Many stories of unhappy home buyers have been circulating lately and one even ended up on the cover of the Toronto Star. Spring Realty managing director, Brian Hawrysh commented: “The reality of buying a house in Toronto is that it’s likely not a new build”.

What this means is, DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Never, ever, ever buy a house that hasn’t been properly inspected. If your sales rep or broker is advising you make an offer without inspection then you need to find another agent to help you. In this competitive Toronto Real Estate Market many houses in desirable neighbourhoods are experiencing multiple offers, where the cleanest, highest offer wins. By clean, I mean, an offer without conditions. You wouldn’t omit a financing condition if you hadn’t already secured financing would you? Then why not just do an inspection prior to making the offer? Ask the Seller for the Survey, this will help identify if the home, and other structures are within the appropriate property lines. Call the City to check on building permits, have they been passed? Any outstanding issues? This is totally acceptable and the small expenditure could save you thousands in the long run, or at least provide you with the information required to make what is for most, one’s largest financial investment.

Home inspections however may not unearth all of a home’s deficiencies. An inspector can’t look behind walls to find hidden knob and tube or look through drywall to find an improperly cut joist. These unexpected issues are just a part of home ownership. You do your best to protect yourself when buying by hiring an experienced Real Estate Broker, conducting a home inspection with a qualified home inspector, using a solid Real Estate Lawyer and ensuring you have set aside an adequate reserve fund equivalent to 2-4% of the purchase price to handle unexpected repairs and regular maintenance.

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