When you purchase a home, whether it is a new home, or a century home, it is always recommended to get a home inspection!
In this article, I would like to explain to you, how I would explain to my Buyer Clients the process and purpose of a home inspection.
Get To Know Your Home - At the end of the day, the 'brick and motor' of a home is always depreciating. Everything rusts, deteriorates and breaks down over time. A home inspection is like an overall heath report of the home and essentially provides you with a great checklist of things that you should observe and maintain over the years that you'll own the property. These may include cracked or deteriorated caulking around the windows, older plumbing such as cast iron drain pipes or insulation in the attic that has fallen below the recommended R-Value.
Discover The 'Bears' - Like my friend Peter Libicz (Home Inspection Right Away) says, if the above items are squirrels, than the following items are bears. These may include hazards in the attic like Vermiculite which may contain Asbestos. Other hazards in the attic may include venting blocked by insulation which poses a threat for mould.
On the roof the inspector may find missing or severely aging shingles which pose an eminent threat of leaking.
Dangers in the hydro panel may include loose, live wiring or double taps on a breaker.
Perhaps the heating system isn't working, or leaking carbon monoxide.
Poor grading, missing eaves troughs and settling foundations causing cracks, may lend way to water penetrating the home.
These items, I tell my clients, if a prudent home owner knew about, would likely have dealt with them! And therefore, many of these items, had they not been disclosed, or known about pre-offer, become perfectly acceptable negotiable items.
Trust Your Gut (or your Realtors) - Sometimes at the end of a home inspection what become's painfully obvious is that the current owner, or previous owners were Professional DIYer's. Everything the home inspector looked at seemed to be poorly or incorrectly installed. The hydro panel clearly had work done to it that wasn't performed by a licensed electrician, the shingles on the roof were a weekend warrior project, the 'new bathroom' is plumbed incorrectly..
In this case, no amount of negotiating would give you confidence in the home. What's behind the walls? Did they install the insulation incorrectly?
If you feel a little bit sick to your stomach after an inspection, or if you find yourself a little bit angry at the home owner, this might be an indication that you should walk away!
If you have any questions regarding home inspections, I encourage you to contact Peter Libicz mentioned above, or give me a call!
Mike Seiler, Broker of Record
Century 21 In-Studio Realty Inc., Brokerage