The home inspection is one of the most important steps during the purchase process. This goes for both new constructions and old homes. There are a few reasons why the home inspection is of the highest importance.
Reasons Why a Home Inspection is Essential
The first reason it that it helps to reveal defects before you buy. Even if the seller is completely forthcoming, there are things they may not have noticed. When you sign on the bottom line, there is little that can be done about things that you didn’t catch. That is why an inspection is so important.
Secondly, it helps in your final decision. Knowing ahead of time about potential repairs or innovations can have an impact on your decision to buy. Sure, it is a chance to get what you want out of the house. At the same time, it is also a hassle and a large expense to have to take on renovations or repairs. An inspection will at least give you the option.
Lastly, it helps you to make an offer. In a buyer’s market, know of the negatives and the price to fix them is leverage. Having leverage in negotiations can help you when it comes to negotiating the price down with the seller.
What to be Aware of During an Inspection
Home inspectors will look for things that aren’t always clear to the naked eye. It is important that you find a recognized Canadian home inspector. Moreover, find one that has performed inspections in the area that you are looking to buy.
The more experienced the home inspector, the better. A quality home inspection will uncover plausible concerns that could be related to the area you are looking. Again, you want to cover all of your bases to protect your potential investment.
When the inspection has been completed, you will be given a building inspection report. This report will illustrate any safety issues, major concerns, or repairs that need to be made. This also includes items to monitor, potential improvements, and deferred costs. The latter are items that have either reached or are close to reaching their functional expectancy. These items will likely require repair or replacement in the near future.
Keep in mind that a home inspector likely can’t view the entire property. If weather conditions are also less than optimal, it can hinder some portions of the inspection. Inspectors will usually require a potential buyer to sign a waver.
When it comes to the waver, read it over carefully and be sure that you’re satisfied with the terms. Also, make sure that your inspector is available to answer calls, questions or concerns that may arise over the inspection report.
Completely Check the Exterior in Your Home Inspection
It is important that your home inspector climb the roof, into the attic, and into the basement. This is to look for cracking or insufficient insulation and to be certain that the heating registers are adequate and up to code.
Also, have the inspector explain items that you might not understand. Ask all the questions you need because this is the biggest purchase that you will make. Make certain to locate the shut-off valves, the water metre, and the breakers. Turn lights off and on, check the vents, windows, ducts, etc. Leave no stone unturned: an average home inspection takes about three hours.
Get a Home Appraisal, Too
In addition to the home inspection, a home appraisal will usually be required if you plan to use the home as a rental or are looking for a variable rate mortgage. A home appraisal is not the same as a tax appraisal. The latter is conducted by the city or town where the property is located.
It also doesn’t hurt to do research on the property yourself. Look at flood maps on city websites to ensure that you are not in a high flood risk area. Take a look at the slop or grade of the property to see if it increases the risk of water in the basement. Put an inquiry in with the water services department to see if there have been water or sewage problems at the property.
The idea here is to be thorough. It may seem like overkill, but much like the home inspection, it is to ensure that your investment is protected. There are no dumb questions, and nothing is a waste of time.
On the municipal police services pages, you can even observe crime rates in neighbourhoods and compare them. This will allow you to know how safe the area that you are potentially moving into actually is.
A Home Inspection Can Save You Money
No matter what condition the home is in, you can expect at least basic fixes and small repairs. This is in addition to any cosmetic changes that you want to make. This might include painting, backsplash, cabinets, etc. As a rule, cosmetic changes are less costly and risky than major concerns. A major concern would include the water heater, furnace, plumbing, or foundation.
Be prepared to put around one percent of the value of the home into fixes and upkeep each year. And remember that shortcuts will almost always lead to bigger expenses down the line.
Keep an eye out for smoke and mirror tactics. Also be aware of homes that have been renovated to mask larger problems and always purchase for practicality over aesthetics. Changes can always be made to match your tastes, but the location can’t be.