Home Inspections

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Parker Realty


Home Inspections


When you buy a home, you don't receive a money back guarantee as you do with other purchases. There is no return policy if you find yourself disappointed in your purchase after the fact. Once you are the owner of this home, you are then responsible for all the maintenance and repair costs as well as any bills that go along with it.

Before you purchase a home and when you write up a contract to purchase, you do have a clause that allows you to have a home inspection on your home before you decide that you want to go ahead and finalize the deal.

Since most people only use a home inspector once or twice in a lifetime, it's sometimes difficult to know how to choose a good one. Your real estate agent can steer you in the right direction with this decision and give you a list of names of home inspectors who are qualified. They may also give you the website of The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors. The inspectors you find on this website are all qualified home inspectors. You should call each inspector and ask questions on price, availability, how their reports are presented, etc. This may also give you an idea of their personality and professionalism. Some people choose their home inspector in a similar fashion to other service professionals and use recommendations of other purchasers who have used the inspector and were pleased with their service.

When choosing a home inspector, keep in mind they usually only have time to perform one or two inspections per day, so they may need several days notice in order to accommodate your request.

A home inspector will review the property and record and assess it's condition as well as the condition of the systems within the home. They will note the components that are not working properly or those that have gone past their useful life or are unsafe. They are able to identify areas that may need repairs or areas that may have had problems in the past. Inspections are used to educate people on the property they plan to buy and give them valuable information on how to better maintain or improve the quality of this property.

Home inspections are opinion based which means several inspectors could have totally different reports after viewing a home. Just as several real estate agents could have differing opinions on the price of a home, home inspectors may have different opinions on certain aspects of a home inspection.

You can expect a home inspection to include the following:

  • Roofing and roofing components

  • Exterior components

  • Attic

  • Structure

  • Interior

  • Electrical

  • Plumbing

  • Heating

  • Water penetration

** Note: If the inspection takes place in winter months, the roof and foundation may not be fully visible for inspection if they are covered in snow and ice. Due to safety, home inspectors don't typically climb up on snow or ice covered roofs. They will inspect the roof from the ground.

Some things you shouldn't expect from a home inspection are:

  • A home energy audit (Home inspectors are not able to tell you how energy efficient the home you are buying will be.)

  • Not a building code review

  • Not a renovation cost estimator (Home inspectors are not qualified to give you an estimate on work you may need to do to your home. You should have a contractor come into the home to give you this information.)

  • Not an appraisal (Home inspectors are not able to tell you how much the house is worth that they are inspecting. There are qualified people who can do this for you. Your bank may request an appraisal on the home for your mortgage.)

  • Not a well or septic system inspection. (Home inspectors are not able to check your well or septic system. You would need a professional to do this for you.)

A home inspection can cost a purchaser anywhere from a little under $400 up to $450. It typically takes about three hours for a home inspection. Following the inspection, the purchaser is presented with a written report with the details of the inspection. The home inspector can answer any questions you may have about the report at the time of this presentation. Many purchasers are present for the last part of the inspection which allows the home inspector to take them around the property and physically show them problem areas or educate them on how to use certain components of the home.

As real estate agents, we like to accompany our clients to their home inspections. This gives us the opportunity to hear what the home inspector says about the report so we can better understand any problems that may arise. This also eliminates any misunderstandings our clients may have about the home inspection and ensures everyone is on the same page when we sit down to discuss any issues arising from the inspection.

If you have any questions on home inspections or on purchasing a home, please feel free to contact us and we will help you in any way we can.

Carol and Steve




Comments (1)

Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

There are many "moving parts" that go into the purchase of a home.  Each with their own costs.  The inspection is a critical component!

Jan 20, 2011 11:27 PM