The Home Inspector – Important Facts You Must Know

A home inspector is often relied upon to vet what is often the largest and most important purchase and investment of your life. If the inspector fails to spot an important issue, you as the homeowner can be left on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of unexpected costs.

Theoretically, a home inspector should give you a through assessment of every single part of any home and help you understand what it means.

Getting a comprehensive Home Inspection Report is pretty much standard when buying or selling a home. While a report is useful, it has its limitations and you as a buyer or seller must be aware of this.

The Home Inspection profession is by and large unregulated.

There are a number general contractors posing as inspectors without having completed any sort of professional training. Their services may be cheaper and they may have considerable experience in general contracting, but no formal home inspection training.

Always make sure the individual you hire is licensed or certified. This does not guarantee competence, but it is an indication that the individual has completed a minimum level of education. And if there is a problem, you may have a better chance of recourse.

A home inspection does not eliminate all risk.

A typical home inspection is only visual. Inspectors look for clues that can uncover possible defects and abnormalities. They cannot tear open walls, expose the waterproofing of windows or remove parts of your home.

A competent home inspection should alert you to limitations, but the risk of potential problems remain even after the best visual assessment of the problem.

Be prepared to bring in an expert.

If the report shows areas of possible concern, be prepared to call in the experts. For instance, cracks in the wall may require the use of a structural engineer, poor drainage may require the use of a hydrologist, and faulty wiring will require a professional electrician to review the electrical system.

Pick a qualified inspector – not necessarily the cheapest one.

Sometimes with all the costs associated with buying a home, your choice of a home inspector may be influenced by price. Ideally a home inspector should be well trained, experienced, professional, trustworthy and independent. Some of the best in the field may be the most expensive.

A professional inspector should have a registered company, physical address, website and company phone number. They should have equipment on hand such as thermal cameras, meters, testers and inspection software that generates a comprehensive report for you to see.

Important questions you MUST ask a home inspector:

  1. Are you certified? When and by who?
  2. Are you insured?
  3. How long have you been inspecting homes?
  4. Can I see a copy of a recent report?

On September 1 new rules were introduced by the BC Provincial government that will “enhance home inspector licensing qualifications, strengthen home inspection reports, contract and insurance requirements and improve enforcement.”

If you require the use of a reliable home inspector for a home inspection, please contact us and we can forward the details to you, or call us on 604 913 1000.

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