Frequently Asked Questions
What is a home inspection?
It is a thorough, in-depth visual examination of the structure and operating components of a home by an unbiased professional. Its primary objective is to uncover major defects or system inadequacies so informed decisions can be made by all parties involved.
It should not be confused with an appraisal, a municipal code inspection or a guarantee of any kind.
Who needs a home inspection?
A Home Buyer generally benefits from an objective view of a prospective home’s condition by avoiding unwanted surprises in the form of necessary repairs, safety hazards and the long term implications of overall building integrity.
A Home Seller can also benefit from inspection information which allows them to comply with disclosure laws, correct unrealized problems before showing and prevent potential liability.
A Home Owner that didn’t get an inspection at the time of purchase can gain insight into their homes condition and acquire the information needed to maintain and preserve the home.
When should I call for an inspection?
Once you have made an offer to purchase and it has been accepted by the seller, it is generally a good idea to write an “inspection clause” into any offer. As a courtesy to the seller, the sooner you can schedule your inspection the better.
How quickly can I expect my inspection once I’ve called?
Generally within 24 to 48 hours.
How long will the inspection take?
Two to three hours depending on the size of the house and weather conditions.
Should I show up for the inspection?
By all means – the inspector can take you step-by-step through the home inspection. The key difference between the trained and untrained eye is not so much the power of observation but rather the power of interpretation. Is that freshly painted basement floor a good thing or an attempt to cover up an expensive seepage problem?
A walk through with your inspector can also familiarize you with the location of key elements such as meters, gas & water shut-off valves and electrical boxes. Questions are always welcome and the dialogue will give you insight into items outlined in the Property Inspection Report which is reviewed at the end of the inspection.
How much will the inspection cost?
Most home inspections run between $285 - $300 due at the time of inspection. The exact amount will be disclosed in the Pre-Inspection Agreement.
Is it necessary to have a brand new home inspected?
Most definitely! The fact that a home is new means systems are factory tested but not “family tested”. Builders are generally happy to come back and repair such items when made aware. As well, any finishing touches that aren’t just right should be resolved before you start moving in – and questions arise about the source of an imperfection.
Are there any limitations to the home inspection?
Yes – when you consider 3/4 of a homes components such as electrical, plumbing or insulation are concealed, a visual inspection of these elements is not possible. Furniture or weather conditions may further restrict the inspectors ability to view all that should be viewed. A pledge of thoroughness with all accessible parts of the property is the most any inspector can do. Any limitations will be noted in the Property Inspection Report.
If something bad shows up will my home inspector counsel me on whether or not it is a good investment?
No. No house is perfect, and each buyer is unique in their ability to deal with problematic areas. Can you fix it yourself? – Can you afford to have it fixed? – Is everything else about the home so right that you’re willing to live with this problem? These are the type of questions you must answer.
Our wise counsel is to give you as much information as possible to make a good investment decision and have peace of mind regarding your final selection. Home buying is a very emotional experience. Our job is to help you deal objectively with the non-emotional realities of a particular parcel of real estate – and weigh out the facts.