Mike Holmes has put the fear of God in all of us!!
Most homes don't have a structural walls built by the pigs from Angry Birds, or so much mold infestation that the door knobs fall off, or electrical work obviously done by a blind infant. Most are in pretty good shape. Most have been reasonably taken care off.
But the majority of home buyers these days have seen at least one episode of Holmes on Homes and their perception of a home inspection has been distorted. They think the inspection will be a squeaky clean process and they will say yes to the house. Or, something drastic will be identified and they will walk away.
The problem is: a home inspection is not a pass/fail. Something always comes up. Usually it is not drastic. So now what?
A home inspection is kind of like the check up at the doctor you wish you had.
I only go to the doctor when I'm really sick. Which means, I haven't been to a doctor in years. Except one check up. The doctor asked me if I was healthy. I said, 'I think so.' She tapped my belly a few times, listened to my heart (only because I asked), and asked again if I was healthy. She gave me a few tips to maintaining my 'current level of health' and told me that she didn't want to see me again until I was 40. I left feeling pretty good about it.
Later, I started to get a little paranoid at how quick and simple the whole thing was. What if the tiny, almost invisible mole on my leg was cancerous? What if my heart has white guy rhythm? What if my body is riddled with stress fractures but I'm so freakin' tough that they don't bother me?
I'm not saying my doctor did a poor job. I'm just not confident that everything is okay.
I'd feel the same way if about a 10 minute home inspection. Thankfully there are true professionals that give your home a thorough check up.
Recently, I joined Reuben and Jeremy Meyer from A Buyer's Choice Home Inspection for almost 3 hours while they inspected a home for a client. These brothers are so thorough that at one point I thought, 'no one will ever buy a home that these guys inspect - they find everything!' But they explained to me the real purpose of an inspection.
There are 2 reasons for a home inspection:
1. To get a list of improvements/maintenance you should plan on making in the near future.
2. To decide if you want to/can afford take on all of those improvements.
That's where I come in. We'll look at the inspection report together, Reuben and Jeremy also take the time to explain the report to you in detail. We can determine what is important or urgent, or what can wait. From there, I have a list of specialists you can call to get estimates on the cost. Now we can make informed decision on whether or not it makes sense to continue with your purchase, or keep looking.
Everything deteriorates. I ran after my daughter the other day and thought, 'I remember being faster than this.' Just like my once beautiful body, your home is also aging. As you read this, pipes in your home are loosening, your hardwood is separating, and your electrical panel is become more out of date. The same thing is happening to the next home you are going to buy.
As a home owner, you need to be prepared when your home gets the flu. There's no Universal Health Care for your house. The home inspection will be your guide as you budget and plan to 'maintain your home's current level of health.'
As well, a good idea, really super crazy important idea, is to put money away each month just in case - pay yourself a 'condo fee' (more about that in an upcoming blog). If you don't - when Mike Holmes starts ripping your roof off with his bare hands it will be your fault, not the inspectors. Just like if I don't 'eat some vegables once in while' as the doctor said, it will be my fault when this temple of a body falls apart.