What is a home inspection, is it required and why is it so important in the buying process? These are questions we get quite often at TRB when representing buyers who are in the final phase of their home search and are getting ready to submit an offer. A home inspection is an inexpensive way to discover the universal condition of a home. The most important reason to conduct a home inspection is to avoid a costly mistake by purchasing a property in need of major repairs. Sometimes the untrained eye can’t necessarily see the issues hidden in some home, so calling in the experts is something we recommend each and every time.
What is the purpose of a home inspection?
Many people can misunderstand the purpose of a home inspection. The main purpose of a home inspection is to give you the information needed to make an informed decision on the purchase.
Most home inspectors focus on the major defects that will cost the buyer a lot of money above the purchase price to repair. Cosmetic items are rarely reported. By bringing these major defects to the buyers’ attention, the buyer can choose to negotiate with the seller with the intent on getting the major components repaired or a reduction in the selling price. Sometimes this can work in the buyers favour, and other times it can’t if the seller isn’t willing to address these issues.
What if there isn’t time for a home inspection?
We’ve been in situations with clients where we’ve found their dream home, but the issue is, the seller is holding back offers and there isn’t an option to include a home inspection as a condition, as this may put us at a disadvantage among the competition. Hopefully the listing realtor has a home inspection on file to share with potential buyers. This would be the best-case scenario, as you’ll have time to review it with your realtor.
Buying a Home Without an Inspection
What if there isn’t a home inspection done in advance by the seller? Your realtor will likely recommend you bring a home inspector with you to your visit to the house. If it’s a house that you are very seriously considering putting an offer in on, this is what we recommend. It’s what we do with our clients. We have great relationships with several home inspectors, and most only need 24-hours’ notice. If it’s something you can arrange in advance, why not have that piece of mind and cover all of your bases before making the biggest purchase of your life.
What’s included in a home inspection?
A comprehensive inspection includes a visual examination of the home from top to bottom, including the heating, air conditioning systems, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure.
Following the examination, the inspector will provide a report that not only points out possible defects or areas of concerns, but also the positive aspects of the structure as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep the home in good shape.
Common Home Inspection Findings
Even the most experienced homeowners lack the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. For example, watermarks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem, or simply may be a result of a single incident.
A professional assessment will provide complete information about the condition of the property you are considering and will help avoid any unpleasant surprises after the sale. In addition, a home inspector can remain totally objective and most times, will be able to walk you through any questions or concerns you may have.