Home inspections are one of the most important things a buyer can do to protect them-selves from making a bad investment. What an inspection will do is provide an examination and evaluation of a residential structure. The inspection report will highlight problems or potential problems the house or cottage has. The inspection will provide you with information so you can make a more informed purchasing decision.
The importance of a home inspection when buying cottage real estate is paramount. The inspection of you future home or cottage is so important; it can be used as a contingency in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The clause provides that if significant defects are revealed by the inspection, the buyer can back out of the deal – free of penalty. The potential problems that can be found in a home or cottage are significant if you can include a clause allowing you to cancel the deal if any are found.
Generally, a home inspection will include an overview of the: plumbing, electrical, windows, foundation, structure, heating, walls and floors. This seems like an all-encompassing list and it is, unless you are buying cottage real estate. Buying a rural property will also require a well inspection, WETT inspection, water test, septic inspection and in most cases, an oil tank inspection. Not having one of these inspected can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and repairs.
For some reason, when people are buying recreational real estate they are not as vigilant about thoroughly inspecting their property and the improvements upon that property. The mentality “out of sight, out of mind” reigns true. Having your country property inspected properly will cost more money. With all the additional inspections you need to get done on your potential cottage, you will need to budget over $1000 for inspections in your closing cost budget.
Your inspections should outline:
• whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect
• which items need replacement and which should be repaired or serviced
• items that are suitable for now but that should be monitored closely
One final note when it comes to home inspections. In Ontario, there is little legislation governing home inspectors. Anyone can call themselves a “qualified” Home Inspector. However, not everyone can call themselves “Registered Home Inspectors”. The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) has stringent requirements for membership and maintains the right to designate their members as Registered Home Inspectors.
If you are thinking of buying a cottage or home in the Near North and have questions about home inspections please contact me if you need assistance.