Home Buyer's Guide

Courtesy of Status Inspection & Design ®

What is a Pre-purchase Inspection?
A professional visual examination of a building's construction to: verify the nature and condition of its components ascertain the need and priority of any major repairs,suggest ways to reduce operating and maintenance costs, uncover any hazards and safety concerns to inform and familiarize the Purchaser with the property and ascertain the need and priority of major repairs and upgrades.

Why are Pre-purchase Inspections
so important?

The average time that Purchasers look at a house before deciding to make an offer is only 17 minutes. Apart from a new home warranty, a builder's guarantee or a carefully worded offer, Purchasers have more protection buying a toaster than a home or other building. i.e. 'at least the toaster will have a guarantee'

Is an appraisal the same as a
Pre-purchase Inspection?

No! basically, inspections protect the Purchaser while appraisals protect the Lender. Appraisals
(mortgage lending) establish the fair market value of properties. Pre-purchase Inspections establish a
property's physical construction and condition. Appraisals normally involve a 45-60 minute on-site
inspection while Pre-purchase Inspections range from 2 to 6 1/2 hours or more.

Do all houses need inspection
or just older ones?
Yes, regardless of age,the financial investment of buying any home is usually considerable. There is no guarantee that a home is better built just because it's new or of recent vintage. Like insurance, inspections greatly reduce your risk, for a minimal fee. The two big advantages of inspecting a new home are: deficiencies can be caught within the guarantee period and its construction can be evaluated for conformance to ;national and local building code standards.

What about Vendor or Property Disclosure Forms?
The Vendor Disclosure Form otherwise known as Property Condition Disclosure Statement, is normally provided and signed by the Vendor. However, it is the Purchaser's responsibility to verify its accuracy. The broker (Agent and Realtor) assumes no responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information.

What about the Atlantic New Home Warranty?
Under the warranty "the builder will repair all defects in materials and workmanship during the first year of ownership." * The warranty will then provide "protection against major structural defects during the four years following, up to a maximum of $30,000" * * Quoted from the Atlantic New Home Warranty Corporation pamphlet. Phone (506) 853-0111

How does a Pre-purchase Inspection protect the Purchaser ?
Through the power of information. Along with the positive aspects, reports identify any major defects or repairs which the Purchaser may not have been aware of and may wish to consider. This allows the Purchaser to budget for the cost of repairs and upgrades or re-evaluate his or her offer.

How do you ensure that you are protected by an inspection?
Simply make your offer conditional on a Pre-purchase Inspection by including a Pre-purchase Inspection clause in your offer (agreement of purchase and sale). For scheduling flexibility, Buyers should allow (5 to 7) banking days (minimum) after the final acceptance of the offer, in which to have the inspection done, especially in peak sales periods.

Who schedules and co-ordinates the inspection? The inspector co-ordinates the inspection appointment through your Realtor, once you give the go ahead, as a general rule.

What makes a Status Inspection Report superior to the competitions?
Status reports are fully illustrated. Opposite each check page there's a page of illustrations showing details typical to that subject.
Status reports are concise and user-friendly.They are not 400 page maintenance manuals or pages of 'checked off boxes' which don't elaborate. Comments are written longhand and in layman's terms and each major component of the property has its own checklist and corresponding illustrated page.
Status reports are thorough. We are often accused of being too thorough. However, we have found that close scrutiny often reveals conditions of larger concern. We don't believe you can be too thorough.
Status reports are not based on random sampling. We don't just inspect a few doors, a few windows, a few heaters, a few receptacles and so on, we inspect all accessible. We don't inspect roofs or chimneys using binoculars as many of our competitors do.
Status reports are simple to follow. We don't use any special symbols or language that would make it difficult to understand what is being said in the report. Our reports are concise, giving Purchasers a solid overview of the property.
Status reports include a cd of + 100 to 250 pictures taken during the inspection so that the Buyer has a good visual record of the property and a good mental picture of the items, conditions, concerns, etc. made apparent by the inspection.

Who prepares the reports for status inspection & design ?
A certified engineering technologist with over 40 years experience in the design, construction and inspection field and having done more than 4000 home and real estate inspections does all inspections and writes all reports.

How long do status inspections take?
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours is the standard on-site inspection time for status. The standard in the industry is 2 to 4 hours.

What about "walk-throughs"?
At status, we don't do "walk-throughs" because they provide too little protection for such a major investment and findings are verbal not in writing and can easily be denied / disputed.

Can you be present during the inspection ?
Yes, provided that the Vendor agrees to your presence, in advance. To avoid difficulties, it is best to discuss your intention with your Realtor or in the case of a private sale, with the Vendor, beforehand. We think it's a good idea to be present during part, if not all, of the inspection!

When do you receive the report from status ?
Reports are generally presented at 5:00 pm on the day of the inspection. There are definite advantages in having the Purchaser's Realtor attend the presentation but this is at the Purchaser's discretion. If need be, the report summary can be faxed, mailed, emailed or couriered to the Purchaser.

How much do inspections cost?
"How much could not having an inspection done end up costing you?" is a better question. Just like insurance " you don't need it till you need it." On average, our Comprehensive Pre-purchase Inspections typically range from $400 to $600 exclusive of hst (taxes). Given the value of the information in the report and the money the report can save a Purchaser, our reports pay for themselves many times over. Remember, it's not the inspector's fee that protects you, it's the inspector's qualifications, experience and thoroughness that count. Scrimping on the inspector is just plain stupid when you're trying to protect such a major investment.

What other types of inspections reports does 'status' provide?
We offer 'Basix' reports which cover the eight major components. This includes the following systems: foundation, frame, roof, mechanical ventilation, heating, electrical, ventilation, auxiliary heat, chimneys and venting.

How should you choose an Inspector?
A.  Avoid referrals from anyone with a financial interest in the transaction.  B  Consult the yellow pages under building inspection services.  C.  Ask friends, relatives, neighbours and co-workers for referrals.  D.  Talk to each inspector yourself, about their training, qualifications, credentials and the years of experience they have in the inspection business.  E.  Ask how long their on-site inspection time is and what is included in the inspection report.  F.  Ask about guarantees, bonding and liability insurance.  G.  Scrimping on an inspector is foolish when you're trying to protect such a major amount of money. Price should be your least consideration. It's not the price difference but the difference in qalifications and experience that provides      protection for your investment. Prices vary little.

Should you ask your Realtor or Agent for referrals to inspectors?
Agents and Realtors should not be used as a primary source of referrals to inspectors. Why? There is a conflict of interest when a Realtor or Agent refers his or her 'Purchaser client' to Inspectors because Realtors normally earn their commissions based on completed sales i.e. Realtors earn their livelihood directly or indirectly by fulfilling the Vendor's desire / need to sell. Agents / Realtors typically say they are not allowed to direct Buyers to specific Inspectors but then generally provide Buyers with 3 or 4 names from which to choose an Inspector. This is known as 'short-listing' and effectively allows Agents / Realtors to eliminate certain Inspectors and control which Inspectors the Buyers contact / use, i.e it gives the Agents / Realtors control of the Buyer's protection.