A home inspector is an invaluable resource to ensure your dream home isn’t actually a money pit. But not all home inspectors are created equal – and some are much more thorough than others. So how do you find a good one? Being proactive – with a list of questions in your back pocket – will help a lot. Below are a few to get you started:
1. How many homes do you inspect each year? A full-time inspector, who is in demand, should inspect over 250 houses per year.
2. How long does a typical inspection last? A thorough inspection should take over 2 hours – and significantly longer for larger buildings.
3. What home inspection associations do you belong to? The only national home inspection association recognized by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is the CAHPI (Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors).
4. Do you hold the National Certificate Holder designation? This is the highest inspection designation in Canada.
5. Do you carry Errors and Omissions Insurance? This is a big one – E&O insurance protects the inspector from a problem that they may have missed, and covers the associated costs involved.
Even if an inspector passes your interview with flying colours, you should be aware of their limitations. These should be available before you sign on the dotted line, and will most likely explain that – no matter how thorough an inspector is – they don’t have X-ray vision. This means that any improper electrical work, hazardous materials, or mould that is hiding behind the walls or in the ceilings are beyond the inspector’s jurisdiction.