This decision could be a serious mistake … As buying a property is one of the biggest purchases of your life, you should make sure you are buying a property that you know everything about, and knowing the costs required in the short, medium and long term.
As such, it is important to not only to inspect your property, but to ask a qualified home inspector, someone offering objective and professional services, to support you in this process.
A building inspection will give you a detailed written report on the current state of the premises following a visual inspection, detailing the state of the electrical wiring, plumbing, foundations, roof, etc. The report should normally inform you about repairs needed in the short, medium and long term, helping you to allocate a budget.
You should not see inspection as a way to renegotiate the sale price, and it is normal that the inspector finds 2% to 4% of the purchase price in repairs.
A majority of the time, these repairs are simply advice but you should plan your budget for them even before making an offer on a property. On the other hand, if major problems are found, a conditional inspection clause in your Offer to Purchase by your broker will allow you to discuss the problem with the current owner, or even withdraw if an agreement is impossible or if the work required is too great.
It is important to understand that an inspection does not protect you from “hidden defects”. These defects, as their name indicates, are often difficult to detect and the inspector cannot always see them with a visual inspection.
A hidden defect may appear after a few months or even years after purchase of the property. If you want compensation from the seller, you will need to demonstrate, using different professionals that the defect existed at the time of the transaction.
*According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Ask your real estate broker to recommend some home inspectors, and make sure you hire a professional who can not only answer your questions, but also advise you on the alternatives you have if an important issue was raised. As in all areas, some inspectors are better than others, and your broker certainly has someone for you!