Do I Need a Home Inspection?

When you are buying a home, doing a home inspection is pretty much a must-do. Many people scoff at the idea of spending the money on a home inspection, especially because they are already spending so much with the down payment, legal fees and other costs of buying a home. But, it is precisely because you are spending so much money that you need to spend a little more in order to protect your investment.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is where the buyer (or seller in some cases) pays a qualified and certified home inspector, to come into the home and does a limited examination of the condition of a home. They will often look at the following:

· Roof quality

· Drainage issues

· Cracks or other foundation issues

· Erosion issues

· Pests

· Plumbing

· Electrical

· Hazardous Materials (asbestos

· Heating/cooling

· Insulation

By inspecting all of these systems in the home, the inspector can give you a report that tells you if there are any issues and whether they need to be repaired now or what the impact will be down the road.

What if they find something?

If the inspector finds something out of the ordinary and that will be costly to you as the homeowner, you can ask the sellers to either fix the issue or deduct the costs from the price of the home. Another step you can take if the issue is beyond your scope is to walk away. But, you can’t renegotiate or walk away unless you do the home inspection. As well, when you put in your offer, you need to make it conditional upon the results of the home inspection are to your absolute satisfaction. That way, you are free and clear to move on from the home if the results of the inspection don’t meet your needs. No home inspection is going to be completely free and clear of defects, but the peace of mind you’ll get knowing what you need to do is definitely worth the few hundred dollar cost of the inspection.

Doing a home inspection as a seller

Many sellers think that a home inspection is something that the buyer needs to do. But, by paying for your own inspection, you give potential buyers peace of mind before they even put in an offer. You can also fix any issues that might cause a buyer to back out after the offer is already on the table. With a clean home inspection on the table when you put your home for sale, you may sway buyers to purchase your home knowing that small expense is not in their hands.

Needless to say, a home inspection is a bare minimum for a home buyer. For more complex issues, electricians, mould experts, engineers, and other qualified professionals may need to be consulted. Seeking out the expertise of professionals for your home purchase will not come with an expensive surprise.

Karl Hannan is a Sales Representative with Royal LePage Locations North, and a Property Developer.

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