Inspections – What to Inspect and When

Standard sales contracts can give you, the Buyer, the right to conduct several different types of inspections of the property before any purchase is finalized.  Deals can fall through when these inspections come up with unexpected bad news. 
     A standard home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building.  An inspection can be likened to a physical exam by a physician; however, it should be clearly understood that a home inspection is not a guarantee of any kind, and/or an insurance policy on the condition of the property.
      While not necessary, it is recommended that the buyer be present for the inspection. This allows the buyer to ask questions directly, and obtain a better understanding of the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. The written report may be easier to understand if the buyer was present during the inspection.
      During this type of inspection, the home inspector will review the readily accessible exposed portions of the structure of the home, including the roof, the attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, basement, and foundation as well as the heating/air conditioning systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems for potential problems.
      Home inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or any invisible or latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent to the buyer without the aid of a professional.
      If you are looking for the name of a good home inspector, ask for referrals from friends, neighbours, or business acquaintances who have been satisfied with a home inspector. In addition, lawyers and mortgage brokers may also recommend a home inspector.
       Real estate brokers and salesmen may not directly recommend a specific home inspection company or home inspector unless representing the buyer as a buyer's broker.
      A current home owner may also want to get a home inspection to identify any problems, especially if the owner plans to sell the home in the near future.  The inspection can point out issues that, upon the sale of the home, may cause problems but if caught beforehand and dealt with, can assist in the sale proceeding.
      At the conclusion of the home inspection, the buyer should be well informed of the condition of the home. It should be known if there are visible, apparent problems, if repairs need to be made, or whether or not there are any risks of concealed damage, and whether further investigation is recommended and/or required.
   Some other inspections that may be necessary are:
·        Water testing, well and pump inspection
·        Termite inspection
·        Swimming pool and equipment
to name a few.  Your real estate professional can help with determining what is necessary and the length of time involved for each. 
      Always remember; it is better to be safe than sorry.  A little money spent at this point in your home purchase can save a lot of money (and headache) later on.