The frenzied state of the real estate market is putting a lot of Canadian homebuyers in compromising situations, but a new nationwide inspectors coalition has been created to protect them.
According to the newly-created Canadian Home Inspectors for Consumers (CHIC), competition in the residential real estate market is so fierce that homebuyers are under immense pressure to waive crucial conditions, chief among them home inspections -- the implications of which can be financially ruinous. Alan Carson, CEO of Carson Dunlop, a home inspections company, says there are too many variables to overlook.
“Canadians are making one of the biggest financial commitments of their lives without the information they need to make an informed decision. This creates huge financial risk with unforeseen problems lurking," he said. "From wet basements, mould in attics, and structural problems, to unsafe electrical systems, obsolete HVAC or plumbing systems, and worn-out roofs -- the list goes on."
The average Canadian home price reached a record $816,720 in February; that’s a 20.6% year-over-year increase indicative the haywire nature of the market. In the Greater Toronto Area, Canada’s most populous metropolitan region, the average price of a home surged by 35.9% year-over-year in February to $1,334,544, while detached houses now cost over $2M.
Many homebuyers spend all their savings on down payments, leaving them little room to manoeuvre financially once something goes awry. Others rely on their parents’ money to make down payments. In short, excitement and eagerness to become a homeowner could have catastrophic consequences.
The federal government is trying to heed the need to protect homebuyers through the Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights. But even home sellers would benefit from providing an authenticated home inspection report because it could protect them from litigation down the line, CHIC noted.
"Even items like collectible sneakers and artwork are authenticated before resale -- so, how is it possible that Canadians are privy to more protection for these items than when buying a resale home?" asked Rick Mayuk, Regional Owner of A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections. "Homebuyers are being denied the basic due diligence afforded by a professional home inspection."