Home inspections are a common part of home buying. But are they really necessary? In almost all cases, the answer is yes. Sometimes your lender will insist upon it. Your home is an investment to them, and they don't want any surprises that will lower the value of that investment. Insurance companies also sometimes require inspections to locate problems which might be a big enough threat to the home their policy is protecting.
But beyond that, house inspections are just incredibly useful, potentially saving you huge repair bills and the headaches that go with them. And, overall, it's really a drop in the bucket in comparison to what you're paying for your new North Calgary home.
What a Home Inspection Is
What is a home inspection? What does a home inspection consist of? A home inspector will thoroughly inspect the house over the span of two or three hours. The study will be intense, focusing on major appliances and systems. One thing they won't do, however, is investigate things which are not readily accessible. They will not, for example, cut into a wall to look at electrical wiring.
The inspector will then draw up a detailed report listing defects and the degree of the problems. They will also recommend which things can be repaired and which need replacement. Finally, the inspector will indicate whether the problem is a safety hazard, which should be the first problems for you to address. The report may include photos to better document the issues at hand.
Why Home Inspections Are Important
Knowing what to expect from a home inspection is tough. If the defects are severe enough, you may simply not want the home at all. Buyer contingencies commonly allow a buyer to back out in the case of a poor inspection review. It also gives the buyer leverage. They can insist the seller make repairs or else grant a discount on the price of the home or Calgary condo so the buyer can address the problems themselves.
Always Accompany the Inspector
Home inspectors often give tips on how to maintain inspected systems and appliances, so the inspection is also a learning experience for the buyer. The buyer should absolutely accompany the inspector on the tour so problems can be highlighted in person and suggestions can be made. It's much easier to understand what the inspector is highlighting if you can actually interact with it, rather than just studying photos.
Finally, don't be afraid to ask questions. The point of this exercise is to put concerns to rest. If you're not understanding something, or you feel something hasn't been satisfactorily addressed, you are absolutely within your rights to inquire.
Can You Do It Yourself?
You may feel this is something you can do yourself, particularly if you regularly do a lot of home maintenance. However, you probably do not have enough knowledge to cover all of the different things which need to be inspected. Most people don't know what to look for in a home inspection. You may be great on working on the electrical system, but can you inspect a roof, check venting systems, look in the right places for signs of mould, and identify problems with your foundation?
Moreover, the clause in your purchase agreement often only applies if a professional home inspector performs the inspection. You not being happy with the state of the refrigerator typically earns you no extra rights.
Home inspections are an important part of protecting your new home. Don't think you can do it yourself. Unless you have many years of experience in the real estate inspection world, it absolutely pays to have a home inspection done.