An important part of any major purchase is doing your homework, and in a real estate transaction, that includes important elements like home inspections.
“I always think of this way,” explained Paul Macris, a real estate agent with Holmes Realty in Sidney.
“If you’re about to make one of the biggest, if not the biggest, purchase of your life, you want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases. It’s in a buyer’s best interest to have their own home inspection done.”
Macris said that often, the choice of who to have inspect a perspective home will depend on the type of home a purchaser is buying.
“Many home inspectors specialize in a type of home or have more experience with one type of home or a specific area. Whether it’s condos, waterfront, rural areas, you want to make sure you’re getting the right inspector for the job,” Macris said.
The biggest benefit to have a home inspection done, continued Macris, is that home buyers will have done their due diligence.
“If any problems come up during the inspection it gives a buyer a chance to figure out whether they want the seller to repair the issue, or if it is something that can be negotiated between the two parties.”
Macris also said that a home inspection can act as a springboard to looking at other, potentially more serious problems a home buyer might encounter.
“You have to remember a home inspector isn’t an expert at every system in the home, but they will give you a good idea what may need to be looked at further and if you will need to bring a specialist in to determine if something needs attention,” Macris said.
Another benefit, he added, is that many home inspectors will give home buyers a ‘to-do’ list of items that may need attention sooner than later.
Common issues he’s encountered in home inspections on the Saanich Peninsula, Macris said, vary from septic field issues, buried oil tanks, wells and perimeter drains.
“Every area has its nuances, and a good home inspector should know what to be looking for. Basically by having a home inspection done you’re mitigating your risk as much as possible,” said Macris.
And if you’re working with a real estate agent already in your home search, Macris said they can be one of the best places to start when it comes to finding a good home inspector.
“That’s what we do, our role is multi dimensional. We work as an advisor, a consultant and a overseer of the financial contract. So asking us where to start is a part of the job.”
Helene Barton, executive director of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors BC (CAHPI) said that it is vital for people to select a licensed home inspector.
“In 2009 the industry became regulated, so consumers should only be using licensed inspectors who also belong an approved association like CAHPI,” Barton explained.
Barton also agreed with Macris that it’s important for buyers to make sure they’ve hired the right person for the job.
“Always contact three or four inspectors and interview them. Find which one is right for you based on their experience,” Barton said.
Barton also said it’s important for people to realize that an inspection is only a snapshot of the home on the day of the inspection.
“An inspection is a comprehensive visual examination designed to find major deficiencies and safety issues,” she explained.
“If an inspector sees something that is outside of their realm of knowledge, they will recommend it to be inspected by an expert on that particular aspect.”
A list of registered home inspectors with the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) B.C. can be found at cahpi.bc.ca.