Home Inspection: Q&A with Experts in the Industry
Buying a home is an exciting time in life that also comes with so many expenses. Future homeowners sometimes choose to omit the home inspection in order to save a couple of dollars. Yet, not getting a home inspection can cost them even more in the long run. Have more questions about home inspections? We have gathered experts in the industry to answer the most common questions about home inspections.
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Why should I have my home inspected?
A home inspection helps home buyers make an informed decision on one of the most important financial and lifestyle decisions they will ever make. For sellers, a professional inspection helps sell their houses quickly and for top price.
Home inspections help all parties understand the condition of the systems and components of the home, reporting on the quality of materials and installation, whether they are performing their intended function, and whether they are at or near the end of their service lives. The consultation provided by a professional home inspector is one of the few services in the real estate transaction that is truly independent and unbiased. Home inspections are also one of the least expensive real estate transactions, and the report becomes a valuable tool for operating and maintaining the home.
A home inspection is basic due diligence and an essential element in a real estate transaction.
— Alan Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Dunlop
Should I be present during my home inspection?
As a home inspector, I always insist that my clients are present during a home inspection that I am performing for them; I insist that my clients go around with me as well. If you, the client, is with me when I discover issues, there is nothing better than seeing it with your own eyes to better understand the implications and the level of severity that is appropriate. This also gives you the chance to ask questions for better clarity of the issue(s) and the possible remedies. A lot of my clients do not know the names of all the components in a home so to read about an issue that they have not seen can be very vague. So if you do not go along on an inspection, you miss out on a lot more than you may think.
My recommendation is to always join the inspector on an inspection and if they do not want you to, then you should find an inspector who will. Don’t cheat yourself of this experience and opportunity of gaining some knowledge about what is likely your largest investment of your life.
— John Hansen, Area Director at HouseMaster
Do you need a home inspection for homeowner insurance?
Insurance companies don’t always require a home inspection in order to get a home insurance policy. In fact, more often than not homeowner insurance companies don’t require a home inspection. Generally, you’ll see home inspection requests more for older homes versus newer homes. During an inspection, the inspection is looking at whether the property is safe (i.e. structurally sound) and will typically give you a list of things you should update and a list of things you have to update.
Whether your home insurer requires one or not, a home inspection is always a good idea. It will help you identify any potential problems in your home and knowing these things in advance will help reduce surprises down the road.
— Matt Hands, Director of Insurance at Ratehub.ca
Who pays for the home inspection: the buyer or the seller?
The home inspection is always paid for by the buyers. It is in fact an instruction manual for their future home and gives them a guide for future maintenance and renovations in the short, medium, and long-term. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a negotiating tool unless a significant issue is discovered that requires action in the near future. In short, home inspections protect the buyers and allow them to make an informed decision.
— David Tardif, Real Estate Broker at Équipe Tardif
Is it necessary to have a condo inspected prior to purchase?
Yes, we 100% recommend having a condo inspected prior to purchase.
Even if the condo is new, there may be major construction defects and the contractor could end up with lawsuits. In the case of an older condo, it is wise to have it inspected because some condo buildings have little or no contingency funds to do work on the building.
This means that the owners and the current buyer will have to split the costs, and the bill could be expensive.
A building always requires a bit of investment, so it is best to budget accordingly, so as not to be caught off guard.
Keep in mind that the common areas are the most expensive parts to repair: roof, foundation, bricks, paint; these are all elements that should not be neglected.
And, as they say, better safe than sorry!
— Geneviève Langevin, Real Estate Broker at Langevin Immobilier
Home inspections are vital parts of buying a home and not going through with them can be costly. Remember that it’s always the buyer who pays off the home inspection and remember to ask your real estate broker for questions related to the topic. Not only will a home inspection help you find any potential issues before buying the home, but it will also guide you towards what needs to be updated in the home urgently to avoid future issues. Thinking of doing a pre-home inspection yourself?
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