DO I EVEN NEED A HOME INSPECTION? By Peter Jesal, Licensed Home Inspector

Can I do it myself?

Home ownership is a dream come true for many, especially with the high cost of owning a home in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area. You found a home you like and with subject free offers, you decide to skip the home inspection. Ah, I’ll do it myself…I’ve read books, online articles on how to do it myself.

Just go to Home Depot or your local hardware store, pick up some tools and voila you are now a Home Inspector! It’s so easy, right? Yes, you can be your own Home Inspector—but it’s probably never a good idea. Unfortunately, books or even online step by step instructions will not help you find every potential issue in a house.

You might be attracted to the lovely interior finishing or color schemes, but these will cloud your emotional judgment to the home you are buying. The National Association of Home Builders estimates over 3,000 components are used in constructing a home. The home is a system, and some of the most significant defects may present themselves merely as a clue. If you are doing your inspection—you may see a flaw just because it is missing. A Home Inspector may need to examine it or probe it further.

There are some things you can look for in your first walk-through of a house you are planning to buy. The only tool required will be a flashlight that helps you see into the dark corners of the home. It a standard baseline “pre-inspection” to help you decide which homes are not even worthy of an offer.

Here is a Pre- Inspection checklist you can use:

  1. Walk around home and look closely at the exterior walls for any signs of structural problems
  2. Look for water movement around the foundation. Check for foundation cracks.
  3. Identify the type of windows. Older windows may need to be upgraded for better thermal comfort
  4. What type of roof and how old is it? Does the roof need to be replaced?

A lot of issues are customarily seen from inside the attic. You won’t want to be seen carrying a ladder to get into the attic during your inspection! Don’t end up hurting yourself or damaging things just to save some money!

  1. Where is the electrical panel located? What is the load size and type of wiring in the home?

You are risking yourself from electric shock/burns by trying to open up the panel yourself.  Is it worth the risk?

  1. Know your heating type. Are these systems operating correctly?
  2. Identify your water heater and if it is due for replacement?
  3. Plumbing- this is one of the most critical components of the home. Type of pipes run in the house, any signs of leaking. Do you have a hidden leak or a possible Mold Issue? Your insurance company wants to know all this information

Hiring an experienced Accredited Home Inspector comes with many advantages.

The Home Inspector is not buying the home and has no vested interest in the property. The Inspector has done thousands of inspections, and with the experience and knowledge he has, he could see beyond what a layperson will be looking. A Home Inspector knows what to look for and identify common recurring problems in different homes. An experienced Home Inspector will do a full objective evaluation of the property and present his findings in his report.

Peter Jesal is a Licensed Home Inspector and offers a full range of services which include Home and Commercial Inspections, Indoor Air Quality Testing and Certified Infrared Services. He has completed thousands of inspections all over the Lower Mainland and can be reached at 778.552, 8095 or go to this website at www.jesalhomeinspections.com

Services are offered in English, Punjabi, Hindi and Malay/Indonesian languages – 7 days a week. All inspections are offered with a 100% satisfaction guarantee