Do you know what’s easier to make than a New Year’s resolution? An excuse. It has only been a few weeks since 2014 began, and for many the drive for self-change is dwindling. “I’m too tired to make dinner, I’ll just order pizza,” or “I forgot my towel, I guess I can’t go to the gym.” Excuses aren’t only made for resolutions; there are plenty of things we let ourselves get out of, like Home Inspections. “This house is over my budget, I guess I can’t afford the Home Inspection,” or “My real estate agent informed me that this will probably be a multiple-offer situation, I should waive my Home Inspection clause to be competitive.” Just as it’s important for you to make the right choices in order to stay healthy, it’s important for you to be smart when it comes to your investments.
With the Canadian Real Estate Association predicting a strong year for real estate sales in 2014, we felt the need to address a trend we’ve noticed growing at an alarming rate since the end of the 2013 fall real estate market: home buyers skipping their Home Inspection. Due to the aggressive nature of Toronto real estate there has always been a temptation to opt out of the Home Inspection, however the extremely high demand and low supply of homes available this quarter have meant the market has gone from fairly competitive to cutthroat. This, combined with the high price of homes, has translated to more and more buyers waiving their right to a Home Inspection clause.
Even December’s ice storm didn’t slow the Toronto real estate market down. The Globe and Mail reports, “Ms. DeClute [a representative of DeClute Real Estate Inc.] cancelled the open house scheduled for the weekend the ice blasted Toronto, but 32 groups of buyers still made appointments for showings, which they held during daylight hours…Not only were fallen branches surrounding the house, says Ms. DeClute, but many of the streets in the Upper Beaches neighbourhood had fallen trees or power lines blocking access.”* Despite the dangerous weather and difficulties in reaching the property, there were still many individuals vying for the home, which meant that the buyers ended up paying “more than $40,000 above the asking price of $499,000.”*
Reflecting on December’s real estate transactions, The Globe and Mail noted, “The average price of homes that sold over the Multiple Listing Service in the Toronto area during December was $520,398 up by 8.9 per cent from the average selling price in December 2012. And the average selling price in Toronto for all of 2013 was $523,036, up 5.2 per cent from the average in 2012.”**
Competition and price are the two biggest motivators for buyers to skip the Home Inspection. According to a CBC News article, the 2014 market is expected to feature both - “The Toronto Real Estate Board predicts price growth will continue to exceed inflation in 2014, largely because the demand for low-rise houses continues to far outstrip supply. ‘The seller’s market conditions that drove price growth in the second half of 2013 will remain in place in many parts of the GTA,’ said TREB senior manager of market analysis Jason Mercer.”***
When buying a home many feel that they are gaining the upper hand in negotiations or saving money by opting out of their Home Inspection. However, in both of these situations, the calculations are way off – you ultimately lose more than you gain. A Home Inspection is a wise investment and can help to alert home buyers to potential problems within the home. When deciding not to have one performed, you run the risk of being ill-informed about your new property, not knowing how much you should budget and for what, and when certain maintenance items will need to be performed.
We recognize that although having a pre-purchase Home Inspection is preferred, due to the constraints of the current real estate climate it’s not always possible to have one completed. However, just because you can’t get a Home Inspection before you buy your home doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. It may not help you decide whether or not to move forward with the purchase, but it can help you to make good decisions with the next steps you take. Should you renovate the kitchen to widen your breakfast nook? Or should you fix the flashing on your roof first? Our Home Inspectors are available to help you with your home for as long as you own it, so when you start thinking about the feasibility of putting in a back porch, your inspector will be able to give you some advice and information.
A Carson Dunlop Home Inspection and written inspection report help to provide homeowners with the critical information they need. Our inspections include:
- A summary page with key findings
- Improvement recommendations for conditions, with time frames and cost estimates
- Photos and color illustrations for clarity
- A check for manufacturer recalls on appliances through RecallChek
- Free enrollment in the Carson Dunlop Homeowners Association
We also suggest a Thermal Imaging Inspection be added to your Home Inspection, to help identify hidden water leakage in your home.
House hunting in a competitive market can be hectic and stressful. Our Home Inspections are not, so no more excuses! Let us help welcome you to your new home. Book online or over the phone at 800-268-7070. Request a morning, afternoon, or weekend appointment. Receive your report the same day your inspection is completed, via email. Call or email us anytime with questions.