate sewage inspection can be conducted
- Look under the water heater for any leaks or stains on the floor
- Inquire about the age of the air conditioner and when it was last serviced
- Find out if the owner has a plan with a gas company to inspect their furnace once a year. If so, find out when the last inspection was
- If there are any additions on the home, find out if there were any upgrades to the heating and cooling systems to accommodate for the extra living space
- Check ceilings for any notable water stains (this could indicate leaking from the roof or plumbing systems)
- Ask your inspector to check the roof for any broken or cracked shingles. Also check the eaves. If there is any concerns about the roof, consider bringing in a roofing contractor for further examination
- Consider arranging a separate inspection for mould or termites, as these are sometimes not visible during a regular home inspection
- Ask the seller and the seller’s agent if there are any known hidden defects that are not visible to the eye. They have an obligation to answer truthfully
- Consider buying an ‘after-sale warranty’.
Being prepared and informed can help you to be better protected against any costly surprises.
For any real estate assistance in the Oakville, Burlington, Milton area contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org