Unlike many of the other things we buy, there are no guarantees or return policies when it comes to buying a home. This means getting a home inspection is critical to protect your investment! Qualified home inspectors are skilled professionals that receive special training and certification. While an inspector can’t provide you a guarantee, hiring a qualified expert is the best way to identify potential concerns before you buy.
This post was created by Calgary mortgage broker Candice Light to provide a quick reference guide about the role of your home inspector and how to find one you can trust.
The Importance of Working with a Qualified Home Inspector
If you’re considering buying a home, the role of your home inspector will be critical in determining the physical condition of interior and exterior systems as well as the home’s overall structural integrity.
A qualified inspector will determine the condition of the following components in the interior of the home:
- Beams and foundation walls
- Plumbing and electrical wiring
- Ventilation, heat, and air conditioning systems
- Flooring, walls, ceilings, doors, and windows
- The inspector will also look for signs of moisture penetration inside the home.
The home inspector will inspect the components of the home’s exterior to ensure the following are in good condition:
- Drainage systems
- Roof, rain gutters, and chimneys
- Foundation, walls, doors, and windows
- Decks and balconies
- Garages and sheds
Finding a Qualified Home Inspector
Asking your friends, your real estate agent, and even your mortgage broker are all options. Word-of-mouth from satisfied customers is quite often a way home inspectors find work. As well, the following associations provide Calgary and area listings for qualified home inspectors.
- International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (search the InterNACHI list here)
- Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors (find a CAHPI inspector here )
- Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (see the CanNACHI list here )
A qualified inspector may have a degree, diploma, or certificate from any of the following institutions:
- The National Institute of Building Inspectors
- The American Home Inspectors Training Institute, Ltd.
- Inspect4u Inc.
- The National Home Inspector Certification Council
The following training and certification institutions also list qualified inspectors:
- Master Inspector Certification Boards, Inc. (see a list of master inspectors here)
- Carson Dunlop (book a qualified inspector here)
Always request to see your potential inspector’s accreditation before beginning.
Your Home Inspection Report
Your inspector will provide you with a written report with a detailed checklist that identifies problems and any necessary repairs that may be needed. The report will explain what’s most likely to happen if the repairs are not made, which may also factor in to your home insurance assessment.
Use the Time You Spend With Your Inspector Wisely
Inspections provide the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with a home and you’ll gain the most value from your inspector if you’re present during the inspection process. A good inspector will be happy to answer questions and explain proper maintenance and operating procedures for the home’s components. This is especially valuable for new homeowners. Be prepared to spend at least a couple hours with your inspector, and don’t forget to take notes.
Make the most of this time — don’t hesitate to ask! A home inspector can offer meaningful advice that may even indicate that your choice for a new home is not fiscally wise. You can’t always see damage on your walk-throughs. At Mortgages by Candice , we understand that buying a home is a huge decision, and we encourage you to hire a qualified inspector to protect your investment.