In general most home inspectors aren’t busy which many of us are somewhat perplexed and bewildered. You would think we would be running off our feet with the state of the real estate market in the GTA. The reason we aren’t is that multiple offer situations often necessitate removal of the request for an inspection in order to make the offer to purchase more appealing. Its becoming the norm to say an offer must go in clean with no conditions. This of course in my eyes is a huge risk and I won’t even touch on the financial aspect of this. Going without an inspection is a risky adventure for most and extremely risky if you are the type who has contractors complete all of your home maintenance and repairs. For those who are not savy on home systems and components a home inspection not only looks for major defects but also provides maintenance tips and insight into what may be coming up in the future. It actually is the second opinion on upcoming work to be completed.
A small snapshot of this would be this kind of inspection comment on a deck for example- ” Deck is currently stable but does not comply with current codes” This doesn’t sound like much but means a lot. The deck isn’t failing and is sound but the building code has changed and is changing all the time. With decks for example all must be built today with 6×6 posts and permanent foundations. There are many decks that have 4×4 posts and deck blocks that work quite well. Deck blocks may require a little more maintenance but can work quite well. Lets say that you plan to increase the size of the deck, maybe add a second level. The relationship to a contractor is that he may state “that deck isn’t to code and you need to rip it off and start over” . What the inspection provided you with is a second opinion that “we know it doesn’t meet the current building code but it is stable, safe and works just fine”. Therefore no “I’m not starting over all I want is to build and extension onto the deck not rebuild the whole thing”. That is just an example of the benefit of a home inspection beyond looking for major defects and deficiencies.
So now back to the real estate situation where we can’t put the inspection clause in the offer. You can work around this by doing an inspection before putting in the offer, often the seller may allow this and then you have the comfort of knowing more about your purchase if you get into bidding type situation. You can do an inspection after you take possession so you at least know what to look out for or what you need to prepare financially to repair.
At the end of the day many people don’t want spend the $400.00 average inspection price in case they don’t get the home. With todays home prices that money may not even be one quarter of one mortgage payment. In my eyes why wouldn’t you get an inspection. Even if you don’t get the home its a 3 hour education session you can take with to your next offer.