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The Home Inspection: Do You or Don't You? | Discover the Best in Toronto Real Estate

Blog by Heather Harris, Broker | December 1st, 2016

Conversation with James Watters, RHI, CanSpec Building Services Inc.


In today’s frenzied housing market, we often see offers that contain no conditions.  It used to be the norm in Toronto, as it still is in many areas outside of the city, to include conditions regarding financing and certainly home inspections.

We always advise our clients to obtain a home inspection before offering to purchase a property if there has not already been a comprehensive inspection completed by a reputable provider.  Not only does it protect our clients from unknown potentially costly issues that could come up after closing, but it also is a great education on the workings of the home.

We sat down with James Watters, a certified home inspector who we trust implicitly and have had the pleasure of working with often.

Heather:  In this time of “clean” offers, how important do you feel a home inspection is?

James:  I would highly recommend a walk-through with your realtor and inspector before offering on a property.  Take an objective look at the home.  I have a tool available that may help in the event that there is no time or opportunity to bring an inspector in.  I will provide you with that link.

Heather:  In my professional experience, rarely are inspections done for condos.  How do you feel about this?

James:  I do recommend home inspections for all properties.  In condos, we look at all mechanical and structural components and inspect the appliances.  It is less likely to have major issues in a condo, but it does happen.  It’s a small cost to pay for piece of mind.

Heather:  What if a major issue does come up on a pre-inspection?  Home owners are often afraid of hearing that they have mold or asbestos.

James:  It is not uncommon to uncover asbestos in a mature home or suspect mold in a home that may have a ventilation or moisture issue.  In almost all cases, these situations can be remediated and usually for a nominal cost.  It is always important to identify the root cause and catch these issues early so that remediation can begin.

Heather:  There has been talk of regulation of the home inspection industry.  What can you tell us about this?

James:  I predict that mandatory licensing for home inspectors will be in place as early as next year.  I welcome this improvement and look forward to being licensed.  As it is, I am a registered home inspector, which is currently the highest level of accreditation in the country.

A home inspector is bound by a code of ethics, similar to many other professions.  We have standards of practice.  A good inspector is a little like a detective, in that we use our senses to detect clues regarding moisture, structural issues etc without any invasive testing.

Heather:  Any other advice for our clients?

James:  Have a look at my free ebook on my website.  It outlines the top 5 issues when considering a home inspection:  moisture signs, structural movement or failure, heavily worn roof, older mechanical systems and obvious safety issues.

Find a home inspector you can trust.  Ask for referrals from your friends and family, research home inspection associations or just call me. (smile)