A home inspection is an important part of the homebuying process. To determine if the property has any structural problems, hazards, or worn-out systems, you will need to hire a qualified professional. Despite the fact that there is a hot real estate market, more buyers skip inspections. However, this is at their own risk.
An inspection might find a “deal-breaker”, so make sure to read the disclosure statement of the seller and include a home inspection clause in your offer. An inspection will give you an expert’s opinion of the property, and allow you to make informed decisions about the purchase.
A certified home inspector inspects a home to assess its condition. A home inspector will inspect the major components and systems of a home (for example, the furnace, air conditioner unit, and foundation) in order to identify any problems that need immediate attention or could lead to big-ticket repairs down the line.
Inspections of homes are not meant to identify every defect. Inspections are designed to identify safety problems and major issues that need significant repairs. An inspection can help you decide if to proceed with your purchase, or whether to request repairs or credit for repairs.
It is important to understand what your home inspector is looking at. It’s important to do your homework before you go. This will allow you to understand the home inspection report and help you evaluate the condition of the home.
A home inspection in Mississauga may take up to three hours depending on the size and condition of the building. A home inspector will give a written report, a contract of service, and a consumer notice. They encourage buyers to attend the inspection with their agent or real estate agent to discuss the findings and answer questions. If possible, it is best to attend the inspection.
How much does it cost and who pays?
The homebuyer pays for most inspections at the time they are performed. Angie’s List estimates that home inspections can cost between $300 and $450. However, fees may vary depending upon the home’s size, age, and location.
Home inspection checklist
What home inspectors are looking for
Although a professional home inspector checklist may vary in scope, they are focused on the home’s physical components. Your next steps will be easier if you know what your inspection covers.
Items that your inspector will inspect:
- Exterior siding
- Garages and/or carports
- Exterior doors
- Drainage, grading and plants
- Wall coverings, trim and flashing
- Driveways, patios, and walkways
- Balconies, balconies, decks and steps, porches, railings and porches
- If visible, eaves, fascias or soffits
- Roof (including chimneys, and other roof penetrations such as skylights)
- Gutters and downspouts
- Crawl space
- Sump pump
- Above the floor
- Soffit vents
- End louvers
- Ventilation and insulation
- Electric splices
- Exhaust ducts
- Visible plumbing beneath the sink
- Exhaust fan vents
- Shut-off valves
- Built-in appliances
- Visible plumbing beneath the sink
- All fixtures
- Shower head
- Shower caulking
- Exhaust fan
- Doors and windows
- Garage doors and garage operators
- Installed kitchen appliances
- Ceilings, floors, and walls
- Cabinets and countertops
- Stoves and fireplaces that burn fuel
- Water heater
- Fixtures and faucets
- Sump pumps
- Sewage ejectors
- Drain, vent, and dispose of waste systems
- Drops, service equipment, grounding, and main disconnects
- Service cables, raceways, and entrance conductors
- Receptacles, light fixtures and power switches
- Overcurrent protection devices
- Circuit interrupters
- HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) includes thermostats, vents and distribution systems, access panels and insulation.
- Water heater
- Air conditioning
What home inspectors do not look for
Home inspectors generally inspect components that are easily and quickly accessible. The standards of each state are different so make sure to check with organizations like the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors or American Society of Home Inspectors for the exact requirements in your area.
These items are not usually included in a professional home inspection checklist.
- Infestation of rats
- Pests such as termites and Carpenter Ants
- Radon and other airborne dangers are a few examples.
- Low-wattage electric systems (alarm systems, phone lines)
- Accessible areas that are difficult to reach
Additional services may be offered by some home inspectors, including carbon dioxide or mold testing. However, these additional services can come at a cost.
- Locate the right inspector. Talk to your agent or conduct your own research.
- Identify any potential deal breaker: Think about what problems could make it difficult for you to close the deal. These might include mold, lead-based painting, and structural problems.
- Ask for a home inspection contingency. If the inspection uncovers major problems, this will let you walk away from the deal.
- Before you make any offers, review the disclosures of the seller. Examine the disclosures of the seller to identify any potential issues that could lower the value of your property.
The bottom line
A home inspection is a thorough process that provides detailed information about the safety and quality of the property you have agreed to buy. You should remember that an inspection is not the only factor in deciding whether you purchase a home. There will be some issues that need to be addressed regardless. The time and effort spent coordinating the inspection will ultimately pay off by helping you make the best possible decision.