Property Inspections Are Critical To The Buying Process

Whether you are buying a home or a condo, getting the property inspected before you agree to purchase it is a no-brainer. There are many homes in the Lower Mainland that are of the older variety, and can have lots of issues present that are visible to the average person. At this stage of the process it’s incumbent upon me to refer three qualified professionals so you can choose one that provides a quality service. When it comes to inspections you want to make sure to use someone who will uncover any pertinent issues facing the property. If something is missed at this stage it can cost you lots of money in the future. Make sure to ask lots of relevant questions, a competent inspector will be able to answer them in a way that is easy for you to understand.

What Your Inspector Will Inspect

Essentially it’s a property inspectors job to look at the home or condo from top to bottom. A few of the essential areas are the wiring, structural concerns when looking at a house, any ventilation system within the unit, and insulation. The following aspects of the property will need a little extra attention.

The Roof

Apart from the foundation, there really isn’t anything more important that the roof. If your home doesn’t have a great roof, then the rest of the home is already in danger before you get the keys. Leaks can cause issues with the foundation of the property, both within the attic as well as the walls. An inspector will investigate if their are any shingles that are loose, there are any issues with the weather proofing, as well as making certain the downspouts and eavestroughs are in great working order. A solid inspector will give you an idea of whether or not the roof needs any repairs or a whole replacement, as well as giving you an idea of the potential lifespan if the roof is in good working order.

Making Sure The Grade Slopes Properly

We all know it rains every now and again in Vancouver, after all we pretty much live in a rain forest! One of the nicest places in the world, mind you, but it has been known to drizzle from time to time. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure water drains properly away from your home. Gravity helps very nicely with this issue, so when your lot has a slight tilt in the ground which leads water away from the property this creates a natural flow that only mother nature can provide. This is what constitutes grade sloping. Most homes in Vancouver have proper grading, but this is still something the inspector needs to look at and make recommendations if necessary. If the grade slopes a little too much to one side of the home or the other it can result in water pooling in the basement or underneath the foundation, both situations to avoid. A good inspectory will advise you on anything that can be done to correct this.

Issues With The Plumbing

Every property needs to have the plumbing inspected properly to make sure there aren’t any issues and everything functions as it was meant too. This is especially relevant when you are shopping for an older home. The inspector will know what to look for and check if there are any blockages, leaky or worn pipes, as well as making sure the water heater is in good working order. In condos they’ll want to make sure all the taps and toilets are in working order, and assess where the shut off valves are in case of emergency.

It’s Time To Talk

While I can propose three home inspectors for you to contact, it isn’t ethical for me to suggest one over the others. This is a decision you’ll need to make on your own, I can definitely advise you on questions to ask though. During the initial hiring decision, make sure you have a good chat with the inspector and check their references. Working with an inspector that is able to communicate properly is critical, make sure they are able to explain things in a way that you understand.

Don’t always focus on price, this is one step of the buying process where price really shouldn’t enter the equation. Most inspectors will come in at around the same cost, but a good inspector is generally very much worth the additional cost. Any issues that are left undiscovered can cost ten of thousands of dollars in the long run, so it’s important not to be short sighted at this stage. Once you’ve received your three estimates, let’s take the time to go over them together so you can hear my feedback as well.

Once the inspection occurs, your inspector will provide a written report outlining his/her impressions of the property, any current issues as well as any potential future issues facing the unit. The home inspection industry, like any other industry, has it’s own set of phrases and language that are unique to it. If you need anything explained, ask the inspector to translate anything that doesn’t make sense into basic english.

If there are issues facing the home, make sure to ask which issues are the highest priority and make a list accordingly. At this stage I can approach the other REALTOR® and let them know the issues were discovered and we may need to adjust the price or another one of the conditions to finalize the transaction. Either the current owner will adjust the price to make up for the issue, or choose to fix the issue themselves. If there are too many issues facing the property, it might be best to walk away at this stage but more often than not the issues can be resolved.