Home Inspections – What You Need to Know
What is a home inspection?
An inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a building. If you are thinking of buying a home, condominium, mobile home, or a commercial building, you should have it thoroughly inspected by an experienced, impartial, professional home inspector before the purchase is completed.
Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home or commercial building is one of the largest single investments you will make. You should know exactly what to expect – both indoors and out – in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem, or may be simply the result of a single incident. The inspector interprets these and other clues, presents a professional opinion of the condition of the property to help you avoid unpleasant surprises afterward. An inspection will also point out the positive aspects of the building, as well as the type of maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. You will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently. If you are a s eller, an inspection can identify potential problems that could help you avoid costly repairs, and the inspection is an asset in the sale negotiations.
What does an inspection include?
A complete inspection incldues a visual examination of the building from top to bottom. The inspector evaluates and reports on the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, heating system, central air-conditioning system, visual interior plumbing, and electrical systems, visual insulation, walls, windows, and doors. Only those items that are visible and accessible by normal means are included in the report.
When do I request an inspection?
The best time to consult the Inspector is right after you’ve made an offer on the building. The real estate contract usually allows for a grace period to inspect the building. Ask your professional agent to include this inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the acceptable findings of a professional inspection. When purchasing, it is a good idea to check with the agent to see if the Seller has had a home inspection and if not put in a clause requesting that an inspection be completed by the owner prior to an offer being written.
Can a building ‘fail’ the inspection?
No. A professional inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective real estate purchase. It is not an appraisal of a Municipal code inspection. An inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a building, but will describe its current condition and indicate which items will need minor or major repairs or replacement.
What if the report reveals problems?
If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector.
If the report is favourable, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely! Now you can complete your purchase with ease of mind about the condition of the property and its equipment and systems. You probably learned a few things about the property from the inspection report, and will want to keep that information for future reference. Above all, you can rest assured that you are making a well-informed purchase decision.
Should I attend the inspection?
It is not necessary to be present for the inspection, but it is highly recommended. By accompanying the inspector throughout the inspection, observing and asking questions, you will learn about the building and get some tips on general maintenance – information that will be of great help to you long after you’ve moved onto your new home.