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The Importance of Home Inspections

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Ballard Fine Homes
March 27, 2023

Vancouver Island has seen a change in the real estate market. Rising home prices have contributed to a seller’s market, meaning more people are competing to buy a home. Instead of hoping for a single offer, sellers are now faced with several offers to choose from.

With a hot real estate market, it can be tempting to make your offer as desirable as possible to a seller. Besides, you want them to choose your offer over the others, right? Sometimes cutting costs in an attempt to give a seller a better deal does more harm than good. Passing on a home inspection can cost buyers thousands of dollars they didn’t anticipate spending in the first place. Purchasing a home is a costly investment, so being informed about the pros and cons of something like a home inspection is worth considering.

Reasons to get a home inspection

So why bother getting a home inspection? We outline ten reasons below why skipping out on this condition may do more harm than good.

    • Safety: A home inspection can identify potential safety hazards such as faulty wiring, damaged foundations, or mold growth. This can influence your home insurance premiums, especially as homes on Vancouver Island are susceptible to earthquakes, flooding, and damp conditions.
    • Cost-effective: A home inspection can help you identify potential problems before they become costly repairs, saving you money in the long run.
    • Negotiating power: If the inspection reveals any significant issues, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to lower the price or make necessary repairs. An issue estimated to cost $10 000 is often a valid reason to reduce your offered price or put in a condition for that issue to be fixed in full or partially by the seller before the deal goes through.
    • Peace of mind: Knowing the condition of the home and any potential issues can give you the ability to relax and help you make an informed decision. It is one less thing to worry about.
    • Disclosure: An inspection can reveal any undisclosed issues with the property that the seller may not have been aware of or disclosed.
    • Insurance: Many insurance companies require a home inspection before they will provide coverage, and some may offer discounts based on the results of the inspection.
    • Future planning: Understanding the condition of the home and any necessary repairs or upgrades can help you plan for future maintenance and renovations. If a home inspection reports that the roof should be replaced within the next five years, then that gives you a bit of breathing room to plan for that expense, for example.
    • Legal protection: A home inspection can help protect you from any legal issues that may arise from undisclosed problems with the property. This is especially important if you are planning to use the property as a rental unit.
    • Professional assessment: A professional home inspector can provide an objective assessment of the property, giving you a better understanding of its condition. Sometimes our emotions can cloud our judgement, making it so we unintentionally make decisions we later regret. An objective third-party is a great way to add an unbiased opinion to your purchase.
    • Education: A home inspection can be a valuable learning experience, helping you understand the various components of the home and how they function. It may uncover things about your home you didn’t pay attention to previously, allowing you an opportunity to become a better-informed homeowner.

Nanaimo News

Desperate to get into the real estate market, more and more Canadians are making riskier offers. On Vancouver Island, news stations like Chek News and the Nanaimo Bulletin have revealed people are starting to forgo home inspections when purchasing a new home. The fear of missing out on a property due to high interest has led many families to skip home inspections, and then dealing with a myriad of problems to follow. Instead of walking through a home and being the center of attention by the real estate agent, Vancouver Island residents are finding that they are now the ones competing for the attention of the real estate agent because so many more people are trying to – literally – get their foot in the door.

A creative shot of a bathtub showing a brassy/copper-like faucet.

What do home inspectors typically look for?

Home inspectors are on the lookout for several issues around a property. These are places and things you may see but are unable to identify as being problematic. The question of “how bad is it, really?” can be the difference between $5 at the hardware store or $20 000+ to replace a foundation.

Some areas of concern include:

      • Structural issues with the foundation, roof, walls, or other structural elements of the home. Did the previous homeowner renovate to code, or are you potentially moving into a death trap?
        The electrical system including wiring, outlets, and circuit breakers are all inspected to make sure they are safe and up to code.
      • Got some old lead pipes? Inspectors will check your plumbing for leaks, corrosion, and other issues. Some insurance plans will not provide a policy if certain features are not up to code, plumbing included.
      • HVAC systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning can have costly repairs if they aren’t functioning properly.
      • Roofing materials like shingles, tiles, and flashing are inspected to ensure they are in good condition and not at risk of leaks. Replacing a roof is a very large expense that often takes years to plan ahead for.
      • Does your home contain asbestos? Checking the insulation in walls and attics are up to code is also important for your health.
      • It might be exciting that the home comes with appliances like the refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher but what if they are broken? Knowing ahead of time if you should pack your appliances in your new house or not is a considerable cost.
      • Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety features are examined to ensure they are installed and functioning properly.
      • On Vancouver Island, water damage can be a big issue. Stains, mold, and mildew can indicate underlying (costly) issues with your home that can effect your health.
      • Inspectors are also on the lookout for signs of pests such as termites, rodents like rats and mice, and other insects.

A Nanaimo builder you can count on

What does it take to feel comfortable knowing you are in good hands? Integrity, hard work, and a strong reputation go a long way. Ballard Fine Homes are Nanaimo builders that specialize in building custom homes that put these values up at the forefront. We understand the importance of care, trust, and transparency between builders and clients. As part of our business profile, inspections at all levels are a guaranteed part of the process. Take a look at our available homes for sale in Nanaimo, Comox, Courtenay, and Parksville regions to view our craftsmanship. If you are looking to start off on the right foot, contact the team at Ballard Fine Homes to discuss your next renovation or custom home project.