Should I do a home inspection on my new home? As realtors we always answer this question with a big YES.
Should I do a home inspection on a brand new home? We still answer with a big YES.
Doing a home inspection is in our opinion very important, whether the home you buy is 80 years old or brand new. In Calgary you pay around $400 to $650for an inspection of an average home but in the overall picture it just may warn you about the one thing that potentially could cost you way more in the future. And once you have moved into your home, you want to enjoy living it.
A home inspector will look at many things in and around your home. So what are the most important areas where a home inspectors looks at?
Cracks in foundations
Many foundations in Calgary homes, especially the foundations in older homes, show cracks. This is not necessarily a big problem, but foundation cracks always needs further investigation. If your home inspector finds cracks he does not trust, he will advise you to call a specialized company for further investigation.
If a mildew odor is present in the home, the inspector will be able to detect it. The smell of mold or mildew is difficult to cover up by a seller. Calgary is in a very dry area but mold is still being found in homes. This is not to the degree of the extensive damage caused by grow ops, but there can still be mold simply because a leak is not detected quickly enough.
The potential cost and headaches you can run into when mold or dampness occurs in your new home are worth the few hundred dollars that could warn you about them.
Poorly installed or defective Plumbing
In older homes, plumbing problems and defects are very common. Signs of leakage and clogging can most often be detected. A good home inspector will turn on all taps for some time and then use a thermal imaging tool to find any leaks. Some leaks in plumbing are easy and cheap to remedy but some leaks can be very expensive to address. This is another reason to use a home inspector.
Older furnaces and older hot water tanks
Depending on how the home owner has maintained the furnace and hot water tank, both, and furnaces especially can have a long life span. The home inspector may be able to determine the state of both. Furnaces can have a span of 15 to 20 years, but in Calgary we have seen furnaces up and running since 1967 as well. These days the new high efficiency furnaces can save you money on their use of power. So have the discussion with your home inspector.
Older or unsafe electrical system
Especially in older homes in Calgary, we sometimes still find the 60 amp electrical systems, aluminum wring and knob and tube wiring. Your home insurance will not likely cover this and the electrical system will need updating. Once the electrical system has been updated, again the home inspector will be able to check to see if things were done properly. If he is in doubt, he will tell you to ask a certified electrician.
Asphalt roofs will last an average of 20-30 years unless the famous summer hail hits Calgary, which happens every couple of years and hits at least a few communities. Cedar or pine shakes will not as easily be damaged as asphalt shingles and they have about the same life span.
Home inspectors will check the roof and should be able to give you a life span of the shingles, but always ask the sellers as well if they know how old the current roof is. The home inspector will also climb into the attic to make sure there are no leaks.
Bathrooms that have a poor ventilation may become breeding areas for molds. Mold is something you want to avoid at all cost.
An inspector will look at the standard security features that protect your home, such as the types of locks on the doors, the windows and patio doors. He will also check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and where those are located throughout the home.
Drainage and grading problems
A very common problem found by home inspectors in Calgary are poor drainage and grading systems in the back yards. This can result in possible damage to the foundation of the home. Simply installing new gutters and downspouts can often remedy this problem.
The above are just a small number of the many particulars a home inspector checks. So to answer your question, should I hire a home inspector when I buy a new home? Our answer is yes, you should. On old homes as well as brand new homes.