Realty Glimpse 7

Nathan Vanstone
Property Inspector
Vanstone Home Inspections


Mark – What is the purpose of a property inspection?

Nathan – the purpose of a property inspection is to give you an idea of what you’re buying. We want to make sure it is safe, sound, there’s no major surprises when you buy it, generally to give you peace of mind.

Mark – are there certain things you’re coming looking for, or maybe not looking for, what do you do, what don’t you do?

Nathan – we’re going to come to the house, what were looking for any issues, especially in structure or make sure windows, doors, roofs, plumbing’s not leaking, you’re electrical’s working properly, generally as property inspectors, we don’t test for mold, asbestos, those kinds of things, we tend to look for them and look for signs of them but we don’t test the house for them, just because it’s more training, there’s specialized equipment, more specialized training to do it, some offer it as an additional cost of service, and some don’t, depending on what they do and who they decide to go with.

Mark – Certain ages of homes, certain locations of homes, certain types of homes, does that impact how you’re going to a property inspection – or things you may be looking for on the way there?

Nathan – It doesn’t necessarily affect how I do it. I tend to do all my inspections the same way, just a less chance to miss things, but where they are, I tend to expect more things, there’s certain areas of town where when they built, they tended to use aluminum wiring, there are places, an area of Grande Prairie, where I find, it’s about 10 years old, and the attic ventilation is pretty poor in that area. I go there and I go expecting. I can go there an I can call out 3 issues in the house before I get there, and I can find them all, as soon as I get there.

Mark – Poor ventilation, what’s wrong with that?

Nathan – it’s just letting your roof breath, so the cold air comes in the bottom, hot air at the top, keeps the air circulating, prevents moisture buildup, prevents ice buildup in the winter, and the release of heat stops, otherwise you cook your shingles from the inside out, so it ages shingles prematurely. It get’s so hot, especially when you have the black shingles on top of it.

Mark – A brand new house, so I just sold a brand new house to one of my clients, would you recommend they get a property inspection? Brand new home, it’s under warranty!?

Nathan – I do, even if it’s not when they first buy it, maybe six, eight months before the warranty runs out, just to go through everything, just because there’s areas [for example;] most people don’t go into their attic, and even if they do, a lot of times they don’t really know what they’re looking at or looking for either. Just to have them go through the house, you might have found some things that just kinda have you wondering, so we’re a good line to go through to make sure everything is going as it should be and maybe find out a few things that you might want to watch for later, and maybe you should get fixed and give you a better idea of the house.

Mark- Cam had mentioned if you’re buying from a friend, it doesn’t mean you don’t get a property inspection done, because it could prevent tensions, maybe the seller doesn’t even know [of concerns]. What about getting an inspection before you sell a house, before you even list it, would you encourage that?

Cam – I wish it would get to where the seller would get the inspection before they even listed it, as opposed to the buyer getting it when the buyer is going to buy it. Lots of times, like you said, the seller isn’t even aware of some of the issues of the house.

Mark – this leads to the point that they may need to disclose something they didn’t need to disclose to begin with.

Nathan – it makes the buyers feel safer, plus it gives the seller a chance to fix anything, if the sellers an electrician and all of the sudden there’s an electrical problem he didn’t know about, he can fix easier then. He doesn’t have to hire an electrician or anything, and he can fix the problems. And nothing shows you want to sell a house more than having the home inspection that you got done before you listed and then having the proof that you fixed all the things that you’ve done.

Mark – but now two people are buying property inspections. Is there any way around that? Maybe just have the one and then sell it to other, or how does that work?

Nathan – if the seller buys the inspection, he should share it with the potential buyers. I’d like to get it to the point where the seller buys the inspection, the home inspector is trusted enough that the buyer trusts the inspection and that’s what it is. Right now, we’re recovering, the industry got slapped before we were regulated, and we’re still regaining trust with consumers, everyone’s seen the home inspection stuff, they’re bad ones to there, but we’d like to get the trust so that when sellers get the inspection, here’s the list, here’s the inspection I got done to the house, and the buyer can look at it and go “okay perfect, he’s fixed these issues, this issue and it’s already in the price it’s already been negotiated, there’s no last minute surprises”, and it would take a lot of stress off everybody to know what you’re selling and know what you’re buying.

Mark – are there certain things I would look for if I was looking for a property inspector? Certain things so I’d know this guy is not qualified, this guy is qualified – what are some of the things I’m looking for?

Nathan – for a general home inspection, if you’re just wanting to make sure everything is good, any licensed home inspectorshould be good. If you’re buying a house with a wood fire place, you might want to look into getting a home inspector that is W.E.T.T certified. If you’re buying a house where you’re maybe worried about asbestos, you may want to get someone who can test for asbestos, it comes down to what your concerns are for the house. Just research and ask the home inspector, they’ll let you know.