Wise home buyers always choose to hire a home inspector to thoroughly inspect any potential home from lot to shingles, to identify possible problems before the purchase is made. One of the main reasons to have an objective set of eyes, ears, and hands (equipped with the tools every qualified home inspector carries) is to compensate for the often enthusiastic buyer’s perception of shiny and new. What appears to be shiny and new may not be so beneath when inspected. New homes can often show poor construction details when viewed with a trained and experienced eye. Older homes may look great at first glance especially with the new paint and landscaping, but what about the things the seller doesn’t want to emphasize. A certified professional home inspector is able to identify tell-tale signs of problems even when all looks good to the enamoured buyer.
I was hired recently to inspect a well-maintained older home in North Vancouver. The current owners had lived in the house for 30 years and had maintained the house very well. At first glance, it looked like a fine home. I was not expecting to find what I did behind the 70’s wood paneling in the rec room. I spotted a very small stained area on the wall panel behind a door. My indicator meter showed strong signs of moisture. With the permission of the owners who along with the potential buyers stood by, I eased the panel open a few inches at a junction and discovered wet insulation. A thorough inspection later on by the home owners revealed a long vertical crack in the foundation behind the panelled wall. Water had been entering through the crack for many years, flowing under the floor boards, consistently saturating the room so that rot could take a firm foothold.
An extensive basement reno followed, the foundation was exposed and repaired, the buyer was grateful that a big problem was found before a deal was signed, and the owners could feel secure that their home was indeed sound by the time they put it back on the market. I often describe this inspection to my clients as a good example of why every home buyer needs the help of a certified professional home inspector. It’s not always easy to see problems and even sellers with the best of intentions may not be aware of every problem before selling.
Kevin Harrison is a licensed and certified Home Inspector operating Harrison Home Inspections Ltd. serving Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Richmond and Surrey. Harrison Home Inspections provides detailed, impartial factual information on the state of your home or home-to-be. Call 604-230-5536 to arrange for a home inspection from a certified professional Home Inspector.