Today I am pleased to welcome guest blogger and local home inspector Ken Dale. Buying a new home is one of the biggest investments most people make. A home inspection helps assure that the home you’re buying doesn’t have any hidden flaws.
Ken is a local building inspector with over 15 years of experience and 5000+ successful home inspections. His in depth knowledge of the local housing market makes his company, Clearview Home Inspections, one of the leaders in the field of home inspections. In short, he’s a service provider you can trust to make your next real estate transaction a successful one.
While camping one weekend I was approached by a gentleman who was in the final stages of selling his home (he knew I was a home inspector by the signs on the side of my truck). The deal had been negotiated and all that was left was for the purchaser to have a home inspection performed at the home. He was understandably anxious that all should go well and was wondering what exactly the inspector would be looking for.
I explained to him that from roof to basement, including the interior and exterior of the home, the inspector would be looking for anything that would be unsafe or for any potentially costly defects that the purchaser should be made aware of. Most home inspectors will be performing the following tasks:
- inspecting roofs from the ground with binoculars or by climbing on to the roof (note: weather conditions and site conditions may prevent the inspector from climbing the roof);
- inspecting the exterior of the home, including the the foundation;
- inspecting the electrical system;
- inspecting the heating and cooling system (seasonal conditions may prevent inspections of some items);
- inspecting the plumbing system;
- inspecting insulation and such things as floors, walls and ceilings in the interior of the home;
Most home inspections are a visual inspection of the home and are limited to what’s visible at the time of the inspection (e.g.: inspectors will not shovel off a roof in wintertime to inspect the surface) . The occasional item may be referred to a specialist, which may involve slightly more intrusive testing with the owner’s permission.
My basic tips for Sellers
For a successful home inspection prepare your home in such a way that the inspector has easy access to all the major areas of concern such as the attic hatch, the basement, the hydro panel, foundation or furnace area. By removing anything that can inhibit the inspector from seeing these areas you speed up the time the Inspector is in your home and also gives the purchaser a better idea of what they are purchasing. Have ready any documentation such as work orders, building permits or proof that any upgrades you (or the previous owner) have made to the property were done properly .Consider having your furnace and/or air conditioning serviced, or fireplace and chimney cleaned. Try to allow for about 3 hours for the inspection to be done.
My basic tips for Buyers
Hire a full time, professional inspector who is a member of an Association such as OAHI (Ontario Association of Home Inspectors). The OAHI website has a list of all of its members. Doing this will help ensure that you have someone who is bound by a code of ethics, who has passed all required courses and is aware of good building inspection practices. Be involved in the inspection. Ask questions and understand that the Inspector is working only on your behalf and wants you to understand the condition of your home so that when you move in your concern will only be to add your personal touches to make your new house your home.
Deciding to sell your home and/or purchase another home is simultaneously exciting and nerve wracking, so the more information you have the less stress you will be under when it comes time to make that decision.
Registered Home Inspector
Clearview Home Inspections Inc.
3781 Strandherd Drive
P.O. Box 34049
Nepean, Ontario K2J 5M4
Telephone: 613 791-4622