• Melanie Evans

Team Pinto Guide to Avoiding Big Home Inspection Mistakes



Are you getting a home inspection for the first time? When purchasing a Waterloo Region home, the inspection can reveal a variety of issues. This can be especially worrying if you're a first-time buyer, but don't be too concerned. This is why you hire a home inspector in the first place.


Some buyers are skipping out on them in hot real estate markets in order to win the bid, but this is never a good idea. By foregoing a home inspection, you put yourself in the position of having to deal with any and all issues with a property, some of which you will almost certainly be unaware of.


Any issues discovered during the home inspection can be used to negotiate repairs with the seller. Some flaws discovered by the home inspector may be serious and will require the seller to make repairs. If the seller doesn't agree, you may have to keep looking for a home.


If you're new to the home inspection process or haven't moved in a long time, it's easy to make mistakes. However, making the wrong decision here could cost you a lot of money.


We've put together a home inspection checklist to help you avoid making these all-too-common mistakes. These are the aspects of the home inspection process to which you should pay particular attention. The significance of getting a home inspection for the issues we'll be discussing is critical.


Structural Elements


If the Waterloo Region home you hope to buy has any major structural issues, you'll want to make sure they're thoroughly investigated. A problem with the structure of the house can result in tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs.


Foundation, framing, walls, roof, and basement problems can be costly. These issues can arise as a result of poor construction, settling, or insufficient drainage. Whatever the case may be, a structural engineer should be consulted. This could lead to a re-negotiation of the purchase price to account for the cost of repairing any structural damage discovered.


The Roof




If the roof hasn't been replaced in decades, water damage can occur throughout the house. If the inspection report uncovers minor roof issues, this is common and can be addressed after the purchase.


What you should be concerned about are the more serious issues, which could include roof structure damage. If the roof is relatively new, the seller may still have a warranty, so inquire. If this isn't the case, you may require the services of a roofing contractor. However, it's not the end of the world if a home inspector's report notes a broken shingle here and there.


Electrical Installations


If a house is older, it is more likely to have electrical issues. In older homes, you may find that the wiring is more likely to be faulty and not up to code. This could necessitate the entire house being rewired, which will be costly. For example, if the house is old, it may have knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube wiring is a low-quality wiring system that poses a known safety hazard when it is damaged.


In fact, some lenders and insurance companies refuse to work with homes that have this old-style wiring.


It is not an option to ignore problems with a home's wiring. It poses a threat to anyone who lives on the premises. The lack of ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in rooms with access to water, as well as double-tapped breakers in the electrical panel, are more minor electrical issues. Both of these problems are easily remedied and are rarely a dealbreaker when buying a home.


Plumbing Installations


While a leaking faucet isn't likely to be a major issue or something you'll want to discuss with the seller, there may be more serious issues. Leaking pipes may indicate that the house's plumbing system needs to be replaced.


Polybutylene pipes were popular in the 1980s, and some homes from that time period may not have had their pipework replaced. Because these types of pipework were prone to leaking, they were outlawed in the 1990s.


If you notice any signs of leaks, you should hire a professional plumber to inspect the system.


Water Leaks From the Outside




Water issues are one of the most common issues discovered during home inspections. Water damage can be one of the home inspection finds that is more serious than it appears if problems with the roof or foundation of the home are discovered.


A persistent water leak can compromise the home's structural integrity. This can result in rotting wood and mold, which provide ideal conditions for some pests.


If your home inspector discovers evidence of water damage, a specialist should be consulted to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs. The cost of repairing hidden water damage can be quite high. It's best if you never let a seller's problem turn into your own.


Termite Infestation


Termite inspections are often an extra cost on top of the basic home inspection, but they can be very beneficial. This is something you'll need if your home is in an area where termites are a problem.


Termites will gradually eat away at a home that has been infested with them. This will necessitate the treatment of the affected areas of the house, as well as the replacement of a portion of the structure.


The cost of this work could be several thousand dollars or more, so it's something you'll want to discuss with the seller.


Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning


Problems with the home's heating and cooling systems can result in costly replacement costs. You could be looking at a bill of more than $6,000 if you need to replace the HVAC unit. If the unit is nearing the end of its useful life or hasn't been properly maintained, you may need to negotiate with the seller.


Even if the unit is relatively new, heating and cooling systems can have problems. It's possible that work will be required to ensure that the ductwork is properly sealed, or that the filters will need to be replaced. To address these relatively minor home inspection issues, the system could use a tune-up from a technician.


These aren't the only factors to consider during a home inspection, but they are among the most important.


Other Things to Consider When It Comes to Home Inspection Issues


  • Some lenders or types of mortgages, such as VA and FHA loans, may require a home inspection. Even if a home inspection isn't required, it will ensure that you make the best decision possible and will reveal minor issues that you'll want to address after closing.

  • It gives you the option of renegotiating with the seller or walking away from the deal if significant problems are discovered.

  • A home inspection can cost anywhere from $300 to $900, depending on the size and location of the home. Additional costs, such as a termite inspection or radon testing, may be incurred.

  • Even if the house you want to buy is relatively new, the inspector's report is likely to reveal some flaws. Not everything in the report, however, will be something you need to discuss with the seller.

  • Check with your real estate agent if you're not sure what's important and what's not to negotiate. They'll be able to tell you what needs to be negotiated with the seller and what doesn't.

  • Of course, your home inspector's opinion is valuable, and they can assist you if you have any concerns or require additional information. This should ensure that you don't end up regretting your new home purchase.


Planning to buy or sell a home in the Waterloo Region but have questions? Why not speak with an expert? Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here.


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