Benefits on Having a Home Inspection

Don't Miss Out On These Important Home Inspection Benefits 

Whether you're a first-time home buyer or have experience buying real estate, purchasing a new home is exciting. Some people are tempted to skip over the home inspection process and just get the transaction complete already so they can move in and start enjoying their new property, but that's not a good idea. The answer to "Do you really need a home inspection?" is a resounding yes!  

Even if the property looks perfect to you, and even if it's a brand-new house that has never been lived in, there are some significant home inspection benefits that you'll miss out on if you opt out of this critical part of the home-buying process. The benefits of home inspection don't just apply to buyers, either. Sellers can also benefit from a pre-listing home inspection. Here are some significant home inspection benefits for both buyers and sellers to be aware of.  

Are Home Inspections Mandatory in Ontario? 

Home inspections are not legally required in Ontario. Still, they are highly recommended for multiple reasons, as explained below, and can provide home inspection benefits for both parties in a home sale. That being said, it's important to note that just because the government doesn't mandate you to get a home inspection, that doesn't mean you won't be obligated to do so.  

Some insurance companies will require a home inspection before agreeing to provide insurance coverage for the property. Suppose you opt to go without a home inspection. In that case, it will limit your options for home insurance coverage, and you may not be able to get the most optimal homeowners insurance coverage and limits to meet your insurance needs. In some cases, you may not be able to get any home insurance at all. Mortgage lenders will typically require you to have home insurance in place, so if you're not able to get homeowners insurance for the property, or it's not an adequate level of coverage, that could also seriously affect your ability to get a mortgage. There's no doubt that just getting a home inspection before completing the sale is the best option to make sure all the pieces fall into place and you have the insurance and mortgage support you need to purchase.  

6 Home Inspection Benefits for Buyers 

Home inspections can sometimes feel like just another obstacle standing between you and your dream home. After all, if you look around and everything appears to be in great shape, how bad could it really be? The truth is, it can be much worse than you might suspect. Buildings are complex, and an experienced, reputable home inspector has the skill and training to look for potential issues that would never even occur to a typical person.  

But it's also good to keep in mind that there are benefits of professional home inspection that have nothing to do with finding hidden damage. Suppose an inspection is completed, and the inspector reports that the property is in flawless, pristine condition. In that case, you can still reap the rewards of some significant home inspection benefits listed below.  

1. Make an Informed Decision 

It's critical to have a home inspection contingency in your purchase agreement because if the home inspection does uncover some issues—and in a typical home inspection, the inspector will note at least a few concerns, even if they're relatively minor issues—you are armed with the information you need to make an informed decision about whether you want to go ahead with the purchase or not, and you can explore options for getting the issues resolved either before or after the sale. In the unlikely event that the home inspector finds the property to be flawless in every way, you are still getting information in the inspection report that gives you the ability to make a more informed decision about a major purchase.  

2. Uncover Significant Problems 

When most people think about home inspection benefits, they think of stories they've heard of where home inspectors found huge problems like widespread decay, dangerous structural damage, and other major issues like asbestos—or stories in which a home inspection wasn't done and the unfortunate buyer found out about severe issues after the purchase.  

It's easy to assume that if there were problems, you would notice. Unfortunately, that's often not the case. It can genuinely be surprising what a qualified, professional home inspector is able to discover during a home inspection, and their findings may change your perception of the property or make you realize it needs more work than you could have imagined. The last thing you want is to discover those problems the hard way after you've already bought the property, moved in and been affected by hidden defects you were unaware of during the real estate transaction.  

3. Avoid Safety Risks 

Modern buildings are much more than just four walls and a roof. They are complex structures that include numerous materials and components, and they have the potential to be built with serious safety issues or incur damage over time that makes them unsafe. Major structural issues, mould growth, asbestos and many other hidden issues can severely impact the health and well-being of anyone inhabiting the building.  

The fact that those issues could be deteriorating your health without you even being aware that there's a problem is even more alarming because it doesn't leave you with any opportunity to bring the issue to a halt. That's why one of the biggest home inspection benefits is having the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your household members are not being exposed to serious health risks or the possibility of injury from factors that could have been discovered during a home inspection and neutralized.  

4. Open the Door to Negotiation 

Most people prefer the ideal scenario of moving into a house that's in excellent condition and ready to live in—or alternatively, getting a great deal on the purchase price of a fixer-upper and taking care of repairs and renovations themselves. A major home inspection benefit is that a home inspection offers buyers the opportunity to ensure they're getting their preferred scenario with their preferred property.  

Suppose some issues are uncovered during a home inspection prior to sale. In that case, the buyers can then have their real estate professional negotiate to either have the seller take care of the repairs before the sale is finalized or to lower the purchase price so the buyers can resolve the problems after the property changes hands. Without a home inspection, there are no grounds to negotiate a better price or to request that the seller rectify major or minor defects.  

5. Get the Right Home Insurance 

We mentioned above that some insurance companies will require a home inspection before they offer home insurance coverage, and it's worth noting that this is another key home inspection benefit. No homeowner should be without a robust home insurance policy that covers all the risks and perils they are most likely to encounter because, without homeowners insurance, you are left to pay out of your own pocket for expenses such as the restoration and replacement of your property and belongings following a disaster such as a fire. You could also have legal action brought against you for a wide variety of reasons. Without the personal liability insurance coverage that comes with home insurance, you will be left to cover the costs of your legal defence and possible court-ordered settlements on your own.  

That being said, you might not even be able to purchase the property you're looking at in the first place because if you can't get home insurance because you didn't get a home inspection, you also can't get a mortgage for the property. While the home inspection process might not always be fun, it's preferable to the far-reaching consequences of refusing a home inspection.  

6. Plan Your Next Steps 

The ability to plan for future repairs and renovations is another home inspection benefit worth mentioning. With the information you can get from a detailed report, you can start working on a roadmap of what you want and need to do with your new property over the next few years or even a decade. For example, if your home inspection report notes that the roof is showing signs of deterioration and will likely need to be replaced within the next five years, that may not be enough to discourage you from buying the home—but it does allow you to start planning and budgeting for a cost that you know you'll need to soak in a few years time. That is preferable to finding out five or ten years later that your roof needs to be replaced immediately and being forced to come up with the funds for it with no prior warning.  

4 Benefits of Home Inspection for Sellers 

Most people know about at least some of the ways that a home inspection can benefit the buyer, but there are also home inspection benefits for sellers. That's especially true of pre-listing inspections before the property goes up for sale on the real estate market. Here are some benefits of home inspection that apply to sellers.  

1. Comply With Seller Disclosure Requirements 

When selling a home in Ontario, it is legally mandatory for sellers to disclose any known issues or defects with the property, and it can sometimes get contentious when determining what qualifies as "known." Get a pre-listing home inspection taken care of. You'll be aware of any issues or defects that would be uncovered during the buyer's home inspection anyway, and you can ultimately save yourself a lot of time and stress by complying with your disclosure obligation from the start of the selling process.  

2. Increase Property Value 

We mentioned that one of the buyer's home inspection benefits is that it opens the door for them to negotiate a lower price on the property or require the seller to handle repairs before the sale is completed. However, as a seller, you can use a pre-listing home inspection to increase the value of your property before a potential buyer ever lays eyes on it. Getting those problems handled means you can set a higher asking price because you've raised the market value of the home in comparison to other homes in your area that are in a similar condition or have similar upgrades.  

3. Set an Accurate Price 

Speaking of asking price, anything that better prepares you and your real estate agent to set an accurate price for the property qualifies as a benefit. With a home inspection report in hand, it's much easier to justify the price you've chosen to list the property at and find the perfect balance between the overall value of the home and the price the market will bear. Whether or not you choose to address any issues found during the home inspection, you can either factor the cost of repairs into the selling price to get a return on your investment or offer a lower price to incentivize buyers who are willing to take on those repair and renovation tasks themselves.  

4. Avoid a Long, Drawn-Out Sales Period 

No seller likes the thought of their property languishing on the real estate market for months or even years. The ideal is a quick, smooth sale so you can get everything taken care of and move on to new horizons. A pre-listing home inspection can help you accomplish that, making a faster sale a key home inspection benefit. You'll build trust with prospective buyers when you present them with an inspection report and a full disclosure of any issues or defects, along with an accounting of any work you've recently done on the property. That reassures the potential buyers that you are honest, straightforward and committed to ensuring the handover is mutually beneficial to both parties. 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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