What you need to know about home inspections
What you need to know about home inspections
Have you ever found yourself wondering what exactly a home inspector does, whether or not it’s worthwhile, who is responsible for covering the cost of a home inspection, or even if it is mandatory in BC?
Buying a home is a big deal, and we’re here to help you understand the home inspection process so you can have confidence in your buying decision!
IS A HOME INSPECTION WORTHWHILE?
Buying a home is a life-altering experience and as such, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the process! Unfortunately for many home buyers, looks can be deceiving. The old adage of putting “lipstick on a pig” is often a risk associated with people looking to purchase a new home.
Behind your beautifully renovated home could be a plethora of problems that cost you a fortune to fix. Though many of us like to live life on the edge, getting a home inspection will act as a bungee cord should you choose to take the jump into home ownership.
Find the right home inspector today!
WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTOR DO?
Home inspectors are responsible for examining both the interior and exterior of a home and compiling a list of anything that is wrong or could potentially go wrong in the near future. After concluding the home inspection, you should be provided with a detailed report of their findings (this should include pictures!), as well as an estimate of when certain projects should be repaired or replaced in the future.
We’ve compiled a list of some key areas that a good home inspector should check below!
- Check every electrical outlet, switch, and the fuse/breaker panel to ensure wiring was done properly and legal safety standards were met
- Test fixtures and faucets to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they have adequate water pressure (look underneath fixtures for signs of water damage)
- Inspect drainage sumps, sump pumps and sump piping
- Open and close all windows to ensure proper function
- Check floors, walls and ceilings for any visible defects
- Inspect the exterior doors, including the garage door and siding
- Inspect the foundation and basement for any water leakage
- Inspect the houses heating and cooling systems
- Examine attic and any crawl spaces to assess insulation
- Examine all closets and under the stairs
- Inspect chimneys and flues (if the home has wood-burning appliances, hire a Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) certified inspector—this step is typically required by home insurance companies
- Examine the homes exterior gutter and drainage systems
- Investigate exterior for any structural defects or signs of weather damage— this should include checking the structures roof, eavestroughs, soffits, and fascias for issues or damage
- Look for any issues with exterior decks and railings
- Investigate the foundation and framing for any shifting and cracking
- Check surrounding vegetation, how the property is graded, and surface drainage
Though this list is very comprehensive, it is important to understand and recognize the limitations that home inspectors may have. They can’t just put holes in walls or rip up the existing floors to diagnose prospective problems (there’s laws against that).
Their professional insights are more-so a “best guess” after carefully taking into account the various factors listed above.
As a best practice when buying a home, it is important to have an emergency fund set aside in case you discover asbestos, knob and tube wiring, or unavoidable fixes.
WHO COVERS THE COST OF AN INSPECTION & ARE THEY MANDATORY?
Typically, the buyer is responsible for covering the cost of a home inspection unless there have been alternative arrangements made with the seller. Inspection cost varies depending on a number of factors such as square footage, age of the home, and location—however, as a benchmark expect a three hour inspection to run about $500.
Home inspections are not required as part of buying or selling a home, however, the hundreds of dollars spent on an inspection often pales in comparison to the benefits a buyer will receive from an inspection. Not only will an inspection help inform buyers as to potential problems that may arise down the road, but it provides leverage when negotiating the price of a home.
Want a realtor that will help you leverage your home inspection results?
When navigating the intricacies of the buying process, the team at Bryan Van Hoepen Real Estate will not only help you make sense of your home inspection results, but we will assist you in finding the right home inspector to fit your unique needs. Don’t make costly mistakes when purchasing your home, give us a call today and get peace of mind knowing we’re in your corner to help you negotiate the best results for your dream home!