Finding the right home inspector

When buying a house you want to be sure that your future dream home is not going to be causing you more trouble than it is worth.

Problems with a home can easily go unnoticed to the untrained eye, which is why you will want to have a home inspection carried out before you actually buy your new home. Finding a trusted home inspector, however, takes a little more effort than simply opening up the telephone book and contacting the first one you see. To make sure your home inspection is done right, ask any potential home inspector these three questions.

Are you certified?
With the exceptions of British Columbia and Alberta, home inspection remains a largely unregulated industry in Canada. That’s why you need to be careful before you choose just any home inspector. A number of regional, provincial, and national certification programs exist to ensure that you can be confident that your home inspector is well qualified. The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI) is made up of seven provincial/regional organizations. Home inspectors who are certified by the CAHPI are allowed to refer to themselves as Registered Home Inspectors (RHI). Also, the National Home Inspector Certification Council (NHICC) certifies home inspectors as National Home Inspectors, a designation that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends that homebuyers seek out in an inspector.

Do you have references?
There is nothing wrong with asking a home inspector for references. You want to be sure that other people who have used this particular home inspector have had a positive experience. Your real estate agent will also be able to recommend a home inspector, but you are under no obligation to go with that recommendation. Friends and loved ones may be able to recommend a good home inspector. Also, go online and see if you can find reviews for any home inspector you are considering hiring.

Do you offer any guarantees or insurance?
A good home inspector should feel confident enough in their work to offer some sort of guarantee about the quality of that work. After all, you don’t want a home inspector to give your house a stamp of approval only to find out a month later that there is a major plumbing problem that will cost thousands of dollars to fix. To be sure, minor issues with a house can go unnoticed by even the best home inspectors, but major problems should not be missed. Ask your home inspector if they have a refund policy if any major problems with the house are overlooked. Also, ask if the home inspector carries Errors and Omissions Insurance, which will protect you if the home inspector makes a mistake or overlooks a serious issue with the home.

A home inspection will likely play a major decision in whether or not you ultimately choose to buy a home and for how much. That is why you do not want to be taking any unnecessary risks when choosing a home inspector. A trusted home inspector will be able to spot any potential problems with what could be your future home early on so that they don’t become costly issues later on.

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