It’s taken a while, but now you’ve finally found your dream home and at a price you can afford. It’s in the neighbourhood you want, close to the amenities you use and, best of all, it has a floor plan you love. Even the paint colours are great. What’s left to do, but sign on the dotted line?
Take a step back to think about how important this transaction is. Buying a home is typically the most important investment Canadians make. You want to be sure the house you buy will become your home and not a nightmare.
Many Parts to a Well-Functioning Home
Heating, plumbing, wiring, roofing, foundation, decks, porches, structure, landscape, windows, doors, siding, attic and more.
When a home is inspected each one of these areas is examined to ensure it is properly functioning. That’s why a good home inspection will last 2 to 4 hours depending on the size and complexity of the home.
How Does a Home Inspection Affect Insurance?
Getting a home inspection on a house you’re going to purchase doesn’t mean your insurance will go down, but it will alert you to issues within the home that could cause your insurance to become more expensive. At Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd. we understand what issues insurance companies have with various aspects of a home. Here's a list of the main problems a home inspection should detect:
Roof – What kind of roofing does the home have? How old is the roof material? Is it showing signs of age? Is there evidence of roof leaks on the ceilings and walls of the upper floors? If the roof is old and needs replacement insurance companies will require this to be done, usually within 60 days of taking possession of the home.
Plumbing – How old and what kind of plumbing does the home have? For old plumbing lines, like cast iron or stainless steel, insurance companies will require them to be replaced with newer, up to building code, materials.
Heating – How old is your furnace? What kind of fuel does it burn? If you have an old oil furnace you could have an old oil tank as well. Insurance companies will not insure oil tanks older than 15 years because they are prone to leaks. Some insurance companies won’t offer any coverage for homes will old oil tanks until they are replaced.
Auxiliary Heating – Do you have any wood stoves or fireplace inserts? Have they been WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) inspected? If you are planning to use auxiliary heating insurance companies require them to be WETT certified or, if not certified, removed completely. Visit here to find a WETT certified professional.
Electrical – How old is the electrical wiring? Old, active knob and tube wiring will have to be replaced. Wiring not up to code will have to be corrected. Usually, insurance companies will give the new owner of a home some time to correct these issues. Some insurance companies won’t insure homes with a mix of aluminum and copper wiring.
Mould – Is there evidence of mould in the home? Water stains or other evidence of water leaks could pose a health problem. Insurance companies do not insure damage or illness caused by mould.
Structure – Are there any issues with the structural integrity of the home? Is the current owner claiming to be an engineer and has replaced some of the walls with steel beams? A home that has severe structural issues is most likely not insurable.
What to Look for in a Home Inspector
Looking for a reputable home inspector or home inspection company is very important. Here are some tips to help you choose a reliable home inspection company.
Education – What kind of qualifications does the home inspector have? Does he or she have experience in the home construction or renovation industry? Are they a part of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors?
Reputation – How long has the home inspector been doing inspections? What kind of reviews are there online for that person or company? Do they post a lot of information on their website?
Full Time – Is home inspecting the person’s full time job? Do they only work part time? Ask for references.
Insurance – Do they have commercial liability insurance for their job? If so, see what they are liable for in case something is missed.
Buying a Home is Exciting
Having a home inspection can mean the difference between buying your dream home and inheriting someone else’s headaches. It may make the buying process longer, but getting a good home inspection means knowing what you’re getting means no surprises later on.
Do you want a second opinion on your home insurance? Visit us here.
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Thanks for reading.