Text by Lesley A. Baker
One of the largest investments a family will ever make is a home. If you are buying a home, you need to ask yourself this question; “Should I hire a home inspector to assist me in my purchase?” You might not realize the importance of hiring one right away, but perhaps if you knew how a home inspector could benefit you in the purchase of your home, you might change your mind.
What is the role of a home inspector? A home inspector specializes in inspecting every detail of your home. He will check to ensure the home you are buying is structurally sound and will provide a detailed analysis of the electrical, plumbing, appliances, pools or Jacuzzis, insulation, roof, flooring, water and even the air quality. Once you realize what a home inspector does you will ask yourself; “Can I buy a home without a home inspector?”
How do you choose a home inspector? You should be able to find one in the telephone directory but beware of whom you hire. A home inspector should carry an up-to-date licence or certificate from a home inspectors’ school and appropriate insurance, and should provide a list of previous clients as referrals. Over the years various tradespeople (contractors – builders – or painters), have taken on the role of home inspector without the proper training, licensing or insurance. This has caused some very costly and damaging home purchases. To prevent this from happening to you, take the time to check who you are hiring. A little investigation will save you a lot of grief and money in the end.
What does a home inspector charge? Home inspectors’ fees vary, but for a detailed and signed home inspection you will pay between $250-500. It is a one-time fee and with that you should receive a full-length document detailing an analysis of all the above-mentioned areas. Only once the inspection is complete and you receive your final documentation, are you required to pay the fee. The inspection takes an average of three to five hours to complete depending on the size of the home and added features, such as pools or Jacuzzis.
When you are in the market to buy a home, sellers may try to take short cuts, cover up damages or avoid discussing certain things. A home inspector asks the seller the hard questions, questions you may not think to ask, and then inspects each and every detail. Paying that one-time fee could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Investigate and make your purchase with a wise and informed decision. Hire a home inspector and protect your investment.