Why a Home Inspection?
Pre-printed wording in standard agreements states in bold: “The Buyer acknowledges having the opportunity to include a requirement for a property inspection report in this Agreement and agrees that except as may be specifically provided for in this Agreement, the Buyer will not be obtaining a property inspection or property inspection report regarding the property” (Clause 13. Inspection, OREA form 100).
This wording is included to protect the home buyer and also protect the Realtor if the home buyer decides not to obtain a “Home Inspection” on the property being purchased. Just the fact that the Ontario Real Estate Association deems it important enough to ensure they are protected should tell you how important it is for the home buyer.
Very simply, a house is the single largest investment most individuals will ever make. More and more purchasers are coming to understand the wisdom of a thorough home inspection prior to committing to its purchase.
Home Inspections can protect your Investment!
Home inspections have proven to be a positive and educational experience for prospective home buyers. The savvy home buyer will stick to his or her inspector like glue and absorb all the information that can be gleaned from listening and asking . There is no such thing as a “Perfect Home” and every home will have a list of deficiencies that are discovered during an inspection.
Sellers Property Information Sheet
Another form which has proven to be quite controversial is the Seller Property Information Sheet. A Seller Property Information Sheet is a form designed to give buyers additional information about the house. It asks sellers to list any known defects, pending work orders or tax increases, oversight by any regulatory body such as conservation authorities, etc. The idea is that, if you disclose everything up front, you reduce your liability. They often will not reduce liability, primarily because they are often filled out wrong.
Unfortunately because the SPIS is not compulsory for the Seller to complete, it virtually has disappeared from most Real Estate transactions. A quick search on Google regarding the use of the SPIS will give you an indication why a sellers lawyer will most likey recommend that they not complete one. Caveat Emptor ( latin for “Buyer Beware” is the Standard Rule of Law for Real Estate in Ontario. There is protection against a Seller or Realtor knowingly with holding information about defects that are not readily discernable by the buyer of their home inspector. Read about Latent and Patent Defects and your rights under the law. Unfortunately you will most likely need a lawyer to recoup your losses using rule of Material Latent Defects.
Common Defects Found in Some Homes
Here are some of the “Defects” I have un-covered in the past 18 years of inspecting homes in the Barrie, Orillia and Alliston area.
- Mould and moisture in attic
- Un-safe electrical wiring, typically done by home owner
- Improper plumbing installation – vents terminating in attic etc
- Vermiculite insulation
- Renovations done without a Building Permit
- Two or more layers of shingles pass the cost on to new home owner
- Active water leaks in basements
- Aluminum wiring
- Galvanized plumbing
- Knob and Tube wiring
- Asbestos present in attic insulation or on heating ducts
- Structural issues
These deficiences would range in cost from a $1,000.00 to over $20,000.00 for one major item.
The part of home inspections I enjoy the most is that no two homes are alike. This is one example of an electrical hazard I encountered on an older home. When entering the attic entrance, I pushed up the entrance hatch and immediately noticed that the “live knob and tube wiring” was running over the top of the metal hatch cover.Â I used an insulated tool to replace the hatch and needless to say did not enter the attic. I did however take digital pictures of attic for the benefit of my client, but only from access point that was available without further contact with the hatch.
An impartial inspection by a professional home inspector will provide you with a valuable insight into the condition of your home and allow you “Peace of Mind” when completing the transaction.
There are many issues that a professional home inspector can make you aware of during your home inspection. Miss them, and your family’s health and safety may be at risk, not to mention the hole it will burn in your bank account to resolve them.
Call Barrie Home Inspections when you are buying a Residential or Commercial Property and are looking for impartial expert advice about the true condition of your purchase.
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