Oakville Homes

May 7, 2011

In’s and out’s of hiring a house inspector – comments from those who have learned.

For those who have read this blog for some time, you will know that my main thrust is that no matter how new or old your potential home is, it is considered good practice to hire a house inspector to protect your investment.  New or resale, doesn’t matter.  I think, using my Mattamy experience, along with the suffering of others as an example, that I have shown, that no matter who your builder is, a house inspector is a must.

Here are a few points made that I read recently.  This from people who have hired house inspectors.

From an experience house inspector:

Home inspectors don’t require government licensing in Ontario yet (they do in BC). Because of that, there are many unqualified inspectors, quite often
part-timers trying to make some extra money in the evenings and on weekends when they’re not at their regular jobs. I always recommend to people that they hire a
full time inspector for the same reason that you wouldn’t think of going to a part time dentist.

and, from a home owner:

So after digesting this thread I have a comment or three.

Home inspectors are great, ours was. He caught things I missed.

Home inspectors can miss stuff, defects can be well hidden, one inspector cannot know every aspect of every code, and cannot rip up carpet or open walls (I can since I now own the problems).

Defects can and will be very well hidden; unintentionally, by the builder, by the seller. Tough to outguess all these.

Our home inspector was worth every penny, our mistake was not making the seller responsible, and relying on Tarion an Mattamy
to take care of the defects.

I may still try to make Mattamy, the subcontractors and perhaps even the town responsible (they should be inspecting
to protect their citizens, yet don’t seem to know the code)

and this from another homeowner”

Based on our experience I would recommend to absolutely NOT go with a home inspector your real estate agent recommends. Ask friends, family or search local forums, websites for info and referrals to find someone who is good and does not have a conflict of interest.

I’m not saying this is always the case, but steer clear of inspectors your agent recommends because they ‘could’ be tempted to overlook things just to help the sale go through, in
exchange for said agent feeding them steady referrals/work.

I would feel comfortable going with the inspectors who post on these boards regularly – they seem very knowledgeable and seem to actually give a crap. The inspector we most recently used was a bit of a newbie and although he didn’t miss anything major, I wasn’t that comfortable with a few things he was trying to tell us – seemed like he was guessing and didn’t know his stuff.

I have a good friend who does home inspections but unfortunately he wasn’t comfortable assessing our house due to our friendship – he didn’t want to be responsible for missing anything because yes, there are limits as to what inspectors can find/uncover.

Two good points there:  Make sure the inspector is totally independent and, although you might save money, stay away from friends, etc – if you value their continued friendship.

and, from another home inspector:

The job of the Home Inspector, when inspecting a resale home, is to identify significant issues that need immediate repair or improvement.
It is not to criticize everything at the house.

All good points and you’ll notice that they admit not all house inspectors are perfect, just like builders.  This is were your own due diligence is important.  As one person pointed out, lurk the forums, ask friends and family for their experiences and ask for referrals.  Doing this will increase your chances of hiring a professional house inspector that will look after YOUR interests.  Hopefully you don’t experience what I did.

* The above is intended to show the reader examples of how to obtain a house inspector, no matter which builder you buy from.  Remember, awards and advertising are designed to make you buy, not ensure you quality.  We’ve shown that awards are not the standard on which to base your decision on.  My use of my experiences are not made to embarass Mattamy Homes or Peter Gilgan but, are used because they are based on fact and show the larger picture that a house inspector is a requirment when buying a house, new or old from any builder.  My experience only shows that in fact it can happen and is a fact of life.  Your experiences with Mattamy may have differed but do not preclude what happened to me from happening again.  Beware.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] For those who have read this blog for some time, you will know that my main thrust is that no matter how new or old your potential home is, it is considered good practice to hire a house inspector to protect your investment.  New or resale, doesn't matter.  I think, using my Mattamy experience, along with the suffering of others as an example, that I have shown, that no matter who your builder is, a house inspector is a must. Here are a few point … Read More […]

    Pingback by In’s and out’s of hiring a house inspector – comments from those who have learned. (via Oakville Homes) « Pilant's Business Ethics Blog — May 7, 2011 @ 10:38 pm | Reply


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