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By NPI, Inc.


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Do You Really Need a Home Inspection?

By Lawrence Englehart, Owner of GPI Greater Halifax
Content originally published on October 8, 2014

As a home inspector, there is no question that I am going to be biased toward people using the services of a competent home inspector, whenever they are in the process of buying or selling a property. However, people don’t have to take the word of a home inspector; all they need to do is ask a REALTOR®, a mortgage broker, a lawyer or even Mike Holmes. All of these professionals will come back with the same clear recommendation: You should always have your home inspected by a qualified home inspector.

If you do a quick search on the Internet for “common mistakes by first-time home buyers,” you will find that not having a home inspection is always near the top of this list. Sadly, it’s not unusual to see first-time home buyers become overwhelmed with all of the various costs associated with purchasing their first home. Some will even look for creative ways to stretch their limited home-purchasing budget and choose not to hire a home inspector to try to save money. But that old saying, “penny wise, pound foolish,” certainly comes to mind.

Another important point to consider as to why home buyers should hire the services of a professional home inspector is the simple fact that people tend to fall in love or have made an emotional connection with the home they are about to purchase. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, when someone makes an emotional purchase, they can easily be blinded to seeing exactly what they are getting themselves into. This reminds me of a line from a movie: “The brain sees what the heart wants it to feel.”

That would definitely apply to buying a home.

Homeownership certainly has its rewards, but it also comes with many risks. That is why it is so important to be an informed buyer and to try to manage some of these risks. Always have a home inspection done and then carefully review the results, so you can objectively decide on how you would then like to proceed with the purchase of this property. Remember, the cost of a home inspection is very small in comparison to the purchase price of the home or the potential risk of some unknown or hidden deficiency.

A properly trained home inspector will view the home in a way that few people do. In an effort to minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected repairs, the home inspection should provide an unbiased and objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of the home. The inspector’s judgment is not clouded by emotions; he or she will review your house as a system, looking at how one component of the house might affect the operation or lifespan of another. The inspector evaluates and reports on the condition of the structure, roof, basement, drainage, electrical, plumbing, heating system, visible insulation, walls, windows and doors. Components that are not performing properly will be identified, as well as items that are beyond their useful life or are unsafe. The purpose of the home inspection is to provide the client with a better understanding of the property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection.

It is extremely important to note that not all home inspectors are equally trained and/or qualified, so look for home inspectors who belong to a provincial association such as CAHPI (Canadian Home and Property Inspectors), ASHI (American Society or Home Inspectors) or InterNACHI, as these professionals are typically bound by a strict code of ethics and must adhere to specific standards of practice.

To hear more from Lawrence, find him on social media:

 

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