By Kevin Gillies
With spring’s arrival in the Lower Mainland now official, also arriving is this region’s spring real estate market blitz.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s recently released numbers show that this spring season is showing stronger signs of market activity than usual.
“We’re seeing more multiple offer situations and generally more traffic at open houses today,” REBGV president Ray Harris said in a public statement last month.
“It’s an active and competitive marketplace today. Buyers are motivated and homes that are priced competitively are selling at a brisk pace right now,” Harris added.
This is the season families consider moving with the year ahead in mind. Children’s school schedules, and locations often dictate spring listings and summer possession dates.
And undoubtedly for buyers, this purchase represents one of the most expensive and important purchases a family will ever make.
There’s no money-back guarantee or return policy when you buy a new home. Once you’ve bought it, you’re on your own to maintain it, repair it, anticipate problems and pay the bills.
Which is why it’s best to know as much as you can about potential problems before you buy — through the services of a home inspector.
One of the best ways to assess a home’s condition before making the purchase official is to hire a properly trained, professional home inspector. Home inspectors will review your house as a system, looking at how household components might affect another component’s work, or how long it will last.
Home inspectors perform complete visual inspections to assess conditions and all of the home’s systems and determine what, if any, components are not performing properly.
They identify areas where repairs may be needed or where there may have been problems in the past, and they help homebuyers understand the condition of the house at the time of the inspection.
The pre-purchase inspection for a 165-205 m² (1,800-2,200 sq. ft.) home usually takes about three hours and can cost $500 on the high side.
After the inspection, the prospective buyer is presented a written report that includes all details of the inspection and the home inspector should be willing to answer any questions a buyer might have.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recommends potential buyers accompany an inspector during an inspection as it can be a valuable learning experience.
According to the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors BC, “A home inspection performed in accordance with the CAHPI Standards of Practice helps buyers to make a sound purchase decision based on valuable, objective information.”
The CAHPI standards of practice are a set of guidelines for home inspectors to follow in the performance of their inspections. They are the most widely accepted home inspection guidelines in use and include all the home’s major systems and components.
These standards of practice, and the association’s code of ethics are recognized by many government, professional, and legal authorities as the definitive standard for professional performance.
The code of ethics contained within the association’s standards of practice stresses the home inspector’s responsibility to act in a strictly fair, impartial, and professional manner, and to protect consumers by disallowing conflict of interest activities.
• For more information on home inspections before buying a home this spring, visit the CAHPI website at www.cahpi.bc.ca, the CMHC website at www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca, or the GVREB website at www.rebgv.org.