You might not know this, but when a seller puts their home on the market, they are responsible for disclosing all defects in the home. However, not many owners are very aware of the issues they might have in their home. Or they might be aware of an issue that might not strike the buyer until a few years down the road, in which the buyer could not seek any recourse. This is why it’s important for a potential buyer to always employ the services of a home inspector.
The average home inspection can lasts about four hours and costs anywhere from $400 to $600. Basically what the home inspector does is visually inspect the structure and components of the home to ensure everything is working and in safe condition. After he is done inspecting the home, the inspector will complete a report post-inspection, in which they outline any issues that should be addressed.
Since home inspections can find critical issues, they can end up saving you thousands of dollars. This is why it’s important to always to have a home inspection before you buy property. Not every home inspector is fantastic, so here are some key qualities to help you narrow it down to the person you will benefit from the most.
References and referrals
Unless you’ve moved from a far away city or town, you probably know of someone who has recently bought a house in your city. So start by asking friends, co-workers or relatives if they know of a great home inspector. If you’re the new kid in your city, and have no one to ask, ask the home inspector for referrals, and then make sure you call them. Also, if you home inspector has a website, check for reviews and testimonials. Sources like Google and Home Stars are two great spots to find honest reviews about a home inspector.
Ontario Association of Home Inspectors Membership
Home inspection in Ontario is an unregulated industry, meaning anyone can claim to be a home inspector. The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors is a non-profit professional society that was established to create a uniform standard for all private home inspectors. Membership is voluntary, but this is a good starting place to find a home inspector who is committed to providing a quality service.
Inspect the inspector
During the inspection, be sure to ask lots of questions. An experienced inspector should know how to explain things properly to you, if you are not experienced with construction jargon. During the inspection, the home inspector should have lots of input on what might be a future issue, and these are things you should keep an eye on further down the road. A home inspector should be able to recommend preventative maintenance tasks for you as well, in order to keep everything running smoothly. After the inspection, the home inspector will often give you a report. In the past this was a detailed sheet, nowadays, they are often as a searchable pdf report that is mailed to you electronically. In that report you will find lots of good information, such as if there is mold, if the basement is leaking, if there are holes in the attic. An estimated repair cost is also included, and from there you can determine if the current home owner can deduct this from their asking price, or pays for the repairs themselves.