As a Home Buyer 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 is a Home Inspection. The purpose of a home inspection is to accomplish two things.
1. Identify any Major Problems with the House A Home inspector 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.
2. Help you Learn About your Home A home inspector will also identify areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past. A good home inspector will help you better understand the condition of the home, which will teach you how to maintain it. Owning a home is a lot of work- and learning how to take care of it is the only way to protect your investment
What a Home Inspection is not. Home Inspectors conduct visual inspections. They do not look behind walls or underneath floors. They are not specialists and when they suspect there could be other issues with the home will often recommend further inspection (for example, termite or environmental inspection). Home inspectors also do not look for compliance with the Building Code or City By-laws (for example, basement apartments).
The Home Inspection Process A typical home inspection will take 2-3 hours to complete. During this time your inspector will check both the interior and exterior of the home for major problems. A good home inspector will go into the attic and on the roof too. Often home inspectors will take pictures, that will form their written report. In their written report it will document the condition of every major system and component of the home.
What If the Home Inspector Uncovers Something Major? It does happen. Sometimes home inspections uncover big stuff, unexpected stuff (for example a roof that needs replacing, or mould in the basement). At this time you may need to review your budget. You may need to decide if you want to take on these major repairs or would prefer to walk away from the house. Another option is to re-visit the price you offered for the home. In most cases, big issues are already known by the Seller and have been factored into the asking price. But in other situations where a problem was unknown you may need to go back to the Seller and renegotiate on what you now know. A good Realtor should be able to guide you through that process by taking into consideration what we now know, and what the home is worth is the market.
Purchasing a Home is one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make. This is why it’s best to know as much as you can about potential problems before you buy.