Inspecting a home before buying a house is standard practice. However, in the excitement of finding a house, most buyers do give this essential element of the buying process the focus it is due. The seller is not obligated to point out flaws or problems that are visible to the buyer; however, intentionally concealing them is also not allowed. Therefore, use a home inspection checklist to ensure you cover all the necessary aspects, keep track of what you have covered (or not covered). Doing so will save you from the headache and anguish after you move in.
When developing your home inspection checklist, make sure to cover all of the following:
- Check utility connections, grading and drainage;
- Assess the condition of the structure; check for cracks and mold;
- Check for storm damage, leaks and clear drainage pipes;
- Make sure exterior surfaces are clean and free of mold and rot; doors and windows are functional;
- Check the walls, ceiling, doors, floors and stairways;
- Check for good water flow in all taps, faucets, showers (including drains);
- Check all switches and any fixtures and fittings and wiring in the main board;
- Check all vents and ducts, make sure everything is clear;
- Air Conditioning
- Check if HVAC is functional and there are no leaks in the cooling coils.
To aid in decision making, once your inspection is complete, you can use a weighted ranking system to assess the overall performance of the house. Assign each factor a rank and a score between one and five. Multiple them together and sum the results to get a total. Compare your result with total from other houses you’ve seen. the one with the highest relative score is quantitatively the best choice.
Getting an inspection will not only give you peace of mind when you sign on the dotted line but it can also give your realtor an opportunity to negotiate any changes that need to be made to the contract.
Your best bet is to find a reputable home inspector who knows what they’re doing and knows what to look for. There are a number of resources to help you find the best inspector, including the Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (CAHPI).
Contact me if you have any further questions to discuss or are looking for a reputable and reliable home inspector.