Raymond Wand and Associates

Choosing A Home Inspector

Buying a home will probably be the biggest purchase of your life. So it pays to have a good inspection done by a qualified inspector.  Here are tips from people in the real estate and home inspection business. 

Choose an inspector after independent research and try to check out more than one. If a real estate agent recommends an inspection, most will offer a list of several inspectors to avoid any possible conflict. Stay away from people who also fix and repair houses on the side and inspectors who are not affiliated with OAHI/CAHI or PACHI. 

Get several references from independent sources and  former customers. 

A home inspection should take two to three hours (larger homes take longer as do homes with many concerns) and the customer should be asked to attend. Costs range from $300 to $500 and up. 

The inspector should produce a written report detailing the condition of the structure, heating, plumbing and wiring systems and the exterior of the building. It should say what work is needed, set priorities for repairs and give rough estimates on costs. 

Generally, a home inspection does not cover interior decorating or problems that could be detected only by knocking down or punching holes in walls. 

It is important to verify the inspector's qualifications. In the early '70s, many home inspectors were engineers or architects, but that is not the case today. Some still have professional engineering or architectural qualifications. Some have studied home inspection at community college. Some simply have a background in construction.   A home inspector can be accepted into groups like the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors or the Provincial Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Some official sounding titles are not what they seem as some groups will, for a fee, mail a certificate. Call and ask what any association's standards of practice and codes of ethics are, and ask to have copies. 


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