Not to be confused with Real Property Appraisers, who are concerned with valuating properties, Home Inspectors are responsible for identifying areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past. Inspections are intended to provide the client with a better understanding of property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection.
Although mortgage lenders do not usually require a home inspection as part of the mortgage approval process, the reports play a pivotal role in overall home buying. As there are no refunds when you purchase a home, foregoing a home inspection is a recipe for disaster. It’s imparative that you know as much as you can about potential problems before you make the commitment to buy.
Rick Anderson, CMI of Anders Home Inspection recommends asking your potential Home Inspector the following list of questions before hiring them:
1. Is the Inspector licensed through Service Alberta? If they are, it’s a good sign as they have to be of a qualified level before they are granted a license.
2. Is the company licensed through Service Alberta? If they are they have to be insured with liability ($2,000,000.00) and surety bonded of no less than $10,000.00.
3. Is the Inspector licensed to work in your Municipality?
4. If there are unique structures of the dwelling ask if the Inspector is well read in these areas (cisterns, septic systems, flat roofs, brick foundations etc.)?
5. What will be covered in the inspection?
6. How long will the inspection take?
7. Can you bring a friend or another observer to the inspection?
8. Are they comfortable with you shadowing the inspector and ask questions?
9. What kind of report will be presented and when will you receive it?
10. Will the report have pictures and about how many?
11. Will all the major problems be highlighted on the report?
12. Will the Inspector go over the report with you on site?
13. Can you call after the report as many times as needed to ask questions?
14. Will the Inspector provide any further information (seasonal check lists for maintained, manuals for dwelling components, code clarification, etc.)?
Remember to accompany the inspector as the inspection takes place. It can be a valuable learning experience and you’ll be able to ensure that all your questions are addressed to your satisfaction.