Why Do You Need A Home Inspection?
Once you find the home you have always dreamed of, secured your mortgage pre-approval and began mentally unpacking all your family treasures, what is the most important step before you should sign on the dotted line? Two words you should remember, Home Inspection. It’s tempting to try to snap up the house before anyone else, making your offer more attractive and waiving a home inspection. However, you need to make sure that your home is in top condition or at least be fully aware of any changes, repairs or upgrades you will need to make in the next couple of years so you can plan accordingly.
When you have settled on price with the seller, the home inspection will let you know that the home is really worth the asking price inside and out. It will make you aware of any structural problems or issues that lie below the surface, where potential buyers can’t see them. Perhaps a home inspection will even reveal problems unbeknownst to the seller. This is not to say that an inspection will uncover every single issue, but will definitely give you a fuller picture of what you are purchasing so you can make an informed decision.
A home inspector is responsible for conducting a visual, non-invasive examination of the condition of the home and then writing a detailed report and submitting it to the buyer. Inspections should include all the accessible major components like the exterior of the structure, heating/air conditioning systems, condition of the roof, electrical systems, plumbing and insulation.
Here are the top issues overlooked by buyers and typically covered by a home inspection. This list should help you know what to watch out for:
1. Leaky Roof – Repairing or replacing the roof of your new home can be quite costly, it is important to know exactly when it was replaced last and what condition it is in at the time of purchase.
2. Faulty Appliances – If items like the fridge, stove, dishwasher etc. are to be included in the sale of the home, a home inspection will include checking that all major appliances are functioning properly.
3. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning – These systems are an integral part of the safety and comfort for you family on a daily basis, an inspection will ensure that all systems are running properly and have been well maintained.
4. Siding and Window Damage – Repairs needed on the external surface of your home can affect the interior of the home and will be an added cost down the line if you are not prepared.
5. Beneath the Surface – You don’t want to assume that a home that has new carpet or wainscoting will be pristine underneath. Buyers can seek permission from the seller to remove superficial facades for the inspector to take a deeper look. It will give you peace of mind to know that there are no surprises like rotting floorboards or patches of mould.
6. Mould – This is often a silent problem that could potentially cause long-term health effects. Improperly vented bathrooms, lack of insulation in the attic, cracked window frame seals; faulty ventilation ducts and damp crawlspaces are common areas that attract mould. Although not all mould is dangerous enough to call of the purchase of a home, it should be part of your decision making process when you consider cost and effort to clean up any part of the house that contains mould.
7. Rodents – The beautiful home that you want to purchase and build a life in, may look amazing from the outside, but may have some creepy unwelcome houseguests. Mice, rats, bats and raccoons are some common rodents that may have entered the home undetected and left some nasty droppings or caused damage to the attic, electrical wiring and insulation or inside the walls.
8. Substandard Modifications – Sometimes a previous owner has tried to add an extra bedroom or bathroom in the basement, built a deck, installed a hot tub or skylight. Perhaps they didn’t secure the necessary permits, cut corners or unknowingly skipped a step. A home inspection will make sure that any structural modifications are up to code and properly engineered. Upgrades can add to the value of a home, but only if they have been done with the proper permits and to a professional standard.
If you decide that you are interested in purchasing a home and the home inspector discovers any issues that will require repairs or replacements, it's up to you to hire a professional to check it out and give you an estimate of what it will cost to take care of the problem. It may cost you a few hundred dollars up front to have a clear understanding of what will be needed in your home before making an offer. But that's a small price to pay, compared to the thousands of dollars that unreported or unresolved problems could cost after the sale has been finalized.
The Hisey-McDermott Team
Century 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
467 Speers Road, Oakville, ON L6K 3S4
p: 905-845-9180 x 230