The Purpose of a Home Inspection

Plain and simple, the purpose of a home inspection is to give you more information to base your home-buying decision on. The seller and their real estate agent will present you with the many features of the house. And it’s natural that they emphasize all the good qualities of the house. Home inspectors are there to help you identify major defects that they can find through a visual inspection of the property. It’s not that we want to be negative, we want you to see both sides of the property and make a choice with fewer surprises down the road.

Home to be Inspected

Most prospective home owners find their home inspections to be highly informative. You may be a first time buyers with maintenance questions, or need to understand the unique issues of country properties. We are happy to answer whatever questions we can while going through your property. Following along with us on our detailed inspection, you may be surprised by what you didn’t notice yet about your prospective new home.

Every house has defects. Usually a lot of small ones, but sometimes larger issues enter the picture. So what is a defect? Well, they can be a lot of things. Your inspector will be looking for things that aren’t as they should be. It might be a safety issue. It might be something isn’t functioning the way it should. There could be signs of past trouble or hints of future problems looming. While we can’t look at everything in such a short time, we do look at a great number of things. For a detailed list of the items I do and don’t look for see the Standard of Practice that I follow. If you get tired reading it all, think how much work it is to look at all that stuff. But don’t worry, the inspector does all that.

We just list the facts of what we find. The same defect may have great impact on one buyer and virtually none on the next. It depends on your needs and abilities. If you are already planning a kitchen renovation, that fact that the range hood doesn’t work might not matter very much. If your Dad owns a roofing company, old shingles are a lot less worrisome. You may not care that the electrical service is only 100 amp, but if you planning on getting a hot tub, it’s more important. So your needs and abilities can give you a much different perspective on the same house. Share your intentions for the property with your inspector so that he can take them into consideration.

At the end of the inspection, you will get a quick verbal summary of the findings, but wait for your Inspection Report before you commit to any firm decisions. It will have a write up of the defects found, many pictures and diagrams to explain them, and tell you when other resources are needed. It may call for further evaluation by a specialist or that contractor quotes might be needed. Read the report thoroughly, understand any risks with the property, and you will make a better decision. For more ideas on how you can get a better inspection read Tips for a Good Home Inspection

All the best on your search for the perfect new home for you and your family. What you learn now can help you have confidence in your residence.

Author: Rob Cornish is a Home Inspector in Ottawa, Canada. © 2013 HomeXam Inc.
If you took the time to read this post, please take the time to Google+ it. Thanks.

Home Inspection Myths

1.The home inspector gives a pass or fail.
The inspector identifies defects in various components of a house. If the component does not function properly, demonstrates signs of pending nonperformance, or presents a safety risk to occupants and guests, the inspector will report a defect. This could be perceived as giving the components a failing grade but that is entirely different from deciding whether the house is the right one for you. Different clients can justifiably make different purchase decisions over the same set of defects. For example, if the clients have a family-member who is an electrician, even numerous electrical defects may not be material to them. The decision to buy or not always remains with the client. Pass or fail is up to you.

2. The inspector will look at everything.
Home Inspector
Inspectors budget their time to look at the most significant items in the home and only look at a sampling of some minor components. Other items are outside the scope of the inspection such as outbuildings, swimming pools and low voltage devices. We already have a lot to get through and you don’t have the time for us to exhaustively plod our way through every component on the property. We do look at a lot of items, the keyword being look.

3. Having an inspection removes all my risk.
Nope. Sorry. A home inspection is in no way a warranty or guarantee. Inspectors try to identify risks, or defects, for you. It helps you make a more informed decision when you buy. Hopefully we won’t find many significant issues but whatever we find, or fail to find, you accept the risk in our agreement and ultimately as the buyer. Assuming you still have an inspection condition, you always have the choice to walk away from the deal.

4. The inspector will tell me how much repairs will cost.
The best inspectors won’t. Remember that home inspectors are only allowed to visually examine a home. You don’t own the house yet. So we can’t open up the walls to see the extent of a problem. We will suggest when we think you should call a contractor to get some quotes. This works much better in the long run as you will have prices in place if you choose to proceed.

5. Inspections are all the same so lets just get the cheapest.
What you want is an inspector who is a graduate of a college home inspection program, belongs to a professional association of inspectors, is properly insured and is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality report possible. One or more of these critical factors is missing in the cheaper inspection services. They may try to race through the home and/or produce a shoddy report to save time. Be prepared to spend at least the average fee in the market if you want superior work. You are paying to find out as much as you can as part of your diligence. Why would you cut corners?

6. Inspectors are incredibly knowledgeable and invariably handsome.
This is not a myth. LOL. Inspectors are knowledgeable across a broad spectrum of house construction and maintenance practices. However we are generalists. When a specialist is needed, we will recommend you call one in; in much the same way a general practitioner will call for a medical specialist. Oh, and as for other thing, as Red Green might have said if clients don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.

Author: Rob Cornish is a Home Inspector in Ottawa, Canada. © 2013 HomeXam Inc.
If you took the time to read this post, please take the time to Google+ it. Thanks.