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What Every Buyer Needs to Know About Home Inspections

What Every Buyer Needs to Know About Home Inspections

Why should buyers always get a home inspected?

Let’s start by looking at what a home inspection is (and what it isn’t.) A house inspection is a thorough visual check of what kind of shape a home is in before you buy it. The inspector looks at the house inside and out, assessing whether the structure and other components are working properly and are in safe condition. The home inspection usually focuses on key areas like the roof, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, appliances and structure.

Now for what a home inspection isn’t. Most importantly, it isn’t a guarantee that you won’t have any problems down the road. Inspectors can’t see everything. They don’t know what’s under floors or behind walls and can only give you their opinions on what may be hidden there.

However, even with their limitations, home inspections are an important step in the buying process. They can help you avoid making a costly mistake by buying a property that requires too many big fixes. Here are three of the top reasons every property needs an inspection: 

1.      No home is perfect

You may think that only older homes need to be inspected, but that’s not the case. Whether you’re buying a newly built home or even condo, you should always have it inspected by a professional home inspector. The inspection doesn’t just tell you what needs fixing right away, it will also give you a heads up on any major repairs, upgrades or replacements that will be needed down the road. By seeing what’s coming, you can start budgeting for future renovations. Everything in a home has a lifespan, and important things like furnaces, hot water heaters and appliances will eventually wear out. It pays to know how long you’ve got before that happens. 

2.      Information is power

The inspection comes at the end of the buying process. You make an offer, agree on a price and then set an inspection as one of the conditions. The conditional stage usually lasts seven to 14 days when all of the conditions have to be met before the sale is final. Having a home inspection helps you proceed with the house purchase with your eyes wide open. You may even discover critical problems that make you uncomfortable about going through with the sale. The inspection can give you a legitimate way out of the deal. It can also provide information to use as a negotiating tool to get the seller to either reduce the price or cover the cost of repairs. Your real estate agent will help you determine what kinds of requests you can make and which costs you should expect the seller to cover. 

3.      It’s your chance to ask questions

You’ll get the most benefit from the inspection if you’re there when it happens. A typical inspection lasts one to three hours and it could be one of the best time investments you’ll ever make. For one thing, it’s a great way to get familiar with the house. You’ll get a detailed report, but there’s nothing better than seeing things yourself and asking questions. Those reports are often lengthy and technical. It’s much better to be there so the inspector can show you the problems and explain them face-to-face. To get the most out of the experience, these are a few of the best questions to ask: How serious is the problem? Does a specialist need to be brought in to look at the issue? Which problems should I tackle first? 

Always rely on a professional

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you may ever make. You don’t want to get it inspected by someone who isn’t qualified. A home inspector’s job is complex and requires specialized training and knowledge. You’ll want to find one with lots of experience and a great reputation. A good place to start is with your real estate agent who likely knows and has worked with many great ones over the years. You can also search for a professional home inspector online through organizations like the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors.

 

Still have questions about the home inspection process? Contact us today [LB1] and one of our agents will be happy to help you.

 

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