Once you’ve signed a contract with the seller, you, the homebuyer need to order a home inspection. (Most purchase agreements contain a contingency regarding results of an inspection.) The inspection usually occurs either right away or within a couple days of your contacting an inspector. Once the inspection is complete, the inspector will meet with you to review the results and inform you about any potentially expensive or dangerous problems.
If significant problems do exist, the inspector will probably give you a recommendation, such as advice to withdraw your offer if some issues are not fixed. After meeting with the inspector and discussing his or her findings with your Edmonton REALTOR®, you may decide to request that the sale price or contract terms be adjusted accordingly, instead. If no significant issues are present, sellers will usually take care of minor repairs without affecting the sale price or requiring any change to the contract.
Why You Need a Home Inspector
There are two basic reasons homebuyers should secure professional home inspectors: to determine any major problems with the home and to educate yourself about your new home.
1. Determine any major problems with the home.
No home is perfect, and in the end, you may be willing to accept a home with notable imperfections; however, you do not want to be surprised. A thorough home inspection includes unseen aspects of the home’s HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical wiring as well as the integrity of the basement, foundation, floors, ceilings, walls, windows, and roof.
In older homes, the reasons for an inspection are probably more obvious to people than for new homes: problems due to homeowner neglect, improperly done repairs, or simply the passage of time, are fairly common. New homes can have problems, too; sometimes defects due to human mistakes can be significant.
2. Educate yourself about your new home.
Finding potential flaws in your prospective home may be the primary reason to have the home inspected, but it is not the only one: inspections can help homebuyers learn more about the home that will soon be theirs. Such knowledge can help you, as a homeowner, to learn how to best protect your new asset.
If you’re interested in learning as much as you can about your new home, you may want to ask the inspector if you can accompany him or her during the inspection. By asking questions throughout the process, you can benefit greatly from your home inspector’s expertise.
How to Find a Home Inspector
Because your Edmonton real estate agent deals with inspections on a regular basis, he may be your best resource for finding an experienced, objective inspector. As an alternative, you can ask people in the area if they know of any or check the phone book or online listings by looking for “Building Inspection” or “Home Inspection.”
The cost of a thorough home inspection will vary according to house and location; inspections for large homes in urban areas will cost more than smaller homes in rural areas. The average cost of a home inspection is $300, which may seem high; however, that amount becomes insignificant when you compare it to the costs you could incur if you discover major problems with the house, such as a cracked foundation or termite damage, after it’s already yours.
While new constructions may not seem to need outside inspections, having an objective appraisal by a third party is still a good idea. Many builders do guarantee their work, and they may try to talk you out of getting a home they’ve just built inspected. However, you can never be too safe regarding such a large investment.