Home Inspection Series - Part 7: Home Inspections Gone Wrong!

Home buyers hire home inspectors to help discover deficiencies in the home they are hoping to purchase.  This inspection should reveal all major issues in the home so the buyer understands the condition of the home before they purchase it.  Problems arise when buyers choose to go with the cheapest inspector they can find, don’t interview inspectors before they are hired or don’t investigate the experience of the inspector they are planning to use.  As home inspectors come from various backgrounds and there isn’t any standardization in the industry, without a proper background check, you never can be sure that the person you hire can properly assess all aspects of a home.

Here are a few examples of inspections gone wrong:

Couple A hired an inspector without interviewing any others because he came recommended from a trusted colleague and a discount was offered to the couple.  The inspector was the father of that work colleague who made the recommendation.  He claimed to have extensive experience in the field, so references were not called and a background check was not conducted.  Based on the inspection report, Couple A decided to purchase the home.  Less than 6 months later, the roof was leaking.  “Excellent Condition” was written in the inspection report under the roofing category.  When the client went into the attic to examine the roof from the inside, he could see a beam of light coming through the roof into the attic.  $7,000-$10,000 was the estimate for the reparation to the roof.

Client B purchased an old home for what she thought was ‘a great deal’ because of certain deficiencies (knob and tube, older windows, etc).  When it came time to sell the home less than 2 years later, a more thorough home inspection report conducted by the new buyers revealed 2 major issues that lead to them walking away from the deal.  1) When new duct work was intstalled (before my client bought the home), the contractor, rather than using elbow joints to go around the main floor joists, decided to cut large parts out of the joists to run the duct work compromising the integrity of the entire first floor.  2) An extension was put onto the house without proper permits (once again, before she had bought the home).  The inspection report didn’t mention anything about the extension.  The first spring saw significant volumes of water fill the basement.  When the extension was put on, it wasn’t damp proofed or sealed properly.  This may have been over looked by any inspector, but it should have been mentioned in the report so she could seek out more specialized information.  What the inspector should have noticed was how the exterior foundation wall was knocked out and not properly restored.  She still hasn’t been able to sell her home.        

These clients learned the hard way how important it is to do a bit of homework and ask a lot of questions when hiring a home inspector.  Never hire the cheapest person to inspect your largest investment and be sure to request and check references.   This is not a slight against all home inspectors, as there are plenty of great home inspectors that will provide you with the best possible inspection.  I am just hoping that you do your research and look into the experience of the inspector before you hire him.  Also, be sure to ask your inspector for his insurance and what that policy covers. 

For more information on buying or selling real estate in Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, or Toronto Ontario, or if you have questions about current market trends, mortgages or interest rate information, please visit the Sean Kavanagh Real Estate Resource Centre at www.seansells.ca, or at www.seankavanagh.ca   I'd be happy to answer any questions to accommodate all of your real estate needs.  Follow me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK!  You can also contact me at 905-220-9198 or at www.realestatechat.ca as I am now a moderator on the Ontario Real Estate chat forum as well as the Burlington, Ontario sub-forum.

Sean Kavanagh

Building Lasting Relationships and Exceeding Expectations


Source: AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service and Your First Home Buyers Guide  

Sean Kavanagh

Sean Kavanagh

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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