Is getting a home inspection really worth it?
For most of us, buying a home is the biggest single investment we will make in our entire lives. In Calgary, the average home sale price in 2017 was $422,000 (The Canadian Real Estate Association). Because of this large price tag, it is not uncommon for new and experienced home buyers to try and save a dime here and there. One of the first places people often try to save money is on a home inspection.
Although it’s enticing to think about saving an extra $300-500 on a home inspection, it can cost you 1K, 10K, or even 100K+ down the road if you are not careful. Below are a few reasons that getting a home inspection will save you far more than the cost of getting one done.
You Should Understand Exactly What You’re Buying
Imagine this, you’re shopping for a used car online and you’ve found the perfect one! It’s the right colour, size, fuel economy, and price. So you meet up with the owner and ask to take it for a test drive but they refuse. They say “I have driven this car reliably for over 5 years and know there’s nothing wrong with it.” It’s likely at this point you would walk away from the deal regardless of how perfect it is. Why? Because even though they are the owner, it doesn’t mean they are an expert about cars. Their opinion about how the car operates is merely based on their limited knowledge about cars and from being in the vehicle often. Plus, you know they have the motive to get as much money for the vehicle as possible.
Well, this is the same as buying a home. The homeowner and realtor will always highlight the best parts of the home to help establish their selling price as a great deal. The truth is that they may not even know when issues are lurking because they are not experienced home builders, trades, or professionals who understand what to look for as potential issues.
One key difference between your home and a car though is that you obviously cannot take a home for a “test drive” and live in it for a while. This is where hiring a professional home inspector becomes crucial. With over 60 years of combined trade’s experience, our team has built homes, repaired them, and understands what lies behind the walls. This allows us to give you a much more concise picture of a home value/potential issues.
When we complete a home inspection we look at the following:
- The homes structure: We evaluate the “bones” of the house to ensure they are sturdy and do not show any signs of failure. This could save you tens of thousands of dollars if a major structural issue is found.
- The exterior: We will evaluate the roof, the exterior walls, downspouts, how water is affecting the foundation, and all other aspects of the homes exterior.
- The electrical system: The main focus here is to ensure there are no potential fire hazards. A major portion of house fires are started as a result of old or poor electrical systems. We ensure this will not be the case with your home.
- Heating and air conditioning: With this inspection we look at the major equipment, check it for recalls and ensure it is not going to need to be replaced right away. Since furnace and AC units typically cost anywhere from $1500 - $4500 to repair, install, or replace, knowing that they are in good condition will save you a major headache.
- Plumbing systems: Water damage can cause a world of problems for a home owner. Whether it’s a leaky pipe that causes mould buildup, an old hot water tank, or poorly insulated pipes that are at risk of bursting during the cold winters we get in Calgary, Red Deer, and Winnipeg. We will ensure the plumbing systems are up to par.
- Insulation and vapor barriers: For most homes, the major expense is their energy and heating bill. Most often, a home’s energy bill is directly correlated to the homes insulation and ability to contain heat/cold air. With every inspection we include a free thermal imaging which helps us determine areas of heat loss that should be repaired.
- Interior: With the interior, we will evaluate all aspects of the home to make sure we don’t notice any signs of the house shifting, poor construction, or general hazards to be aware of. Since building codes change overtime, it is important to hire a professional who understands why they were changed and the potential costs to you in the long run.
- Mechanical systems: We inspect all major appliances including fridge, stove, washer, dryer, and duct work to ensure your homes mechanical systems are in good operating condition. We also include a recall check on these to ensure there are no major defects or dangers you should be aware of.
Prepare for Future and Current Expenses
The second major reason to hire a home inspector that we hinted to above is that we are able to estimate the age and remaining lifespan of all your home major systems. This means, we can tell you what costs you will encounter 1, 5, and 10 years down the road. This could completely change your perspective of a home’s value both positively and negatively.
With each inspection, we include a home inspection report. This will provide you all the details about the equipment and associated costs. This will give you some buying/selling power because you can utilize this information to negotiate on the homes price, or to hold firm if you are the seller.
The Real Value
The truth is that a home inspection is not that expensive when you consider that it could give you the ability to negotiate the price of your home up or down thousands of dollars. And as a homebuyer, it gives you peace of mind knowing that your hard earned money is going towards a solid investment. Information is king, so when you understand the complete picture, it is much easier to feel confident about your purchasing decision.
If you are looking at buying or selling a home and want the Red Seal Inspection team to help you take it for a “test drive” give us a call! We provide home inspection services in Calgary, Red Deer, and Winnipeg. Our team has extensive experience in the trades industry and understands what to look for in a home.
Call us today to schedule your appointment.