11 Jun Top 10 Home Home Inspection Myths
After visiting several homes on the West-Island, in Anjou, the South Shore and even Mont St-Bruno, you and your better half have finally decided on the perfect place to settle down in Montreal. You survived the search and the financing is all approved, now all you have to do is sign, right? What about the home inspection? How important is it really? Should I waive it?
In this article, we will debunk the top ten myths about home inspections.
Because of increased competition for available homes, a lot of buyers feel the need to speed up the buying process and choose to waive the home inspection. When you get an inspection, how do you know it was done right? It can all be very confusing!
Buying a property is a major decision and without a proper inspection, you might put your family’s financial future in jeopardy.
At Mose Home Inspection Services, we have been helping homeowners make informed decisions about their big purchase and have prepared the TOP 10 Home Inspection Myths to give you more information about what a home inspection is and is not.
Let’s dive in and look at the top 10 home inspection myths!
Myth No. 1) My inspector will tell me if the home passed or failed
When it comes to home inspection, it is not a matter of pass or fail. It is a question of perception and tolerance. One buyer may be able to deal with certain items in need of a little TLC, while for another these may be deal breakers. It is all relative to the buyer’s tolerance and personal choice, their willingness to deal or not deal with an issue according to their own needs and capacity.
A Mose home inspector can tell you the condition of the building, but whether it’s a pass or fail is up to you as the buyer.
Myth No. 2) A home inspection should be done without the buyers present
This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is nothing like seeing and getting a feel of the place for yourself. While being present during the inspection, you will be able to discuss matters on site with your home inspector.
While your home inspector won’t be able to tell you if you should buy the house or not, asking questions and getting maintenance tips is worth your time. It is the role of a home inspector to give you those tips.
Myth No. 3) Inspectors are all the same; it doesn’t matter who performs the inspection
Experience is vital when it comes to a good home inspection. Having an inspector who knows construction best practices and how the various companies build their homes will give you a much more meaningful and in-depth report.
All inspectors are not trained equally, and certification alone doesn’t automatically guarantee quality.
“We hand pick our inspectors and I accompany them on 20-40 inspections before giving them the OK to go out on their own”
says Ivan Mose, owner of Mose Home Inspection Services.
Myth No. 4) The home inspector will tell me if I should buy the house
This is not the inspector’s job, just like a realtor’s job is not to inspect the house. We are often asked “Would you buy this house?” says Carol Mose (Ivan’s daughter and one of his most experienced inspectors). “My job is to point out the good and not so good things about the condition of the home and its equipment, not to advise on if it’s a good deal or not.”
A good inspector is thorough, impartial and dispassionate, and no opinions should be given other than those relative to the equipment and materials of the house. Don’t let yourself think that home inspection is meant to help you renegotiate the purchase price.
Myth No. 5) A home inspection is the same as home appraisal
People often mistakenly believe that these two are the same, when in fact they are very different. An appraiser will determine the value of the house on behalf of the seller or the bank.
An inspector, on the other hand, evaluates the state of a house.
Myth No. 6) It will all come out at the inspection
Sure, a home inspector has a keen eye for details, but he or she cannot check every nook and cranny. They haven’t invented X-Ray vision for home inspectors yet! We wish we could see behind walls, but it is simply not possible to do in a standard home inspection.
A home inspection is done on a visual basis, we can’t open a wall to see what is behind or what is making that noise. Everything that can be easily spotted visually will be thoroughly inspected. We won’t move things to look at what is behind; we are present as a guest in the house and do not move things around.
We do use specialized tools to help with an evaluation of the house condition. Infrared cameras and moisture meters can be used to gather information. Managing your expectations is a good way to go here. For example, if you are buying a house in Montreal in the middle of January, an inspector won’t be able to go on the roof. Instead, he will check the attic sheathing for any sign of leaks.
Here is where having a great deal of experience and working with a team makes a difference. When a Mose inspector is building their report and has a question about a certain aspect of the home’s condition, they have access to the expertise of the Mose team of experienced inspectors. Having the advice of several experienced inspectors is often much more valuable than having X-ray vision.
Myth No. 7) It’s a new construction, it doesn’t need to be inspected
Just because it’s new doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. Construction flaws do happen and can lead to all kinds of nightmares in the future. Since the house hasn’t been lived in and nothing has been used (ie. no showers taken and no everyday living), clear signs of leakage have not had the opportunity to come to light, yet. New construction should always be expected even if there is a warranty involved.
At Mose, we have helped home buyers avoid the heartache of moving into a new condo only to later find themselves dealing with construction defects that take many long and troublesome months to resolve with builders.
Myth No. 8) It’s a flip so it doesn’t need an inspection
This is a special one. Who’s say that the flippers took every precaution safety wise? Who’s to say that the flippers haven’t hidden some shady renos under the carpet, even if that new carpet is very trendy looking?
Many flippers look for homes in very poor condition and “fix them up” to make them appealing to home buyers. Their goal of course is to make a profit not make the home as safe and sound as possible. Would you risk it? The answer should be a big NO. Flipped houses definitely need to be inspected.
Myth No. 9) The inspector will be able to see trouble coming
Once a client in Laval wanted to know exactly how long it would take before having to replace the roof. Well that is impossible to tell. A range can be given as a ballpark estimate, but there is no way to exactly measure life expectancy of appliances, or to predict when a leak will show up in the plumbing or in the roof.
Keep in mind that everything in the house will eventually need to be fixed or replaced, but it is impossible to know precisely when. A home inspection is an evaluation of the state of the house at a precise moment in time; it is not a psychic reading!
Our best tip: Expect to spend approximately 1% of the house value, per year, on maintenance.
Myth No. 10) If the inspection goes quickly, it’s a good sign
Wow, the inspector was in and out of the home in about an hour; that must mean there was nothing wrong with the place, right? Not exactly. Mose Home Inspection Services belongs to the InterNACHI & ASHI associations which have careful guidelines around home inspections, however there are some inspectors who do not belong. Some inspectors will charge a very low price and therefore need to do a lot of inspections to make their money. This does not guarantee the customer will get a thorough home inspection.
At Mose Home Inspection Services, we have a team that is large enough for us to service our clients’ needs, and this means that we don’t have to rush inspections. “We take the time the home deserves to do a good job,” says Ivan Mose. “When our operators book an inspection, we often reserve two and half hours for the inspection; smaller condos can take less time. We don’t rush our reports either; your report can serve as an owner’s manual for your home, so we take it very seriously.” Allow 24-48 hours to get your full report.
There you have it: “The Top 10 Home Inspection Myths”. We hope you have enjoyed it and perhaps learned a little more about home inspection and how you can get the best out of your next inspection. If you have any more questions, we would love to hear them. Visit our contact page and leave us your comments.
If you or anyone you know is in the market for a new house or condominium, please consider Mose Home Inspection Services, trusted in Greater Montreal, Laval, and the South Shore for over 15 years.
In our next blog we will be covering “How to Protect Yourself from Bad Renos.”
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