It’s natural to feel a bit hesitant and anxious when buying a home. For most people, this will be the single largest investment they make in their entire life. Adding to the stress of bankers, realtors, lawyers and paperwork, is the fact that houses don’t come with money-back guaranties. If something – anything – goes wrong, it’s now your responsibility. There is no shortage of horror stories of people who have moved into what they thought was a dream home only to realize it’s actually a financial nightmare, full of hidden ‘surprises’.
To help avoid these unpleasant surprises, many hire ‘professionals’ to review a house before signing on the dotted line. If you are serious about buying a house, it is money well spent to get fully informed about its present condition so that you are aware of the deficiencies and also the strong points.
And yet, despite these precautions, some people will still end up buying homes with major defects. Why?
Home inspectors are not all created equal.
Part of the problem is that, in Canada, there is neither mandatory certification nor a legislated requirement for home inspectors to take any courses or to have passed any tests – anyone can claim to be a home inspector.
To hire a professional home inspector, look for someone who belongs to a provincial or regional industry association. As well, the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors have worked to develop a voluntary national accreditation and certification program – home inspectors who meet these requirements are designated National Certificate Holders.
While doing your homework before hiring a home inspector can solve a lot of headaches, there still is no guarantee that your new house will be problem free.
Unfortunately, most inspectors are not qualified to offer an opinion on structural, electrical, heating or plumbing concerns on more than a superficial level. To have a truly qualified opinion on such matters requires years of specialized training and experience.
That is why, especially when dealing with an older home and dated equipment, I recommend talking to qualified trades-people to have a close look at expensive items such as forced air furnaces, air conditioners, boilers or electrical concerns.
Although more time consuming than hiring only one person, taking the time to consult with various and specialized professionals will pay in the long run. With their highly trained eyes, often these professionals will be able to see potential problems and concerns that the average home inspector will have missed.
While there is nothing that can fully take the stress out of buying a house, going the extra mile on your home inspection will help provide some peace of mind.
To find out more about home inspection in the central Alberta region, you should contact Tim at Tee Pee Construction at 780-361-7835 or by email.