Yes, we feel it is extremley important that you do a homes inspection. Although, in many multiple offer situations an agent will provide a home inspection for propspective buyers and it is up to your discrepnecy if you want to trust this inpection or hire your own home inspector to do your own.
A home inspection is a precaution a prospective buyer might take, however they are not necessary for most condominiums. During an inspection, the home will be thoroughly evaluated from top to bottom. All major systems such as plumbing, heating, insulation, electrical and structures (roof, walls, ceilings, floors windows and doors) will be inspected and examined. All Ontario home inspections are “non intrusive, visual examinations of accessible areas of the home at the time of inspection." That means the home inspector will not move large furniture or personal items to inspect the house, and of course can not open up finished walls to see what's inside since the buyer who has initiated the inspection does not own the home. An inspection can only be 'non destructive'. With this kind of inspection, the home inspector cannot be expected to see something that isn't visible. For example, if there is no evidence of active or past moisture in the basement of a home at the time of an inspection, it is unfair to assume an inspector should foresee a future flooding problem.
Generally, an inspection lasts about three hours. It will not tell you the condition of every single component of the home, but will focus on determining potentially large expenses and safety related concerns.
A good home inspector will look at thousands of details about your home, including:
Building Exterior: The overall site, grading, drainage, foundation, masonry. Look for significant cracks and gaps. Check visible structure, framing, walls, siding, roof, flashing, chimneys, vents, windows and doors.
Building Interior: Basement, crawlspace, attic, all rooms, bathrooms and kitchen. Look for significant cracks and possible leaks. An electronic moisture sensor may be used to check for dampness. Check visible framing, joists, beams, insulation, ventilation, windows, doors, floors, walls and ceilings.
Plumbing System: Check fresh water supply and distribution system, drainage sub system, venting. Check fixtures, taps, appliances and hot water tank. Locate main shut off valves and water meter.
Electrical System: Check service sizing, electrical distribution panel, fuse and breaker ratings, grounding, wiring, ground fault, plugs, receptacles, switches and identify non standard handyman wiring.
Heating/Cooling: Identify heating system, efficiency, date and locate thermostat shut off. Check visible burners, heating, blower and filter system, humidifier, visible ducts, tanks, flue, chimney and overall operation. Test for carbon monoxide with professional CO2 specific analyzer.
Fire Safety: Check for carbon monoxide sensors, smoke alarms and look for potential fire hazards.
In conclusion, the inspection will:
- Identify significant problems and answer any concerns a buyer may have.
- Suggest practical and cost effective corrective measures
- Provide related repair and home maintenance tips, to put the buyer at ease.
- Identify and tag all important shut off switches and valves
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