Home Inspection

Do I need a Home Inspection?

We know that the decision to purchase a home, is arguably the most significant decision you will ever make. Unlike the guarantee a buyer receives with most purchases, there's no money-back guarantee or return policy if you're not satisfied with your recently purchased home. 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 make the commitment to buy. While a home inspection might not be necessary in every situation, it is often a useful tool in ensuring you are getting what you pay for. We can answer your questions about home inspections and help determine if one is appropriate in your home purchase.

What Do Home Inspectors Do?

One of the best ways to understand about a home's condition, habitability and safety is to hire a professional home inspector 1. A properly trained home inspector will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect the operability or lifespan of another. Home inspectors will go through the property and perform a comprehensive visual inspection to assess the condition of the house and all of its systems.

How Much do Home Inspections Cost?

A pre-purchase inspection for a 165 to 205 m2 (1800 to 2200 sq. ft.) home typically takes about three hours and costs under $500. Following the inspection, the buyer is presented with a written report, consolidating the details of the inspection. The home inspector should be willing to answer any questions a buyer might have and to clarify the limitations of the inspection to avoid misunderstandings. CMHC recommends that potential buyers accompany the inspector as the inspection takes place. It can be a valuable learning experience.

How do you find a home inspector?

Check the internet, yellow pages or housing or home trade magazines. Ask friends or family members. Your real estate agent may also make a suggestion. However, beware of this. Under provincial regulations for some provinces, and the code of ethics for real estate agents, such agents are not permitted to recommend or provide the name of only one home inspector. They are, however, permitted to provide a list of home inspectors from which you can choose. The only alliance home inspectors should have is to their professional association and their only allegiance should be to the home-buyer.

Choosing the Right Home Inspector

The more experienced a home inspector is, the more they have seen, the more likely it is they will be able to detect any less obvious problems. Seasoned, professional home inspectors will be full-time home inspectors, not renovators or contractors. Look for people who belong to a provincial association and who have taken some courses, such as defect recognition, building sciences or civil engineering, for example. Professional home inspectors are bound by a strict code of ethics and must adhere to specific standards of practice. Home inspectors should have a general understanding of all the various systems and components in a home. Many have practical experience or a background in engineering, construction and related building trades. Keep in mind that at this time, anyone can become a member of a home inspection association. Many associations have different levels of membership. Being an association member does not necessarily mean that a member has successfully completed the certification process. Check to make sure that the inspector has successfully completed the association's certification process.

What should a home inspector provide following the inspection and when will I receive it?

The home inspector should provide a written report reviewing every major home system and component within 24 hours of the inspection. Exterior components include roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces and the foundation, including the grading around it. Interior systems include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling and wall finishes, windows and doors. We would be happy to answer any of your questions regarding home inspections. Visit the “contact us” section of our site.

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