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Renovation tips

5 min read

What Should You Know About a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?

Renovation tips

5 min read

What Should You Know About a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?

Renovation tipsWhat Should You Know About a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection?

For most, buying a home is the investment of a lifetime. Homes are expensive, and ensuring the property's current condition is up to par is a must before making any financial commitments. Although you may find that the house you are planning on buying has some kinks, note that flaws can always be fixed.

However, labour is expensive, even more so when it comes to repairs or renovations. Hence the need to have a professional inspect the home in question before proceeding with the purchase.

Performing home inspections is a specialized profession. Building inspectors thoroughly check homes for latent defects and non-conforming items. 

So, what should you look for prior to signing on the dotted line? And, why is it important to choose a good inspector? Here is a sneak peek at some of the things you need to consider before purchasing your home.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: A Huge Responsibility to Shoulder

house_home inspection checklist

A home inspection differs from a municipal inspection, the Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings, and a pre-acceptance inspection. 

While the Quebec government allows you to choose your home inspector, both municipal inspectors and the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) conduct unannounced work inspections. In the event of renovations and newly built structures, inspectors come to your home to ensure the quality and safety of the installations.

A new home or condo inspection will facilitate your membership process for home insurance, which was mandated by the Quebec government in 1999. The Guarantee Plan for New Residential Buildings protects you in case of unforeseen circumstances when purchasing a new home: postponed handover date, latent defect, serious defect, etc.

The pre-acceptance inspection is a predetermined list of items to check before moving into your new home. It is provided by the contractor and you will have three days to complete the inspection and sign off on it.

Hold on to the original document and give a copy to the contractor who will then be required to complete the work and repair any defects or latent defects on the list. It is best to seek professional advice and set a deadline with the contractor to complete the work.

Homebuying: Inspection Checklist

The home inspector's mission is to look for signs of any potential issues to determine the current condition of the home. The Association des inspecteurs en bâtiment du Québec (AIBQ) defines an inspection as “a visual assessment of all present systems and components that are easily accessible.” 

Several elements will be looked over in detail, including the roof, ceiling, floors, load-bearing walls, foundation, and crawl space. The inspector will perform a more in-depth inspection, checking for cracks or weep holes, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical systems and plumbing installations. Plan on spending between $500 and $600 for a 1000-square-foot property inspection. To carry out the inspection, set aside two or three hours of your time to tag along with the inspector. Naturally, if the house is bigger or older, the inspection will be more costly because it will take longer. Following the survey, the inspector will have between 7 and 10 days to provide you with a written report.

How to Choose the Right Building Inspector

Inside part of a roof

In Quebec, home inspections are primarily associated with pre-purchase, real estate transactions. Professional associations of architects, architectural technologists, and building engineers serve as a way to protect the public by regulating the profession. However, the AIBQ reiterates that residential building inspections entail a unique and distinctive line of work, separate from the construction industry, engineering, architecture, property valuation, and municipal property assessment. 

Up until recently, it wasn’t even regulated by a government organization, but now is under a new standard established in February 2024. The residential building standard respecting inspection practices in a real estate transaction context mainly serves to remedy this reglementary flaw, reinforcing public protection by guaranteeing inspectors are skilled and qualified.

This regulation allows the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) to regulate building inspector certifications. It manages various aspects, such as jurisdiction, qualification criteria, terms and conditions for certificate issuance, complaint intervention, and proficiency update. As of October 1st, 2024, said standard provides a 3-year grace period for all practicing inspections, allowing them to continue working without a certificate, but with the possibility of qualifying by way of completing a proficiency update. New inspectors will have to obtain a college diploma in a building inspection training program.

From now on, future homeowners will be able to make decisions knowing that the hired expert advising them in making crucial life decisions, such as purchasing a home, is duly qualified.

Home Inspection: Consult a Certified Contractor

A proper home inspection can uncover latent defects, such as leaks before any apparent water damage, which could eventually cause minor flooding or cold air leaks that may lead to higher heating costs. A proper pre-purchase home inspection can affect the future resale value or lead to your purchase of another home. After all, purchasing a home is the investment of a lifetime.

Now that you have found your dream home, and the inspection went as expected, what's next? The obvious plan is to make the house your own, which might involve some renovation work, so here are some renovation ideas for your new home: 

Find a certified contractor for your renovation project can help you get quotes from a certified contractor. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

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Last modified 2024-03-15

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