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Of special interest to home buyers
Buying a home is largely an emotional experience. Sometimes it’s love at first sight. But often love is blind, and many buyers learn too late of such unseen conditions as cracked foundations, deteriorated plumbing, worn out heating systems, or dangerous wiring.
A professional home inspection is your best resource in identifying such pitfalls and their consequences, such as:
- costly repairs
You may have some knowledge of construction, or a friend or relative may have a background in plumbing or carpentry, but there is no substitute for the objective eye of a skilled and qualified home inspector who has been trained to look, what to look for, and how to evaluate hundreds of key points throughout the property. Unlike the home buyer whose observations are likely to be partial, the home inspector performs his role with an unbiased attitude and with the best interest of the customer. Keep in mind, a home purchase is one of the largest long term investments of your life. As a result, you need to know as much as possible about your prospective purchase. By identifying existing or potential areas of concern, the inspection report will help secure your investment, avoid post-closing surprises, and provide you with peace of mind. An insightful report is fundamental to making the right buying decision.
When to arrange for a home inspection
As soon as you become serious about the purchase of a home, you should consider a professional inspection. When you come to a decision to purchase a particular house, have a protective clause written into the purchase agreement which provides you with the right to have a home inspection company conduct a complete general home inspection.
Guide to Home Inspections
Home inspections are an essential component for real estate transactions for millions of buyers, sellers, and real estate agents, banks, mortgage brokers, etc. Whether you are shopping for a previously-owned house or a brand new house, an inspection provides insight to the condition of the home you are buying. If you are putting your house on the market, an inspection helps hasten the sale and can generate a higher price. And if you are a real estate agent, a professional home inspection report serves as an ideal marketing tool that also helps protect you against post-closing hassles.
In essence, a home inspection is a visual examination of a house and property. When performed by a qualified professional, it includes:
- A thorough visual inspection of the structure (inside and out, from foundation to roof).
- An examination of all major systems.
- An objective evaluation of the condition of more than 400 items.
- A printed report covering all findings and identifying potential concerns.
The following pages provide a more detailed description of a home inspection and additional useful information on the following:
- Who needs a home inspection.
- What a home inspection is...and is not.
- Benefits of a home inspection.
- Preparing for a home inspection.
- How to choose a home inspector.
Home inspections are an essential component of real estate transactions for millions of buyers, sellers, and real estate agents, banks, mortgage brokers.
What a home inspection IS...
A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the condition of the home and property
The process usually takes two to three hours, during which time the house is examined from the ground up. The inspection includes observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as structural components: roof, attic, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows.
When conducted by a professional, a home inspection covers about 1,000 check-points in approximately 400 items around the home.
Findings should be provided to you in the form of a comprehensive report together with a recommended action. It is vital that such a report includes an objective evaluation of the condition of the home, clearly relating existing defects and indicating potential problems.
and IS NOT...
A home inspection is not an appraisal, and vice versa
An appraisal is the formal process of estimating a property’s value as it relates to a mortgage loan or mortgage insurance. It does not itemize defects or reflect potential problems in the home. Even a CMHC appraisal does not fully attest to the condition of a home. To ensure an objective evaluation of a home’s condition, many lenders encourage home buyers to use private inspection services, and some employers reimburse home inspection fees as part of their relocation programs.
A home inspection report is not a warranty
Because a home inspection is a visual examination of the home and operating systems, it is not technically exhaustive. There is no assurance, expressed or implied, that equipment will not break down at some future date. However, such protection is available when a home inspection is complemented by a home warranty. When the services are used in conjunction with one another, a home warranty covers the items that were serviceable at the time of the inspection and subsequently fail due to normal wear and tear.
A home inspection does not detect every conceivable flaw
It is an inspection of those areas and items that can be seen. Home inspectors cannot see through foundation, floors or walls, and cannot inspect areas or items that are inaccessible and generally do not move furniture.
It is important that you, as the home buyer, be present during the two to three hour inspection. By accompanying the
inspector you will gain additional insight.
- See first hand the condition of each key component throughout the house and property so you will have a
better understanding of your house and of the inspection report.
- All concerns about findings which, on paper, may seem distressing but in fact may be superficial. For
example, the inspector might explain that an alarming noise coming from an appliance can be quieted by some
lubricant; that an unsightly column needs only a coat of paint, or that the problem that caused a water spot has
previously been corrected.
- Learn about the operation of your new home—how the heating system works, how to control pilot lights, how
to turn on various appliances and components, where shutoffs are to save time and avoid frustration. The
inspector can point out maintenance needs and procedures and explain how and when to check items needing
- Have all of your questions and concerns addressed immediately as they arise.
Prior to the inspection, prepare a list of questions or concerns about the property. Relate these to the inspection
company in advance to ensure that such matters will be properly addressed and that any special arrangements can
be made if necessary. Bring your list to the inspection.
What our clients say
"My wife and I were buying our first home and had absolutely no idea what to look for when making the purchase. The Inspector walked us around the house and gave us a detailed description and history of our future purchase. He explained possible problem areas, things needed to be fixed immediately, and things we should be aware of in the future. Not only did he explain these things verbally, he also left with us a report detailing all the things he had talked about and a summary of items he saw as potential problems. Best of all, during the entire inspection he spoke to us in layman's terms so we were able to understand all he told us."
“We especially liked the Inspector attention to detail, and the fact he took the time to point out potential problems."
“I liked having suggestions given to avoid future problems.”