Any serious real estate buyer knows that a home inspection is a crucial part of the real estate purchase process. But do you know what's actually included in your inspection?
One of the biggest mistakes a home buyer can make is assuming an inspection is fail-proof. A home inspector will tell you the physical condition of the home, based on a routine set of tests. They will assess what they can see on the surface, and that in itself comes with limitations.
For example, a home inspector may get on a ladder and check out the roof, but they won't pull up the shingles to see what's beneath them. An inspector will look for cracks and holes in the walls, but could miss a subterranean termite infestation. An inspector will test your plumbing system, but may not catch a leak from a hidden pipe. And the list goes on...
The 5 Most Overlooked Issues In Home Inspections
- Roof leaks
- Major appliance issues
- HVAC problems
- Siding & windows
- Floors beneath carpet
It's not that these inspectors aren't doing their jobs—these items aren't fully included in most contracts. The majority of buyers wouldn't be stoked if an inspector came and ripped up floorboards and took chunks out of their walls, which is why Calgary home inspections are non-invasive by default. It's important to read your inspection contract carefully and fully understand what it covers and what it doesn't. If you want something in particular inspected, make sure it's included in the contract.
By the way, those who think new homes can forgo inspection are dead wrong. Brand new homes haven't been tested by years of use, which means any existing problems haven't been discovered and fixed yet. Even the most qualified and experienced builders can make mistakes.
Home Inspection Requirements & Expectations
In Alberta, all home inspectors must have a license from the provincial government, be bonded or hold some other form of security, and have insurance for errors and omissions. These are legal requirements so feel free to ask a potential inspector to ante up these documents before you hire.
Basic Things You Can Expect
- A contract, provided and signed before the inspection
- An inspection that takes at least 2 hours
- A detailed report of findings provided after the inspection
We always recommend getting a thorough inspection of any home before you buy it, but it's important to take the information received with a grain of salt. There's always the possibility that something wasn't caught with the routine inspection and you may end up on the hook.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®