An interesting article recently in the Vancouver Sun has trumpeted a topic we have been talking about for years, namely home inspection standards. Or sadly, the lack of such standards across the country. As the article points out, there are only two provinces that have taken the step to implement laws, those being B.C. and Alberta. Knowing this, what is an Ontario home buyer supposed to think? Has the province abandoned them? Are they on their own to simply cross their fingers and hope for the best? The answer to this is clearly no. Buyers, despite the fact that they are not protected by provincial laws governing home inspection standards, still have some options available to them to reduce risk. And really that is what home inspection is all about, reducing or eliminating surprises when it comes to shopping for your new “dream home”.
In Ontario, you can hire anyone as a home inspector, either on your own, or one recommended by a realtor. (And on that note, you might want to read the aforementioned article for some blunt advice on the issues and conflicts inherent is such a referral). This wide open market can leave you taking advice from someone who although well intentioned, is not professionally qualified to offer advice regarding the largest purchase of your life.
In Ontario, despite the lack of laws and regulation, there exists some very highly recognizable accredited associations, first among them the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors or the OAHI. If you choose an inspector who has been properly trained and accredited you greatly reduce or eliminate the risk of operating under bad advice.