Home Inspections

25.06.2013

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Why do you need an Inspection?

Offers to buy a home are often subject to various contingencies, and a home inspection – to ensure the house is in proper working order – is one of them. This allows you, the Buyer, to have a professional investigate the home. After getting an Accepted Offer, one of the first things your Realtor does is book the inspection. You want a reputable home inspection company and hopefully one that has good knowledge of the particular building (Kitsilano has so many older buildings that you’ll be able to find an inspector who’s been through it before). All inspectors should be following the standards of practice set out by the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI).

What Does the Home Inspector do?

The inspector will give you a professional visual examination during the home inspection. The inspector will not drill any holes or do any damage (so their report is limited to what they can see/touch). I always suggest that the Buyer is at the home inspection because the inspectors are a useful source of knowledge when it comes to maintaining the home, they will answer your questions, explain their findings and offer their knowledgeable opinions.

The inspector will review all the components of the home and building (everything from plumbing, to the electrical, to the structure) in order to determine what parts are performing, underperforming, need to be fixed or are a safety hazard. His findings will be noted in an inspection report that will give you their final assessment of the unit and building.

Keep in mind that every building has problems, it’s just what the problems are and how bad they seem. Most buildings hover around an Average Grade, meaning it’s in good shape now, but will need to be maintained as it gets older (not a surprise).

What Happens on Inspection Day?

For Strata buildings, the Seller’s Realtor will arrange access to the major building systems: the boiler (water heater) room, electrical room, roof, parking garage, storage lockers, elevator, elevator room, and whatever other common areas there are in the building. Access to all of these areas is not always possible, so the inspector will rely on the most recent engineer’s report that would detail the state and maintenance of these areas, so you have an idea of some of the upcoming building maintenance.

home_inspection_roof_kitsilano

Torch On Roofing System, with “Dog Houses” for ventilation.

The Seller will allow access to their unit so that the home inspector can inspect everything they can in the unit. Since they won’t be drilling any holes and doing any damage, they only test what they can see (with a flashlight) and touch.

home_inspection_boiler_kitsilano

Boiler Room in an Older Condo Building. That shiny part is a new, high efficiency Boiler.

Home Inspections take at least 2 hours to perform, and they usually take much longer in houses or buildings where they find issues that need further examination.

What Happens after the Inspection?

Deals can collapse thanks to what is found during the inspection – this is why you have the inspection clause in the first place. As the Buyer, you would have the right to back away from the offer to purchase the home if it is not in as good condition as thought when you made the offer. After reviewing the inspection report, the Buyer will ask the Seller to repair certain things that were mentioned in the inspection or will ask for a price reduction to cover upcoming maintenance issues.

Home Inspections normally cost around $500, but that is money well spent on your large investment. Some of my recommendations for Home Inspectors are from Douville & Co. and Pillar to Post.

Still wondering about the entire process of Buying a Home in Kitsilano? Read my post about it here.

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