Importance of Home Inspection – Better Safe than Sorry

I have been shopping for Mississauga homes with a buyer and I have to say that I’m facing an acute shortage of listings for sale. Every good home is receiving multiple offers.

My Mississauga home buyer is pre-approved and he is opting for a conventional mortgage. He trusts my views on price and is not worried about waiving the financing condition in the agreement of sales.

Recently we were bidding on a detached home at the Streetsville Glen neighbourhood in Brampton. This home had two more offers in addition to ours so my buyer asked me if he should remove the home inspection condition.

Well, I did waive my home inspection condition on my personal property when I was in similar situation. But when it comes to giving professional advice to clients, I don’t want them to take a risk or allow their emotions to get in the way of buying a property.

I advised him about the risk associated with such a move. The biggest risk is that if significant defects go undetected, there could be accidents or serious property damage and consequent expenses later. If significant defects come to the forefront during home inspection, you can simply back out before firming up the sale.

Home inspection lasts for about two to three hours and involves thorough examination of the home by qualified inspectors. A report is then drafted out covering details about the findings.

I would advise you to listen closely to what your home inspector has to say during inspection and ask questions to find out more about the home. Problems that usually come to the surface normally regard safety issues, big or small defects, items that need replacement, repair or servicing and areas or items that are suitable for the time being but need to be looked into and perhaps fixed later.

Good inspectors let you know about routine maintenance. Walls are inspected for cracks, leaks, damages, wood-destroying insects and pest control. Foundations are examined for splits, cracks and drainage system. Grading slopes are examined to make sure that water flows away from the house.

Doors, frames, window panes and ventilation are tested within the house and outside in the garage. Water heaters are checked for correct installation to avoid the risk of explosions or accidents later. Roofs are inspected for damage. Loose or broken shingles can cause severe leakage so close inspection is mandatory. Water pipes are checked for pressure or leaks and electrical outlets, wiring and installation are closely inspected. If pipes and wires are frayed, the inspector may recommend replacement, let you know about costing and request for a second inspection once fixed, if necessary.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are tested to prevent fire hazards and efficiency. Good insulation can reduce your energy bills by a fair amount. Kitchen appliances are not always part of the inspection so make sure to check them yourself. The home’s smoke detectors will be tested and garage walls be evaluated for fire rating. Bathrooms will be checked for leaks, ventilation and plumbing. A bathroom that traps in humidity can invite mold and mildew causing severe damage to wooden cabinets later.

Home inspection may not be able to highlight all shortcomings or offer a solution to all damages. But in general, home inspectors can highlight problem areas and strengths, recommend experts to fix those problems and offer cost estimates. They will not check for termite damage, engineering defects, mold or site contamination.

Once the problems are identified, you can choose to have the home seller fix them or bring down the purchase price so you can mend them yourself or simply walk away from the purchase if the contract has an inspection contingency.

Home inspection may take up some time and cost you a bit but you have more to gain and less pain when you move in. Your home involves your life’s savings so it always pays to be safe than sorry.

Just make sure you choose a professional home inspector with a proven track record.

Pre-listing home inspection by the seller can drastically decrease nasty surprises and increase buyer confidence in the home.

A home seller can sometimes also opt to increase his asking price when everything is looked into and enjoy faster, smoother sales.

Most of all, for a seller and buyer, professional inspection offers complete peace of mind since it lessens the risk of accidents, property damage and unnecessary expenses later.

If you are unsure on how to go about it or who to contact, call me any time at 905-339-5111. I am happy to connect my clients to good home inspectors in Mississauga.