Benefits of Quality Home Inspection Service Comments48 Comments

So we’re one step closer to owning our home! Today my girlfriend and I took half a day off work to be present for the home inspection service. I have to say it was extremely informative.

Thanks to having an amazing realtor, we were referred to a very thorough home inspector. On top of doing a very detailed job, it was also done at a very reasonable price.

Before going into this I didn’t fully appreciate the importance of a home inspection. I figured it was more of a formality – something just to make sure there wasn’t any major problems that would determine if we should or shouldn’t make the purchase. I had even heard from a friend that he didn’t even get a home inspection done.

Regardless of this assumption, we went ahead with an inspection since we were a bit concerned about this condo and because our trusted realtor told us to :)

First of all, our realtor provided a list of a few different home inspectors he normally uses. Instead of pushing one on us, he recommended that I give them a call to check on pricing and availability. I admit I was going to go with the cheapest one, but he wasn’t available. That may have worked in our favor though.

Somehow I pictured the home inspection as us just standing around bored as the inspector pokes around. We had been told it was best to be present so that he can explain things not included in the report. I’m very glad we took that advice.

We got there a few minutes late, but apparently the inspector got there early. Before we even arrived he had walked around the outside of the building looking for issues and had already gone up to the roof, boiler room and electrical room with the realtor. This guy wasn’t wasting any time getting started.

As the actual suite inspection got under way he really impressed us. He could’ve just rushed through the job mentioning little things here and there. This guy wasn’t taking any shortcuts and seemed to like his job. He took the time to fully explain everything he was checking and any concerns he had.

When something didn’t meet his approval he dug into it more to find out the root of the problem. For example, I was worried about some water damage and condensation issues. Instead of just confirming that and checking it on his list, he was able to pinpoint the problem to the dryer not properly ventilating. From there he explained exactly what to do about it, as well as what to get the condo management to do about it.

Obviously I have no previous home inspection service to compare this to, but it really felt that he went above and beyond. It seems like he checked everything possible and did his best to fully educate us along the way.

The part that I really liked is that he had plenty of experience with renovations and house flipping. So he was able to suggest both quick DIY fixes to some problems and full renovation ideas. That included recommendations for the cheapest local companies and how much to expect to pay.

Nearly 4 hours later it was all wrapped up and we both suddenly knew so much more about that condo, the building and what we can do about any issues. Now our concerns are all relieved and we’re so much more confident going forward with the purchase. There will be some things in the building that are due to be replaced soon, but at least we know what we’d be looking at in the near future. The guy even wrote his cell phone number of on the front of the report in case we have any further questions in the future. Talk about service!

Lesson learned: always pay for quality home inspection service and take the time to be there in person. It may cost money upfront, but it will more than pay for itself between our peace of mind and the renovation recommendations.

And yes we are still planning on going ahead with the condo purchase :)

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By : Jeremy Biberdorf | 12 Apr 2013
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48 thoughts on “Benefits of Quality Home Inspection Service

  1. Christine

    You’re so right! This is definitely a must. If we had skipped a home inspection we would have been out $8000-$12000 for a new roof almost as soon as we moved in! The roof had been damaged by a storm a few years ago and never repaired! Because of the inspection, we were able to list roof replacement as a condition of the sale.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Good catch Christine. That would be frustrating to find that out later rather than before the sale. I’m sure you’ll definitely never buy a home without first doing an inspection.

      Reply
  2. Tushar @ Everything Finance

    When I bought my house, it was important that I get a home inspection. It uncovered some major problems that we were able to talk down the price with. We fixed the major problems and going through the report fixing the minor ones, too. They certainly are worth it!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      We’ll be doing the same with our report…going through the list and trying to address each issue. Luckily there weren’t any major issues that would hold back the sale. There is something that we may have to convince the condo management to look into though.

      Reply
  3. Liquid

    Good thing the cheapest option wasn’t available because it sounds like you made the right choice with this inspector :) I used to think these guys made easy money. Like they show up, look around, write up a summary and charge hundreds of dollars for a couple hours of work, but apparently this individual took his time to check everything and explain it to you guys (^_^) Now I regret not doing a proper inspection for my place when I bought it, lol too late I guess.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I think the cheapest guy still would’ve done a good job since he was also a recommendation from our realtor. He might not have had the same kind of advice about various renovations and fixes though. In your case it’s probably not worth forking out that kind of money now unless there were problems that you were worried about. If we hadn’t gotten an inspection we would’ve never known there was something wrong with the dryer vent. We would’ve just assumed the dryer was old and needed replacing.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      That’s good that you found those things. There wasn’t anything big enough for the seller to fix in our case, but she will be looking into the dryer vent issue anyway.

      Reply
  4. The Happy Homeowner

    Awesome stuff–happy things are still moving forward for you two.

    I can’t say enough about how great my inspector was. He was incredibly thorough, gave me a 30+ page document listing every single thing he noted, suggested or mentioned and even included a binder filled with photos of anything he noted with the offending item circled so I could clearly remember what to fix/monitor. He did such a great job with all the information that I’m still referring to the binder almost three years later because he gave me a little timeline of when he anticipated we’d need to make some repairs.

    So yes, ALWAYS have an inspection and don’t cheap out on the cost!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Wow that guy sounds even better than ours. We have photos of issues through the building, but not within our particular condo. For that kind of stuff he walked us through it all and fully explained it. Photos might have been a good reminder, but maybe not totally necessary for the issues he noted. The idea of a timeline for repairs is a pretty good idea though. Our guy did give estimates of when major items in the building would be up for replacement or repair. I guess a house and condo inspection would be pretty different.

      Reply
  5. Darnell Jackson

    Good post Jeremy,

    Now this could really be worth your investment.

    If you have a little bit of money hire two inspectors that way you have two sets of objective eyes on your properties potential problems.

    Nothing creates buyers remorse more than finding out problems after your close.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I think if this was a house instead of a condo I might actually consider that route. For a condo though there’s only so much for them to check. The more important stuff is really up to the condo management.

      Reply
  6. Grayson @ Debt Roundup

    I think home inspections are a must. I have mixed feelings about ours. He did the job quickly and recommended some changes that we pushed onto the builder, but there are a lot of things that were missed. I have found them out over the 7 years we have been here. The fixes that the builder did were done poorly, so I had to do them myself the right way. I guess it is good to have a great inspector and a great builder.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      For sure, quality help is priceless. That sucks that your inspector rushed the job so much that he missed lots of things. That’s why it helps to get personal recommendations for stuff like that. Hopefully everything is all sorted out now.

      Reply
  7. Jacob @ iHeartBudgets

    Our inspector was AWESOMELY thorough. Saved us a ton of headache, and allowed us to bargain to have them fix a TON of stuff before we moved in.

    Oh, and Congrats on taking the next step in your Condo purchase :)

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Thanks Jacob. You’ll have to come up this way to meet up with some local bloggers some time. It must’ve been a relief to get all that stuff bargained into the sale agreement. In our case we already got the price negotiated low with that stuff in mind. So we’ll just be gradually dealing with it all on our own.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yep, who wants to get those kind of surprises down the road? Obviously an expert is going to be much better at detecting those problems. So it is best to pay a bit of money to get it all checked out.

      Reply
  8. Mrs. 1500

    We have always had a home inspection before purchasing a house, and with our next move, were wondering if it is worth the cash spent. It is comforting to read several financial-independence bloggers who support the idea.

    One inspector saved us a TON of headache/hassle/money by pointing out the stucco on the outside of the building was fake stucco, that has caused massive mold problems if installed incorrectly. We canceled the contract and were able to get our deposit back in full because of the potential problem.

    I agree that you should be at the inspection, if at all possible. They can point out so much more when you are there. Also, avoid buying during snowy weather, if possible. Our inspector wasn’t able to check out the roof due to snow, turns out the house needed a new roof. Lesson learned, but at a fairly high price.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Good tip about snowy weather. That could really limit the effectiveness of an inspection. I definitely don’t recommend skipping the inspection for your next move. Sometimes they might not find much, but it is still comforting knowing that it all looks good. Other times they might find major problems. Being there in person got us so much more advice than we would’ve expected.

      Reply
  9. Nick @ AYoungPro.com

    Home inspections are definitely worth it. A lot of sellers that know there is a problem with their home will go to great lengths to hide it. A lot of homeowners may not even know there is a problem!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yep, what kind of seller is going to openly disclose problems that could cost them big money on the sale? There are also times when they think they have paid to have a problem fixed only for a contractor to just make it look like it was fixed.

      Reply
  10. Edward Antrobus

    Our buyer was a complete jerk, especially about the inspection. Instead of going with one of the inspectors that the realtor recommended (and had experience with mobile homes), he completely over-paid for some guy who then had to justify his high rates with a 90 page inspection report.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I guess that’s his own problem if he wanted to overpay for his inspection. It does make a lot of sense to use an inspector that has experience with the specific type of home you are buying. A mobile home would be such a different case compared to a condo or house. You’d have to look for completely different issues.

      Reply
  11. Canadian Budget Binder

    We had one of those top notch inspectors referred by our agent as well. Next time I’ll pay myself to do the job and hire in any tradesman if I have to. I have mixed feelings on this topic. Glad to hear your inspection went well and you are happy. Cheers

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Sounds like you actually didn’t have that great an inspector. Some realtors are probably less honest and just refer whoever they have a commission deal with. Sure you can get tradesmen in to do actual work, but it’s nice to have a general idea about the current state of everything in your new home. It helps a lot with planning and figuring out what approach you might want to take with renovations.

      Reply
  12. AWB

    Home inspections cost such a small amount relative to closing costs, property mortgage insurance, mortgage interest and property tax. It is really worth it to identify any potential expenses or undisclosed problems as they can be used in negotiating the sale contract and save money overall.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yes it is quite cheap compared to those other fees. It really is another type of insurance since it can catch potential problems that can be addressed before the sale. I think with just the contractor/appliance company recommendations it will easily make up for the price.

      Reply
  13. Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies

    Following up on Mrs. 1500′s post on not getting an inspection during a snowy season… if you can, an inspection done hours or a day after rain will make leaks from the roof easier to spot. They can tell active leaks from water damage from a leak that has since been repaired if there’s been a recent rain for some fresh water.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Another good tip. Luckily it rained pretty hard the day before I got my inspection done. That probably helped in determining that the water damage was from the dryer and not from a window leak. That actually was the original suspicion. He had a nifty gadget that electronically detected water in the walls which was pretty cool.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yes I’m sure they save a lot of money for people, provided you get a good inspector. Time will tell how much money this inspector saved us. At the very least he helped give us some good renovation ideas.

      Reply
  14. Shafi

    Home inspection is a must. It should be required by the mortgage lenders. Before approval for the loan, they should make it mandatory to have the place inspected. On the same token, when you buy a used car, it’s best to inspect it by an independent mechanic before you pay to buy the car.

    In all cases, it saves you aggravation.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I don’t know if it should be absolutely mandatory since some people can do a very thorough inspection themselves without being licensed. It is a very good idea though. Just because someone gets an inspection it doesn’t mean that they will act accordingly. Think of situations like house flippers who actually want a property with current problems.

      Reply
  15. Julie

    My feelings on a home inspector are split down the middle. They are great especially to advise on the symptoms that rise to the surface that are not clearly identifiable to the average home buyer. The one thing they can’t do is advise on things behind the walls. My GDI partner despite having a home inspector has paid the price for not knowing. The previous home owner of her bungalow ranch really botched a number of jobs that have impacted their wallets deeply over the last couple of years. Even with a home inspector, buying a home is still buyer beware!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yep there are some things that a home inspector just can’t see. So there is some risk even after doing an inspection. Still, I’d rather get a professional’s opinion on a lot of stuff rather than going in completely blind.

      Reply
  16. Catherine

    I loved our home inspector. My father is a certified inspector out your way in BC and my uncle a Realtor here in NS so we had some ‘field connections’. He did a great job. I’ve had friends go through crazy bad experiences with theirs…if only they had listened to our advice and paid a little more money for a detailed inspection!

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      It is something that you don’t want to cheap out on. I’m really glad I was referred to someone good rather than having to find one on my own and just choosing based on price. That would’ve been a much worse experience.

      Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I’m not surprised about that. Since a good home inspection requires a varied skill set and a genuine desire to help people, it would be too easy for some inspectors to do a lousy job.

      Reply
  17. Lindsey @ Cents & Sensibility

    I know we learned a tonne from our home inspector. We bought our first house just last year and I don’t regret a minute or a cent I spent on our guy. He took us through everything from the elevation of the property and potential pitfalls to our basement renovations. It was great! Congratulations on your new condo!
    Lindsey

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      With a house purchase I’d be even more interested in what an inspector has to so. In that situation you can’t just rely on the condo management to deal with some issues. Instead it’s all up to you. Glad to hear that your inspection went well.

      Reply
  18. building inspections Adelaide

    It is really important to hire professional home inspectors to get accurate results. In this way, we will be guided as to what decisions we should make with regards to our own property or to a home where we plan to invest our money.

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      Yes considering the amount of money we invest in a home, it is very important that you know what you’re getting into. There may be major problems that should hold back the purchase.

      Reply
  19. Evan

    I’m more curious than anything.. I read a neat article on the subject recently, and just visited a buddy who picked my brain about his inspection. Got me thinking, That’s all…as much as I would like to dream about breaking away from the grind, I’ll be swinging a hammer ’till the end HOHO

    Reply
    1. Jeremy

      I guess your friend didn’t have a very good inspector if he still needs to ask other people about this inspection. A good inspector should be able to answer all his questions.

      Reply
  20. denise johnson

    Hiring a home inspector before purchasing a home is really a great idea. They could tell you how safe the house is and what will be the potential problems it might face. And I guess it would give you peace of mind when you know its potential hazards thru the help of home inspectors.

    Reply
    1. Simon

      I couldn’t agree more Denise. It relieves you of so much headache and stress in future and enables you plan for any eventualities.

      Reply

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