Why home inspections are important

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Your home is your castle… or is it?

Buying a home is likely one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make and opting for a home inspection can help make the difference between finding a great investment or ending up with a true money pit. Relatively inexpensive, and quick to do – most home inspections can be done in the span of several hours – a home inspection can give you a true view into a home’s condition and let you know what to expect in terms of general maintenance, repair and renovation costs. In fact, the details you can learn about your property from ahome inspection may help you secure a better home insurance rate and ensure you have the right insurance coverage. In addition, the findings from a home inspection could help you when negotiating your final offer on a home… especially if the results identify major issues.

What does a home inspection entail?

A home inspection is a limited, visual, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, performed in connection with the sale of that home. It usually focuses on a home’s major systems and components, from the roof to the foundation. This could include its:

  • Heating system
  • Air conditioning
  • Interior plumbing
  • Electrical system
  • Roof
  • Attic and visible insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows and doors
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Structural components (beams, etc.)
  • Exterior components

Why you need a home inspection

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need a home inspection to get a clear idea of its value and any potentially serious issues with the home. Not all Canadian provinces require that sellers disclose known issues with their home and some sellers will not be aware of issues. A home inspection can help you when it comes time to make an offer on a home or prepare to set a price for the one you’re selling, by answering and/or providing clues to some of the following basic questions:

  • Are you bidding too high?
  • Are you selling for too little?
  • Is it going at fair market value?
  • Is it structurally safe?
  • Is it properly insulated?
  • How much longer will the existing roof last?
  • When will the furnace need to be replaced?
  • Will you be able to do the renovations you’d like?

Choosing a home inspector

Not all home inspectors in Canada are licensed or even qualified. British Columbia and Alberta are the only two provinces that require their home inspectors be licensed. That being said, you can still find many reputable and qualified home inspectors if you do your homework and approach hiring someone the same way you would when choosing a general contractor. Start by asking for referrals from people you trust, such as your friends or realtor, and pick someone who has a good reputation and is willing to provide references.

A qualified and knowledgeable home inspector should be a fully trained generalist, much like a general contractor or handy person, and be able to understand how the building systems and components in a home generally perform and wear out over time.

Make it part of your offer

When bidding on a home, a good realtor will usually advise you to insist that the purchase be conditional on the result of a home inspection. This way you can back out of an offer if the home in question isn’t in as good a condition as the seller claims it is.

Additional resources

You can also check out the PC® insurance blog to find great tips and references on how to care for and protect your home with information on everything from performing regular maintenance and repair to getting a quote for home insurance.

How to make a claim

Call 1-877-251-8656 to speak with a Claims Advisor.

Renewing your policy

Call 1-877-251-8652 for information regarding policy renewal.

Buying a new policy

Call 1-866-660-9035 for information on obtaining a quote.

Need help?

Take a look at the top 5 FAQs:

  • Why should I have home insurance?

    Why should I have home insurance?

    While the government doesn't require you to purchase home insurance, your mortgage-holder probably will - at least enough to cover its share of ownership. There are various kinds of home insurance that cover general and specific kinds of damage to your home, and you should research your options carefully. You can also buy specialized insurance to cover a condominium, home business, or other kind of property or valuables found in your home.

    Home insurance also includes liability coverage for people who are hurt on your property.

  • Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Why should I buy tenant's insurance when I live in an apartment and don't have many contents or valuables?

    Most people would be surprised at the value of their personal property if they were to add it up and have to replace it all immediately. Think about your furniture, clothing, electronic equipment-then try to put a price tag to it all. Also, if you've purchased items on credit and they are stolen or destroyed by fire, you could still have to make the payments.

    Tenants insurance also includes liability insurance for damage the tenants or their guests cause to the building, for injuries in the rented home, etc.

  • How can I earn PC® points?

    How can I earn PC® points?

    When you use your President's Choice Financial® MasterCard® to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 20 PC points per dollar of your premium. If you use your President's Choice Financial bank card to pay your PC home insurance premium, you'll get 10 PC points per dollar of your premium.

  • What is a deductible?

    What is a deductible?

    A deductible is your share of the amount that needs to be paid to cover the repair or replacement of your covered property before your insurance pays the rest.

  • How are premiums calculated?

    How are premiums calculated?

    The building itself has a lot to do with how your home insurance premiums are set. Many things about your home are taken into consideration including:

    • Its age and size
    • Type of building (detached, semi, high rise, etc)
    • Type of construction (brick, stucco, wood, etc)
    • Type of heating system
    • How close it is to a fire hydrant or fire station
    • Where it is located

See all Home Insurance FAQs

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