Making a conditional offer on a home dependent on positive home inspection results makes perfect sense when you consider that buying a home is among the largest financial investments you’ll make throughout your life.
It’s especially difficult to keep an open mind once you’ve already fallen in love with a property. It’s important to remember that, to an untrained eye, staging can do wonders to cover up a house’s deficiencies and shortcomings.
- A home inspection is a wise investment when buying a home – one of the largest purchases you’ll make throughout your life
- All home inspections should include a thorough examination of the home’s structure, foundation, plumbing and electrical systems, windows and roofing
- Find a home inspector with the highest possible level of certification
A home inspector will not tell you whether it makes sense to buy the home. It’s the inspector’s job to provide details about the property that will help you make an informed decision
What does a home inspector do?
All home inspections should include a thorough examination of the home’s structure, foundation, plumbing and electrical systems, windows and roofing. An inspector will alert you to caution areas based on the age of the house as well as specific characteristics, note previous renovations and specify issues that must be addressed immediately versus ones that can be remedied in the future.
It’s important to note, however, that a home inspection will not include a passing or failing grade on a home. Once you’re provided with all the key details – in a thorough report that includes images and video – you have the information at hand to make an educated decision about whether purchasing this property makes sense for you.
When should a home inspection take place?
A home inspection typically takes place once a potential purchaser has made a conditional offer on a property. Before the offer goes through, the purchaser receives information from the home inspection that will enable the purchaser to make a decision about whether buying the home makes sound financial sense based on information contained in the inspection report.
Pre-inspections are also becoming more popular these days. In this case, a seller will order a home inspection before putting the property on the market to ensure they know the current condition of the home, and no surprises arise after an offer is already in place. A seller can also use the inspection as a selling tool that highlights the home’s current condition.
Should I be there to witness the home inspection?
While it’s extremely helpful to be present during the home inspection, COVID-19 safety measures may not make it possible to attend the home inspection with the inspector. The inspector will, however, be available to answer questions after the inspection as well as walk you through the detailed inspection report to ensure you understand the ins and outs of the property before making your final purchase decision.
Do your research and prepare a list of questions to ask your home inspector after the inspection has been completed to ensure you understand the inner workings and current condition of the property
Who pays for the home inspection?
In most cases, the home purchaser orders and pays for the home inspection to ensure they receive an unbiased professional opinion of the inner workings of the home from a qualified home inspector.
Getting a home inspection is money well spent. On average, you’re investing $500 for a 2,000-square-foot home to be professionally inspected and ensuring that big-ticket issues don’t occur down the road that can cost you dearly.
As mentioned above, a pre-inspection may be ordered by the home seller before the property is placed on the market. In this case, of course, the seller would pay for this type of inspection. In many circumstances, the home inspector will return to complete another inspection for a purchaser on the same property at a reduced price to ensure the most up-to-date condition of the home is noted.
How do I find a home inspector?
It’s best to get a referral for a reputable home inspector from someone you trust, such as friends/family or your real estate/mortgage professional. This will enable you to ask questions about the home inspector’s services from people who know both the inspector and the home inspection process.
Should I use a certified home inspector?
Yes. Using a home inspector with the highest possible level of certification is your best choice. While not every jurisdiction in Canada requires certification, every home inspector can become certified. Certification offers added peace of mind that the inspector has the required qualifications to offer a professional, unbiased opinion on the condition of the property you plan to purchase.
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