It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re looking for your forever home. You see all the glitter but maybe fail to see that not everything is gold. And that’s where a home inspection can come into play. For a roughly $500 investment on the biggest purchase of your life, it should be a no-brainer to have a home inspection, whether the home is 100 years old or brand new.
In many cases, people don’t bother to do a home inspection when a home is new because they believe there will be no issues. They may be surprised to learn that even brand new builds can have problems. Certainly with older homes there can be a plethora of issues, ranging from asbestos insulation, knob-and-tube electrical wiring to cracks in the foundation.
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).
Even a thorough home inspection may not be able to turn up all the issues with a home. Here are some of the most common latent defects in a home.
1. Bathing Area Issues
Problem: Hidden water damage behind shower/ bathtub surround
Implications: Extra costs will occur, water leaks
2. Pest Infestation
Problem: Pest activity in areas of homes
Implications: Extra costs to repair fire/safety hazards, air quality issues
3. Plumbing Pipes
Problem: Polybutylene plastic fittings prone to leaking, insurability issues
Implications: Water damage and/or extra costs can occur, high insurance premiums and deductibles
4. Hidden Water Leaks
Promblem: Hidden water leaks
Implications: Structural damage, air quality issues
5. Grade Levels
Promblem: Landscaping too high on structure of home
Implications: Structural problems, foundation issues, pest infestation