So you’re interested in buying a home but want it to be inspected first. What now? The next step is to hire a professional home inspector. Professional home inspectors are experts in their field. Even if you think you have a good eye, there are likely things you wouldn’t even think to check. A professional home inspector knows exactly what they’re doing. For peace of mind, we recommend hiring a home inspector. In this article we have Gabor Makula, owner of the Collingwood Home Inspector and the Barrie Home Inspector, give his professional opinion on how to choose a home inspector.
Be prepared to answer a few questions your home inspector might have for you. Such as:
- What is the estimated age of the home?
- Were there any renovations or additions done? If yes, what were they?
- Is it a single-family home?
- Is the basement finished or unfinished?
Finding the Right Home Inspector
Finding the right home inspector is like finding the right contractor or electrician. Not all professionals are on equal footing, which is why it’s important to assess a potential candidate’s experience and qualifications. For example, you can ask your potential home inspector if they’ve earned any certifications in their trade, You can also ask how long the inspector has been in business and search for reviews or testimonials online.
Attend Your Home Inspection
You’ve done your research, you’ve hired a professional home inspector, and your home inspection is just around the corner. One final piece of advice for the home inspection process is to attend your home inspection. You might think there’s no reason for you to be present during the inspection, but this would be a mistake. In fact, not only do we recommend that all buyers be present during the inspection, but we also recommend they invite their real estate agent or broker to come along. The reason for this is that home inspections are complex and there might be parts of it that you don’t understand. For example, you might have questions about the home inspector’s findings or the severity of the issues uncovered, or you might find it difficult to decode the terminology they’re using. If your real estate agent is there, they can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the entire process.
What to expect on inspection day
On the day of the inspection, the inspector performs an initial site evaluation. Then the inspector takes you on a tour to point out the assets as well as any potential problems. Pay attention, watch, ask questions and learn. A thorough inspection can find problems related to water entry, roof leaks, insect infestation, unsafe wiring, failed septic systems, poor plumbing, wet basements, mold and mildew, and safety hazards.
At the end of the inspection, you receive a written report detailing all the findings. The report should contain photographs and descriptions of any damage or defects found during the inspection as well as details on the location of damage. Pictures help you understand the scope and location of the damage, and visual proof makes it easier to get repair estimates.
So how can an inspector have expertise in so many different things? The simple answer is: Some don’t. That’s why it’s important to check an inspector’s background and references.