Wolf Pack Home Inspections
Harrison Home Inspections Ltd.
James Dobney & Associates
The home inspector's job is to assess the condition of the building and all its major systems. If the home is sound, a careful inspection of the house and property will identify minor defects and/or maintenance concerns that are normal and manageable. However, an inspection may uncover more serious problems that may affect your decision to purchase the home. An inspection is an important step, which should not be missed, in any home purchase. However, do keep in mind that the inspection performed is primarily visual (nothing is taken apart or moved). Many inspectors will supply you with a schedule outlining the estimated cost to remedy or repair any problems noted. This is important information to have before you decide to proceed with the purchase. A home inspection will not offer an opinion of the market value of the property, and it is not the Inspector’s job to do so.
It's important that your home inspector be qualified and knowledgeable. You may want to seek out a home inspector who carries "errors and omissions" insurance and/or belongs to a professional trade organization. In Canada, home inspectors are generally self-regulated through a trade organization. A home inspection will usually cost between $400-$600.
- Once the inspector has done the job and issued a report, what's your job?
Barring the discovery of a major defect that will significantly alter the negotiations, you shouldn't dismiss the inspection as just a formality. Instead, you should use the findings, along with a little research, to calculate how much replacement and maintenance of individual parts will cost you in the coming years and analyze the value of the home you're about to purchase.
To begin, you'll need to scrutinize each part of the picture and analyze the finding as a whole while considering the home's construction, the amount of maintenance required, the quality of the individual parts, replacement cycles, and improvements that have been made.
Consider how well the home is maintained. A well kept home will command a higher price than similar homes that have not been maintained through the years.
Weigh the individual parts. If original casement windows have been replaced with new insulated glass windows, consider that a plus. Similarly, if the kitchen has undergone an impressive remodel with new appliances and cabinetry, you can put aside any concerns about replacement costs in the near future.
Understand the replacement cycles for the house's systems and parts. If you're looking at a 10-year-old home, then you can expect to replace the dishwasher, disposal, hot water heater, & warm air furnace, within the next five or so years. If the house is 15 or more years old, then you'll want to thoroughly examine the condition of the roof.
Consider adding on to the home in your analysis. These will add value to the home. An addition can cost $125 to $150 per square foot or more.
Know the cost of materials. Realize that slate roof costs five times as much as an asphalt shingle roof; masonry or brick facing is about three times more than wood, vinyl or aluminum; hardwood floors are about twice as much as carpeting.
**BEWARE** - An inspection report is not a ticket to re-write a contract and adjust the purchase price ! Barring any real surprises or major defects, a home inspection should assess the condition of the building and all its major systems. If the home is sound, a careful inspection of the house and property will identify minor defects and/or maintenance concerns that are normal and manageable. It is important to realize that changing the terms of the contract opens the contract up for both parties – and the risk is to lose the terms of the current contract.
Once the home inspection is complete and you've decided to purchase the home, the inspection should help to give you an idea of what it will cost to maintain it in the years to come. You'll have peace of mind and the ability to plan ahead for your home's maintenance and repairs.