If you are looking into buying a house and settling down, you may want to take extra efforts to ensure the house is in the best possible condition. This is why it’s not surprising that home inspection is becoming more prominent in the current real estate market.
The higher house prices go, the more concerned buyers become about the quality of their purchase. They want to make sure that the property is in a good condition and that it is worth the money they are paying. Beyond the monetary aspect, they are looking for a safe, secure and cozy place for their (future) family. This investment is not something people take lightly.
If you are still unsure of whether you need to hire a home inspector, here are a few key things to think about!
1. Understand the condition of the house
The main goal of a house inspection is to report on a home condition, which includes identifying potential future problems and safety concerns, and describing the general state of different parts of the house (structure, construction, plumbing, and other key home components).
Home inspection is designed to help buyers make informed decisions about their home purchase, ensuring that the physical condition of the house is on par with what the house appears to be.
Typical home inspection reports will pinpoint both major defects and minor problems with a property. Qualified home inspectors will be able to offer suggestions on how to deal with some of those defects. At the end of the day, the buyer is the one who makes a final decision; but a house inspection gives him/her a more thorough understanding of property conditions and potential future issues.
2. Spend now to save later
Some buyers don’t want to invest into a home inspection, stating that it falls under ‘extra expenses’ on top of their house purchase. In reality, a home inspection adds more value for property buyers than they realize.
Identifying issues prior to the house purchase can save buyers a lot of money in the long run.
Finding out about water leakages and/or non-working appliances after the purchase can lead to unexpected and pricey repairs down the road. In this case, a home inspection is an investment into the buyer’s future, as it allows them to plan ahead, or even to request the seller to do the repairs before the deal is struck.
And if you happen to be one of the cases where an inspection showed no major home defects, that will only give you peace of mind and confidence in the property you are getting.
3. Contribute to a smooth purchase
Conducting a home inspection before purchasing a home can help answer a lot of questions about the property, making it easier for both the buyer and the seller to agree on the market value of the house.
If major issues are identified in the home inspection report, the buyer has a basis to ask for a lower property price or to advocate for the repairs to be done prior to the purchase. On the other hand, seeing that no major repairs are needed in a home can make it easier to accept the house price. Having access to accurate information about the house condition puts everything out in the open and allows both parties to have a fair and easy negotiation process.
Pick your Home Inspector Wisely
We may understand the importance of a home inspection, but that is just the beginning. It is crucial to ensure that your house inspector is truly prepared and qualified to conduct property inspections.
Some questions to ask your home inspector could be:
- What is included in a home inspection?
- Can you (the buyer) be present during a home inspection?
- How and when can you receive the home inspection report?
- How many years of home inspection education and/or experience does the inspector have?
- Do they have a licence and/or membership with the local provincial association?
Currently, not every Canadian province requires home inspection professionals to obtain licenses. If your province has no provincial regulation for house inspectors in place, it is important to make sure that your home inspector has the education and practical experience necessary for the job. Generally speaking, membership with a local professional association adds credibility to a home inspector, since most professional associations require a certain amount of work experience, education or a combination of those factors from home inspectors before they can obtain their membership.
British Columbia was the first province to introduce mandatory licensing for home inspectors in 2009. In order to become a home inspector in BC, the candidate has to go through an extensive education process, designated exam and practical training, on top of other requirements. To learn more about other requirements, please go to our earlier post that explains what it takes to get home inspector license in BC.
Make sure to learn more about the inspector’s qualification before hiring them for your property inspection.