When in doubt, ask the experts!

The Home Inspector — your own private eye!

Our experience tells us that if we want an honest appraisal of the condition of our properties, the best people to call upon are professional "home inspectors". They will go over the property in minute detail and tell you exactly what condition it is in. They will recommend high-priority areas for you to work on. Since they work independently and do not recommend tradesmen, they can be trusted. In many countries in Europe, purchasers will not put an offer in on a house without reading the report of their home inspector first. This practice has spread to Canada among purchasers who increasingly call on this unbiased expertise.

I don't care if he's the home inspector, get him out!

How to choose a home inspection company

•   The firm you choose should be a registered member of the provincial association of home inspectors, which is affiliated with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). This will ensure that they will abide by the code of ethics and minimum requirements of the ASHI.

•  Experience is invaluable in the inspection profession. Look for a company that has been in business for some time.

•  Be wary of an inspector who offers an inexpensive inspection (under $100). The result will most probably be a superficial inspection and report.

•  Find out from the company what the inspection covers — it should examine all aspects of the property. Ask the following questions:

□    Does the inspector climb up and inspect the roof?

□    Does the inspector examine all systems in the property?

□    What are the inspector's qualifications?