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The Importance of a Home Inspection

So, you’ve found a house you love, great backyard, gleaming hardwood, and the kitchen of your dreams; but what about the furnace? The wiring? Leaks in the basement? Before you buy, make sure you have the home inspected. No matter how experienced you are as a homeowner, it’s the best way to make sure you really know what you’re getting into.

A home inspection will give you the information you need to make an informed decision. The inspector will determine the condition of the house you’re thinking about buying and will let you know if there are any problems. The great thing is, the inspector doesn’t care if you buy the house or not, so you can rest assured that he or she is providing you an unbiased report. If you have to make an offer before having a home inspection, make it conditional pending a satisfactory inspection.

If there are any problems, you have three options:

1. Walk away and find something in better condition
2. Use the results to negotiate a better price
3. Give the seller a chance to fix the problem

What Happens During a Home Inspection?

You will meet your agent and the home inspector at the home you’re thinking of buying. The inspector will take about 3-4 hours to carefully inspect the entire house for structural, mechanical or other issues. He or she will examine everything from the roof to the foundation and everything in between, including heating and air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, insulation, roof, windows and doors, walls, ceilings, attic and basement. You may accompany the inspector as he or she goes through the home – it’s a good way to get to know the home quickly.

The inspector then prepares an inspection report that outlines problems, breaking them down into major repairs that need to be done right away and areas that will need attention in the future. He or she will provide accurate cost estimates for each repair, will highlight what is in good standing, and will provide you with an idea of what kind of maintenance you’ll need to do to keep the home in good condition. Be sure that you ask for a detailed report that’s written in a narrative style, never accept a verbal report or one that’s just a checklist.

How Much Does It Cost?

Most inspections cost between $250 and $500. Think of it this way; a few hundred bucks could save you thousands in home repairs. It’s a pretty small price to pay for significant peace of mind.

How Do I Find a Good Inspector?

Look for a reputable, qualified, established company that; can provide references from previous customers, is fully insured and offers guaranteed inspections. Inspectors should be licensed in building-related fields such as contracting, architecture or structural engineering. Your REALTOR® can recommend a reputable, objective inspector at your request, or you can find one through a quick google search.

When you’ve fallen in love with a house, it’s easy to overlook any faults. Save yourself any future heartaches (and headaches), get the home inspected so you can be sure you stay in love for years to come.

Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under license.

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