Why should I get a home inspection?
Simply, you are about to invest thousands of dollars. Shouldn't you know what you are buying? To understand and properly care for your home and how it functions (or should function) is of major importance to all home owners.
Every home, regardless whether newly built or a resale home (previously owned and occupied) has a number of interacting features and systems. As well as original quality and construction, there are numerous other variables, each interacting with others and affecting the functioning of the home. Many are subtle and elusive, even to the trained eye, while others are considerably more glaring and obvious.
It's unlikely that anyone, regardless of competence or experience, will find them
However, a **professional home inspector* is the only one specifically* trained to look for any of the numerous clues as to how a system is performing the duty for which it was intended.
Remember...It's your money and your future home. Should't you do what's best for you?
Does a newly built home require a Home Inspection?
For example, as I type this, I'm reminded of a yet to be completed home a short distance from our office which has its chimney terminating only a couple feet above the roof line and only inches above the roof ridge a few feet away [Code and good building practice require the chimney to be at least three feet high and a minimum of two feet higher than any other structure within ten feet].
Likewise, we occasionally find new construction where joists have been completely cut off (without being reinforced) for the installation of plumbing fixtures [Click For Example]](http://www.homeworksnet.com/Cut%20Joist.jpg) , where roof trusses have been cut (without re-engineering) to allow room for the chimney [Click For Example]](http://www.homeworksnet.com/Cut%20Trusses.jpg) , main electrical grounding for the home connected to plastic water pipes, and so forth.
Should new construction be inspected by a * ** professional home inspector***? What do you think?
Do all real estate agents recommend Professional CAHPI Inspections?
Unfortunately not. Only the agents who are truly acting in their clients best interests will strongly advise a client to seek a ** CAHPI** inspection. Others, who unfortunately may place considerably greater emphasis on their commissions than on service to clients, may talk their clients out of the bother or cost of a professional home inspection or even sometimes suggest a specific friend, contractor, or relative "take a quick look at the place" to make sure everything is OK.
Perhaps if you encounter such a realtor, you should reconsider whether or not you've chosen the right person to advise how you should invest thousands of dollars of your hard-earned money.
Recall, CAHPI is the only Canadian home inspection association recognized by government (CMHC) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Selecting a government approved and recognized home inspector is every bit as important as seeking home buying legal advise from a recognized professional (qualified lawyer). Home buying is too important to place in the hands of the unqualified or non-professionals
The CAHPI Association is backed by a nation-wide group of trained professional home inspectors.
How would I arrange for a Professional Home Inspection, as part of my agreement with my real estate agent?
Contracts vary somewhat throughout the country but there are a number of similarities. As an example, in Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors have clients sign a relatively general (in terms of suggesting a professional home inspection) form which states in part:13. (a) This agreement is subject to the Buyer at his/her expense having the property inspected by inspector(s) of the Buyer's choice, and the inspection(s) meeting the Buyer's satisfaction. The inspection(s) shall be deemed to be satisfactory unless the Seller or the Seller's agent is notified to the contrary in writing on or before (date). If said notice to the contrary is being provided it shall be accompanied by a copy of the written inspection report, following which either party shall be at liberty to terminate this contract and the Buyer's deposit shall be returned in full without interest or penalty.Although this may vary somewhat from realtor to realtor, you may find, especially among smaller agencies, that buyers are not encouraged to obtain a * professional* home inspection. Armed with this information, you may want to ask why.
Why don't I ask a contractor?
Probably this could be best answered by a good contractor. However, as any reputable contractor will tell you, most contractors are specialists, that is they specialize in a particular field. Masons do masonry work, electricians do electrical work, carpenters specialize in the wooden structure of the home, and so forth.
Even general contractors hire sub-contractors to do the work in specialized areas like heating, air conditioning, etc. They don't try to nor do they claim to be experts in every area.
Likewise, a good home inspector will not profess to be a contractor or take on engineering or repair work for clients. They are generalists, trained to look at the overall picture and to understand when a system is not performing properly. Professional home inspectors do not claim to do the job of specialized contractors. Instead, they draw attention to questionable situations and refer clients to the necessary specialists in the field for further evaluation or repair.
Be especially wary of any inspector who also offers to do the work for you, "suggested" in their report. Likewise, exercise extreme concern with any inspector who does a simple or brief walk through the home as an inspection or who refuses to provide a detailed written report.
In brief, for your inspection to be valuable, you will require: • an inspector who is specifically trained to inspect all major home systems
• an inspector who will inspect ** all accessible areas of the home** including going on roofs (if reasonably accessible), into basements and crawl spaces, and into attics
• an inspector who is ** completely objective** in the inspection[INDENT] • presents no conflict of interest
• does not "gain" additional work in repair or modification services as a result of the inspection
• does not receive kick-backs or commissions from the agent or vendor when a home "passes" or receives a good report• a ** detailed report** of the findings of the inspection
• that the inspector ** invite you along** on the inspection explaining his/her findings and answering your questions.
[/INDENT]Do Home Inspectors do code inspections?
Generally no. Despite having to take many of the same courses as building inspectors, home inspectors are usually not hired to inspect for code compliance. Therefore, rather than quote code (often of little importance or interest to clients requesting a home inspection), the professional home inspector concentrates on whether or not a system is performing the function for which it was intended. Also, the inspector will * look for safety concerns* and point out to clients where modifications or additions could be made to provide for a safer and more comfortable living environment.
It is disappointing that a few real estate agents, in their attempts to place home inspectors in a bad light, will * falsely* claim that home inspectors are doing code inspections on an older home, to which the code doesn't apply. This kind of statement is simply an intended derogatory remark at best, and tells more about the agent than the inspector.
Do I need the extra cost of a Professional Home Inspection?
Usually, when we are putting our savings and possibly our future into a home, any additional costs should be seriously questioned. However, with professional home inspections costing less than one twentieth of most realtor fees, and being the major source of education and information about your new home, the cost becomes negligeable in comparison.
When we add the consideration that a professional home inspector is totally neutral in your home buying decision (has no vested interest in commissions or possible future repair work), it becomes readily apparent that they are a major asset in the overall transaction
Remember: A Professional Home Inspector Is Not Permitted To Offer Additional Non-Inspection Work or Services.
Will a Professional Home Inspection ensure my new home will be trouble free?
How we wish it could be so.
Just imagine what an insurance would cost and how long the inspection would take to guarantee that nothing would ever go wrong at anytime in the future, that there would be no deductible, and that the home would perform flawlessly forever or else all costs would be completely and automatically covered by the insuring company.
Therefore, although we can greatly reduce the risk in home buying, we cannot eliminate it nor do we assume it. Our home inspections are not to be considered an insurance, a guarantee, or a warranty.
Can I attend the Inspection?
With Home Works Inspection Services, not only can you attend but we strongly encourage you to do so. Clients who do not attend the inspection miss one of its most significant benefits.
By attending and following along with the inspector, the client not only is shown how the house really works but has an opportunity to see first hand the systems functioning and what happens when something is wrong.
What if I don't attend the inspection?
As mentioned above, by not attending the home inspection, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity. However, we realize that due to various circumstances, it's not always possible for clients to be present on inspection day. Often, when the client is not able to attend, instead of supplying our report in ** * The Home Reference Book*** at the end of the inspection, we develop a customized narrative report which is mailed, emailed, faxed, or shipped by courier to the client.
Faxing the report or sending by courier is a small extra charge.
What's the difference between a regular home inspector and a Professional CAHPI Home Inspector?
In the past, anyone could call themselves a home inspector. However, beginning in 2002, in conjunction with CMHC and HRDC, the Canadian Association of Home Inspectors (CAHI) became the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) and members finally became recognized as the only professional home inspectors in Canada.
Unfortunately, there are still others claiming to be home inspectors but these individuals operating outside of the organization and its regulations will soon disappear. Unless they arrange to take the required training, become accepted members of CAHPI, and follow the established Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, they will not be accepted as home inspectors.
For years, the major relocation companies, credible real estate firms, and other professional businesses involved in the real estate world have accepted only ** CAHI** professionals and now will accept only ** CAHPI** members as qualified home inspectors.