Because they aid cautious investment, home inspections have become part and parcel of the standard real estate transaction. Whereas before only around a quarter of home sales included an inspection, now nearly 100 percent do.
Despite this surge in popularity, many home owners and home buyers are unfamiliar with the exact nature of home inspections. To help demystify this growing component of the real estate business, here are some facts that can help guide your home inspection decisions.
Not Getting a Home Inspection is Risky
Neglecting to get a home inspection is akin to gambling. Most laws expect the home buyer to exercise “due diligence,” which means finding out as much about the Red Deer real estate property as possible before you finalize your purchase. Should you discover an issue with the home several months or even years after a sale, getting your money back is practically impossible.
A home inspection can help prevent these sorts of problems early on. You can tell the home owner to fix the issue or lower their price as a contingency of the sale.
The reason many home buyers neglect to have an inspection is because they feel pressured to make a hasty offer. In a situation where several buyers are interested, contingencies can halt a bid dead in its tracks.
Some overzealous buyers will opt to skip the inspection to cozy up to the seller and get their bid accepted. Often, a lower offer will edge out the competition. This decision can easily come back to haunt you.
Home Inspectors Must Be Qualified
There are several organizations responsible for regulating home inspections. Per British Columbia law, an inspector must have some sort of certification or membership with one of these boards in order to practice business.
Always ask to see an inspector’s credentials and what organization they are affiliated with. You can also ask for references to learn even more about someone’s past work experience.
Not All Inspectors Will Give You the Same Information
While every inspector is required to undergo at least 150 hours of official training before becoming a home inspector, the law does not specify which type of training is required. Additionally, every home inspector may have a different background and area of expertise.
Because of these two facts, one home inspector’s area of emphasis may be completely different than another’s. Even though both will have a “laundry list” of important criteria to evaluate, one inspector may be more adept at spotting issues with a foundation, for instance, while another may be better at estimating roof longevity.
Take the time to read up on the location type of house you are buying to determine which areas are your prime concern. Ask for a home inspector that has the know-how to effectively evaluate these areas in as much depth as possible.
There are even more strategies to help you find a home inspector that works for your needs. We will cover these in part II.
For general advice on buying a home, take a look at our buying page.