1. Do I still need a home inspection if the home I am looking to purchase is only 1-5 years old?

Yes. In the process of building a home even a quality builder can make a mistake. There is also a process I call “trade wars”. Recently I was inspecting a brand new home and found that the heating contractor had cut out some floor joists to pass ducting. This obviously compromised the structural integrity of the floor.

2. I hear a lot on tv about bad home inspectors, how do I make sure the inspector I am using is competent?

The first thing you want to make sure of is that the inspector is both certified and insured as this will bring you an element of protection. Secondly ask your friends for recommendations, ask what their experience was like with their inspector. You have chosen a quality realtor and have trusted them with this huge investment, ask them for a referral. Realtors are required to give you more than one name, ask them what their experience was like with each of the inspectors. Like many things this is not the time to make a choice solely on price. Look for experience and knowledge.

3. I have an uncle/friend that could do the inspection for free, why should I hire an inspector?

Home inspection is a very complex process that examines most of the components of your home both individually and as they interact with other systems. Home inspectors are investigators, they look for clues as to underlying issues. Without proper training many of these subtle clues can be missed. Further, can you imagine the grief that could be created if an uninsured friend/relative missed an item that cost thousands of dollars (or more) to repair. Even though the average person knows how to pull a tooth few of us would try it!! Some things are better left to the professionals.

4. How much does an inspection cost?

In order to establish a fee our inspectors will need a little information such as square footage of the home, location, additional structures. Obviously a 1 bedroom condominium apartment will cost less than a 6,000 square foot home. A number of factors go into pricing not the least of which is liability. We pride ourselves on meeting at the intersection of quality and price. It is always possible to get a lower price but at this stage $25 saved at the expense of a quality inspection is not worth. There is a reason we have grown to the biggest home inspection provider in North Bay. Quality service. With this in mind prices range from $200 to $450.

5. The property I am thinking of purchasing was pre-inspected by the seller, do I need to have my own inspection?

Inspections are the property of the client for whom the report was prepared and all liability by the inspector ends with the client. So in the case of a pre-sale inspection the liability ends with the seller. If a purchaser uses this report to their detriment they have no recourse with the inspector. At A Better Choice 4 Home Inspections we have addressed this concern and offer a transfer of the report to the purchaser. If the purchaser requests this service we will, for a nominal fee, attend the property with the purchaser, review the report with them, update any information that is required and issue a new report for the purchaser. Also, in a number of cases, some months may have passed since the inspection was performed and there could be other issues that have materialised. This process insures that the report is as accurate as possible.