Surely you are very excited to hear that your home offer has been accepted and you are greatly relieved. But you should know that before firming up the Agreement and Purchase of Sale (APS) documents, you have another step: Home Inspection.
Home inspections are one of the important steps in the home buying process. It means you better know the ins and outs of this new house before closing on it. If you skip this step, there would be the risk of costly surprises after closing.
So you can consider the Home Inspection process as a protection for you to be sure and relieved about your new investment. However, you should know what to look for during this important step. Here, you can find some important tips about home inspection in Toronto. If you are working with a top Toronto real estate agent, your agent will explain this to you.
What is home inspection?
As a buyer, your goal of doing home inspection is first to identify all the major deficiencies with the house. So you need to anticipate how your new house is going to be in its perfect condition. Secondly, you need an introduction to this future house and to recognize how to take care of it.
The specific definition for this important step of buying process can be: “home inspection is an objective investigation of the current physical condition of all the available structures and systems in your future house.” Home inspection cost is completely depending on your provider, but it may cost you approximately from $350 to $750.
So, home inspectors are the one who can help you to know which components or systems might need to get repaired or replaced. A good home inspector will give you a summary and a useful guide about caring for your home. The inspection process usually takes 2-3 hours (depends on the age, size and condition of the house), so you better specify enough time.
It is recommended to do home inspection with your real estate agent. Because there would be some questions about the whole inspection process or some terminology that you’ve never heard before. But a top Toronto real estate agent has enough experience to know how to manage home inspections.
Real estate agents can also answer most of your questions and completely understand your inspector’s terminology. Then according to all the deficiencies found in home inspection, you will negotiate your offer to the seller. Usually, you can ask the seller to fix and repair major mentioned deficiencies before you move in.
The most important points in your home inspection checklist include:
Make sure all kitchen and bathroom faucets open and close easily. Check that the water pressure and drainage are in accordance with the standards. For checking the water pressure, you can turn on all the faucets and then flush the toilet to see if they are working properly or not. Toilet flush should stop running after it is filled.
Look carefully for water stains on walls or ceilings as this can mean leaking pipes. There can be some leaks or stains on the floor under the water heater, check there too. It is important to locate all water shut-off valves.
You better check all the windows, doors, and cabinets to make sure they are not stuck or painted shut. All the doors and windows should lock and unlock with no trouble from the both sides. Do the windows open easily or they stick? Look inside each cabinet to see if there is any stain like moisture or rusting.
Check the electric connections
First, find all the main plugs and switches of the house. Are there enough plugs and outlets in each room in available places? How old is the whole electrical wiring system of the house? Check the phone and internet access to avoid future expenses.
You can turn on the dishwasher at the starting moment of the inspection process. It should be finished by the end. Try to find out if it is working properly without any leaking. Test the temperature of the oven and microwave in the kitchen.
Ask the seller about the last time the air conditioner has been serviced. You may even check your mobile connection. See if there is a signal in different parts of the house.
For houses located in a suburban area, you have to also review the yard and grounds. Go outside and walk around the home. Inspect the grounds on the backyard to see the view, privacy level or just walkways and decks.
Don’t let rainy or snowy weather stop you from checking the outside. Look at it as an opportunity to find out the resistance level of ceiling or walls in snow.
Feel the livability of the house
It is very important to consider the layout of the house. Is the shape and space of the rooms well-designed or enough? Are the bathrooms and bedrooms in the proper place? You are going to live in this house, so check the whole layout aesthetically. You think the house is well-shaped or it needs to be redesigned? What about paint or wallpapers?
You may want to check some things based on your personal priorities. For example, you may want to check each and every tile in the bathroom. Or you better check under the rugs or beds to find any stain or crack.
Since this house is going to be your dream house, you have the right to ask all the questions that are on your mind. The seller also is responsible to answer all your questions honestly about any hidden defects that are not visible. To ensure that nothing is missed, you can prepare a checklist to safely check all the items you have in mind.
Your checklist should include: Cooling/Heating system, Central air conditioning system, plumbing and electrical systems, roof and ceiling, walls, doors and windows ad basements. Certainly, the inspector will examine all of these parts in detail. But it is better to prepare yourself for more familiarity with your future home and all the problems and changes it needs.