Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. Considering the expense, it’s your right to make sure the house is worth the asking price. The best way to do this is with a professional home inspection. If you want to make a well-informed purchase, then a pre-offer home inspection is the way to go. Here are some reasons why a home inspection is money well-spent.
1. Identify Safety Hazards
Some hazards are well-hidden. A broken stair or sagging ceiling is easy to spot, but things such as toxic mold or radon fly under the radar. Unless you’re specifically testing for these things, then you likely won’t see the danger. A home inspector can test the home for several types of threats, including carbon monoxide. If such hazards are present, then you should have the option of retracting your offer. At the very least, the seller should be willing to rectify the situation.
2. Identify Illegal Structures
Adding rooms or additional structures to a home often requires a building permit. Additions must also be in accordance with local residential building codes. This is important to check because illegal modifications negatively affect the value of a home. Insurance options and taxes will be affected as well. And even worse, you’ll likely be responsible for bringing the house up to code. An inspector can notify you of illegally built additions before you commit to buying the home.
3. House Value
Some houses are considered “as-is” property. These houses are usually available via an auction or foreclosure sale. If possible, never purchase such property without an inspection. Abandoned houses are sometimes full of problems. Copper pipes are often stolen and sold to recycling centres. Copper wiring, gutters, and roofing are sometimes stolen as well. There are also safety hazards to consider, such as mold. Getting the house inspected will let you know what you are or aren’t getting in the deal.
4. Negotiate a Better Deal
A home inspection report works in your favour. If there are issues, then you have room to negotiate. Asking for repairs or a reduced price is a sensible response. With the report in hand, the seller can see exactly what’s wrong with the property. The seller should be willing to work with you on creating a better deal. If the seller refuses to negotiate, then perhaps the property isn’t for you.
5. Help with Final Decision
The home inspection will reveal important information about the property. You’ll learn about everything from necessary repairs to building code violations. Are you willing to deal with the problems? If not, then this is the time to walk away from the deal. At this early stage of the process, you can withdraw your offer without penalty. But if you’re pleased with the inspection, then you’ll feel confident about your decision to purchase.
Home Inspections are worth the Investment
The cost of a professional home inspection is worth the investment. You’ll likely spend $300 or more, but the benefits outweigh the cost. You’ll avoid financial pitfalls, stress, and potentially life-threatening situations. So when making an offer on your next home, make sure the offer includes a home inspection clause.
Canadian home inspectors aren’t strictly-regulated, so it’s best to seek help from a professional association that certifies its members. The National Home Inspection Certification Council is one such organization. Currently, the highest designation is a National Home Inspector (NHI).