Home Renovation Diaries Part 3 - The Importance of the Home Inspection

Posted by Jerad Cox on Monday, April 25th, 2016 at 6:13am.

Home Inspection

Prime Edmonton Real Estate - A home inspection is always an important part of the home buying process, but when someone buys a home that needs a lot of work, it becomes even more important. In the case of our most recent home purchase for renovation, it proved to be priceless.

We had chosen to purchase a home that had a lot of updating to be done. We knew that we would have to remove the old plaster walls and ceilings, redo the plumbing and upgrade the electrical, replace the kitchen and bathrooms, and replace the windows. We had taken this into account when we desired to put an offer on the home. What we found out later is that we had a much bigger issue at hand.

During the inspection it was discovered right away that we had vermiculite in the attic - a form of loose asbestos product that was commonly used for insulation back in the 1940s when the home was built. Today it is commonly known that this product is a serious health hazard and can cause serious long term respiratory issues.

We were disappointed - but what were our options?

Well, we did what I always recommend to all of my clients - I called in experts to assess the issue and costs involved in fixing it. I had a asbestos tester come in and test 19 different areas of the home - from the vermiculite to floor tiles, to duct connections - and discovered that there was 8 or 9 products that contained asbestos and would need to be removed for any type of construction to go on. From there I had 3 remediation companies come and quote on a full removal of all the unhealthy products, while learning more about the process and how I could guarantee that I would be protected after the remediation was done.

With that information in hand, I went back to the seller and provided the information along with a revised price that reflected the costs that would be incurred to take care of it. After a few days of negotiation, we agreed to terms to where we felt safe that there wouldn't be a serious risk on our part.

We then had a home inspector come in and investigate the home on issues that were unrelated to the asbestos issues. We were fortunate that he also caught a few things that we did not notice that could be a huge cost to fix down the road. We then went back to the seller and again negotiated a price based on the fact that these defects influenced the value and they were going to need to be addressed right away.

The net result? We spent a lot of money on inspections and asbestos testing - probably more than any of my clients have in my time as a Realtor®. But because of that, we were also able to discount the home $50000 from the list price. It paid off - but the peace of mind it also brought made it even more valuable.

Now a quick word about inspections in this situation - sometimes the best investment is in that inspection to be able to walk away from the home, rather than get stuck with a bunch of problems. Inspections also aren't perfect - and you will inevitably find something else as you get working on it. But it certainly is worth the investment!

Even after all of the stress and negotiations involved with the home inspections, we were very glad that we were as thorough as we were, and were excited about moving on to the next phase of the home renovation - getting our hands dirty with demolition!

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