June 22, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

A Guide for First-Time Buyers

4 min read

Are home inspections back in style again? During the pandemic-era buying frenzy in many Canadian real estate markets, bidding wars were commonplace. This not only involved submitting a bid higher than the asking price, but it also involved desperate homebuyers choosing to waive home inspections to close the deal as quickly as possible. Now that Canada’s housing market has stabilized, home inspections have become common again, instilling confidence in the buyers who are making the biggest purchasing decision of their lives.

Indeed, homeownership is an exciting and rewarding phase of anyone’s life. Of course, in order to attain this Canadian dream, prospective homeowners will need to employ a series of measures to find their dream home. One of these steps is initiating a home inspection.

First-time buyers need to understand a home inspection and its purpose. So, let’s examine the basics of home inspections.

Navigating Home Inspections: A Guide for First-Time Buyers

A home inspection comprehensively examines the residential property, whether a single-family home or a condo, you intend to purchase. The inspection is conducted by a qualified inspector who seeks to identify any potential issues with the property before you close the deal.

First-time buyers should not perceive home inspections as negative. They are a safety strategy for both sides of the transaction. They may even allow buyers to negotiate a better deal or withdraw from one if something is wrong with the property. As a result, home inspections can shield you and your investment and ensure you acquire the home you want.

At the same time, there can be instances where a home inspection reveals something that is a deal breaker. In such a situation, a buyer can withdraw from the deal without financial penalties. This is referred to as the home inspection contingency, which protects the buyer if it turns out after the inspection that the property is in a much poorer condition than initially reported.

It might seem obvious, but many first-time homebuyers who feel overwhelmed may neglect to find qualified, experienced, and reputable home inspectors. This is where a real estate agent’s work enters the picture. In most cases, real estate agents can help first-time buyers find a trusted professional as they understand the industry and have strong connections.

Once you have hired the right home inspector, it is imperative to make sure that he or she evaluates all vital components in their assessment. What should this consist of exactly? Here is a breakdown:

  • Residential property’s foundation
  • Structure
  • Exterior and interior
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Electrical system

The inspector’s report will include a summary of their main findings, a checklist of items or features of the home that were inspected and their current status or condition, and photos of problematic areas (if any). Depending on the size of the property and the extent of issues, the report can be anywhere from 15 to 70 pages.

Remember, no property will be entirely flawless, but you have to figure out which issues identified by the home inspector are deal breakers and which can be fixed. For example, issues related to the structure or foundation of the property can be complex, significantly affect the quality of life you envision in your new home, and harm your wallet. In such a situation, engaging with the seller and seeing if you can work out a better deal is better. If not, you have the right to back out.

Inspections typically take two to three hours and are generally scheduled two to three weeks in advance. The inspector would provide you with their report within one to three days of performing the inspection.

Home Inspections Are Essential

It is natural to feel a bit anxious on the day of the inspection. However, it is crucial to note that the inspection is in place to ensure you receive a good deal. The inspector is not out to get you or the seller. They are there to support you. If you feel you are unclear about anything, you should always ask, no matter how obvious you might think it is to all parties involved. You will only benefit from a better understanding of this process.

You don’t have to be overwhelmed by this information. The process of inspection and the report are only there to help you understand the status of the property so that you can determine what you can and cannot handle. Additionally, it will help you verify how much time or money certain repairs will be required. This will give you the information you need to negotiate with the seller. Often, sellers agree to make the necessary repairs before the closing date. This is true for repairs that are not extensive. But if there are significant problems, you can negotiate with the seller for a reduced price so that you can undertake those repairs and cover the cost that is likely to be incurred.

Ultimately, do not think a home inspection is a step that can destroy your deal. It is not. The goal of a home inspection is not to damage your prospects but to make you aware of what you should expect. The inspector will not benefit from a no-sale. The inspector is only there to tell you the condition of the core components of that property and what needs to be done to improve them.

With the average home selling for nearly $700,000 in the Canadian real estate market, you should aim to do what is best for you, your family, and your pocketbook.


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