Buying a new home is never an easy task. There is so much to take into consideration; location, price, layout, size, how much work it needs, but one of the most important is a home inspection. Buyers frequently ask 'do I really need to spend money on a home inspection?'. The answer is a definite yes, and here's why.

But first, what is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a total review and inspection of the property in question by a trained and authorized professional. The inspection gives the home buyers the opportunity to identify any issues with the property before purchase. Home inspections are used as a contingency or subject in your contract, meaning that if there are any issues found during the inspection, you can withdraw your offer to purchase without penalty.

The cost of a local residential home inspection varies slightly. Depending on the size of the property home and area and inspector doing the inspection, it can range from roughly $500-$650. In my opinion, this is a small investment in some security in the purchase of your new home.

The most important thing is that the home inspector that you choose is fully licensed. Ask to see the home inspector's license, which should be issued by Consumer Protection BC. You can also use the Consumer Protection BC online licensee search to find the details of a licensed home inspector.

You can also check with the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors, and this BC government page also has some details of what is required.

What is covered by a home inspection?

The home inspection should examine a range of key elements of the property and then produce a final report for you. Home inspections normally last several hours, and once complete, the inspector will walk-through the property with you and your Real Estate Agent to discuss elements of the review in detail.

Typically, the inspector will first cover the exterior of the home, then the interior, then any other additional sections, such as outbuildings, etc.

Typical exterior considerations:

  • Foundation

  • Exterior walls

  • Roof

  • Grading

  • Garage

Typical interior considerations:

  • Fire and safety

  • Heating, ventilation, A/C.

  • Electrical systems

  • Plumbing systems; water heaters

  • Appliances

  • Bathrooms & fixtures

  • Laundry areas

The exact details for your inspection report may vary depending on the experience, skill, and equipment of the inspector, and there may be areas that are beyond the knowledge of the inspector so he may need to call in another party, such as another inspector, or a specialist in the area in question.

Undoubtedly, the home inspection will reveal some kind of problem, and there are several options to choose from in this case:

  • If the issues are of too large a scale, you can withdraw your purchase offer, so long as an inspection contingency is listed in your contract.

  • You can request that the seller fix these issues

  • You can request that the seller reduces the asking price

Remember, a home inspection is an opportunity for you to check whether there are any issues with the property that you're preparing to buy, and your final chance to make sure that it is a solid purchase and that you are happy moving forward.

For more information on home inspections or any other queries regarding properties for sale in the Shuswap, contact Jeremy Osborne now.