A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. This makes the buyer aware of what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and over time. If a buyer isn't comfortable with the findings of the home inspector, it usually presents one last opportunity to back out of the offer to buy.
A home inspection can detect safety issues like radon, carbon monoxide, and mold, which all homes should be tested for. Make sure that your home-buying contract states that should such hazards be detected, you have the option to cancel the offer to buy.
Toronto home inspections can reveal whether rooms, altered garages or basements were completed without a proper permit, or did not follow code, according to Chantay Bridges of Clear Choice Realty & Associates. "If a house has illegal room additions that are un-permitted, it affects the insurance, taxes, usability and most of all the overall value. In essence, a buyer is purchasing something that legally does not exist," she explains. Even new homes with systems that were not installed to code will become the new homeowners' financial "problem" to fix (and finance).
Home inspections are even more critical if you are buying an "as-is" foreclosed property or short sale. Dwellings that have been boarded often develop hazardous mold problems, which are costly to remedy and pose health concerns. It's common, as an example, for home inspectors to find that copper plumbing lines and outdoor compressors have been removed from foreclosed properties by people trying to sell copper to recyclers for money.
Many realtors say the home inspector's report presents an opportunity to ask for repairs and/or request a price reduction or credit from the seller. Work with your realtor to understand what requests can and should be made to negotiate a better deal.
A home inspector can approximate the installation age of major systems in the home like plumbing, heating and cooling, and critical equipment like water heaters. They can diagnose the current condition of the structure itself, and tell you how long finishes have been in the home. All components in the home have a "shelf-life." Understanding when they require replacement can help you make important budgeting decisions, and it wll determine what type of home insurance coverage or warranties you should consider.
De Vivo suggests that home inspectors can help buyers identify how much additional money or effort they are willing and able to spend to take the home to a condition that is personally acceptable. If you are unwilling to repair issues like faulty gutters, cracked walls or ceilings, perhaps you are not ready to end your home buying search.
The home inspector is a valuable educational resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home, and ultimately save you thousands of dollars in the long term, according to De Vivo.
We advise that prospective buyers use the home inspection to understand the nuances of what may be the biggest purchase they ever make. Buyers may be motivated to buy a property based on the color of the walls, the location of the home, or some other esthetic but this can also make them completely blind to the issues that will make their dream home a nightmare.
Some insurance companies will not insure a home if certain conditions are found, or without the presence of certain certifications. Qualified home inspectors can often provide these things or point you to the resource necessary to get them.