As there are not currently any provincial or federal standards that home inspectors must adhere to, home buyers must be vigilant when going through the interview process. A growing number of real estate professionals feel that home inspectors should be regulated to protect consumers throughout the home buying process. While most real estate agents will have a home inspector to refer to you, it is important to get an unbiased home inspector. Protect your future real estate investment by learning more about the home inspection process.
What is a home inspection?
The Government of Ontario defines a home inspection as “an on-site, in-person examination of a home’s condition and structure. It is a visual inspection of major elements and systems, like the foundation, the electrical and plumbing systems, the attic ventilation and the roof.”
Expect the following to be examined during a home inspection:
- doors and windows
- roof (if they are able and it is safe to do so)
- exterior walls
- plumbing and electrical systems (where visible)
- heating and air conditioning systems
- ceilings, walls and floors
- insulation (where visible)
- ventilation systems
- drainage away from buildings, slopes and natural vegetation
- overall assessment of structural integrity of the building(s)
- common areas in a condominium
Remember, if something doesn’t come back as it should on the home inspector report your realtor should be able to help you negotiate new terms with the seller. Your real estate agent is there to serve your interests first and foremost.
DO interview home inspectors yourself
DON’T assume your inspector has insurance
DO interview multiple home inspectors
DON’T wait until the last minute
DO ask friends and family for recommendations
DON’T pick an inspector if they are not a good communicator
DO confirm that your inspector has Errors & Omissions insurance
DON’T automatically skip a home inspection for a condo purchase
DO check credentials and references
Photo via CBC.