Last Updated on May 1, 2024

Is a Property Inspection Required When Buying a Home? | Real Estate Question

By Alan F Macdonald

Short Answer


Long Answer

All properties have problems – not one is perfect.

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You never have to get an inspection of a property when you’re buying – but it’s probably a good idea. The thing with real estate is that it’s complicated and expensive. If something goes wrong, you’ll likely have an expensive bill. Now that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a place that has some problems – nothing is perfect. But it does mean that you should be aware of what you’re buying. Sure, you could try to sue a seller of a property if you found a problem after the fact, but why would you want to leave everything up to chance?

There are three options open, really:

  1. Do no inspection at all and buy a property the way it is.
  2. Inspect a property yourself or with a friend or family member.
  3. Hire a professional home inspector to check out the property for you.

In Alberta, residential house inspectors have Home Inspector’s Licenses and may have other experience or qualifications that make them an expert at inspecting a home. Why not have someone on your side who knows what to look for?

Professional home inspections are typically inexpensive compared to the value of a home. Depending on the size of the home, they can range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand, but often are $400 to $500 for a average Edmonton home.

Professional inspections do take between 3 and 4 hours depending on how large the home is and what needs to be looked at – and it is recommended that you should be present at a home inspection for the entire time. That way you know what what looked at, what wasn’t, and so you can see everything the inspector is checking. If you have any questions, you can ask at that time, and if the inspector has any specific instructions and tips, you’ll be there to hear them and you’ll know what to look for.

Home inspections can be a valuable tool in saving time, money and headaches. That being said, however, you do have to use a home inspector. If you are comfortable inspecting a property yourself, you have that right. If you know someone who would like to help you check out a property, you can always ask them to help. And if you don’t want to do an inspection at all, you can forego any checking if you want to. As I said, it’s usually a good idea, but a professional property inspection is not required.

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