Read this before you choose a Home Inspector
You’re about to make one of the biggest investments of your life. Protect it by choosing the right Home Inspector. We’ve got some great guidance below.
When you purchase a home, the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission strongly recommends that you have a home inspection completed on your target property. Home inspections provide peace of mind by indicating what components and systems of the home require maintenance, repair or major replacement based on an objective visual examination.
As mortgage brokers, we recommend inspections because (in certain situations) the cost of repairs/replacements can be factored into your mortgage loan if they’re disclosed early enough and meet the right criteria. Knowing this, it can be possible to turn what would have been “deal breakers” into a powerful negotiating points, as long as you’re willing to invest in correcting the issues.
A challenge facing the home inspection industry in Nova Scotia is that it’s currently unregulated, meaning inspectors are not licensed by a common governing body. There are, however, a few ways to protect yourself. Here’s what to keep in mind when selecting an inspector:
- Only hire an inspector who carries Errors & Omissions Insurance, ask to see a copy of their policy, and review it prior to hiring them.
- Ask the inspector to explain their credentials and provide any certifications they have. While the industry is not regulated, there are a variety of certification and training programs specific to home and property inspection through both provincial and national institutions.
- Ask candidates to provide you with a sample inspection report. A comprehensive report is on average 20 to 50 pages and has photos of problem areas.
- Be wary if your inspector recommends a specific contractor as this could point to a conflict of interest.
- Ask how long the inspection will take. Most home inspections take at least three hours to four hours. If someone tells you they can complete it in less time, it may be a red flag.
- Ask if the inspector charges a reinspection fee. Most houses have imperfections, even new homes. If a problem has been repaired by the seller post-inspection, most reputable inspectors will offer a courtesy call to make sure the repair work was completed.
- It’s advisable for you to be present during the inspection. Attend and ask questions throughout the process; a good inspector will gladly answer your questions.
You can expect an experienced home inspector to examine the following systems:
- Heating/air conditioning
- Septic systems*
*Completed by a licensed septic system installer, a licensed sewage hauler or a professional engineer.
You Dream It. We Finance It.
The Blake Wilson Group.