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Recently, in Manitoba homebuyer had the worst-case scenario after skipping a home inspection.

She was planning major renovations, so she brought in all manner of construction trades people and general contractors to give estimates and make plans, but she never spent the little extra it would cost for an inspector because it seemed like a redundant move.

But it wouldn’t have been. In the end, her $1-million home is infested, wall-after-wall filled with one of the worst mice infestations those involved have ever seen. What was going to be just upgrades will result in the entire home being redone from insulation on out.

It’s a common mistake to assume general tradespeople can do the same manner of inspection that a certified home inspector would undertake.

The truth is, a certified home inspector knows how to spot signs of damage -- from electrical issues to water damage, repairs that might be a couple years off, to structural damage indicated by foundation condition, and more.

They can estimate the life of your driveway and more, in many ways giving you a solid picture of what you can expect in the next few years.

Not all home inspectors are actually certified, so it pays to do your homework and get one who is, or talk to someone like Alex, who’ll make sure you hire someone with a great reputation.

After all, the last thing Alex or any other trusted Realtor wants to see is for a client like you to run into a nightmare story of mold, dry-rot, infestations, or any other issues that can be lurking behind the otherwise-pretty surface of what you think is going to be your “dream home.”

With all you’re investing in your future, don’t cut corners now and forget the home inspection. As a buyer AND a seller, it’s in your legal interest to do your property transactions with full transparency, including a thorough inspection.

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Finishing and upgrading basements are among most popular renovations homeowners will undertake, and wisely so.

It gets expensive with costs of supplies, fixtures, and labour, so it’s no wonder people like to shave costs and time off their renovations, starting with skipping required building permits.

Here at Briones and Associates, though, we strongly encourage getting all required building permits. (Plumbing and electrical require their own permits, and rental suite upgrades could use a development permit.)

But what if your contractor is willing to skip that step and help save some money?

This rings some alarm bells for us, because we believe that any good contractor will require their clients be on-board with getting required work permits. Why?/p>

Liability is a critical when you’re talking about where folks live, and things like structural integrity, plumbing, and electrical.

For instance, if you have a fire down the line and never had a permit for that work, it could affect insurance coverage. If a rental suite is involved and they can prove the work was done without permits, liability could be big trouble.

Among the positives, though, are that your investment will be worth more when you sell your home and you’re able to provide proper permits proving all home upgrades are done to code.

When it comes to liability, insurance, and your safety, it’s not worth cutting corners to save a few dollars. Take out permits and do your work up to code, and it’ll pay off in the long run.

If you need recommendations for quality trades people, we have a list of preferred professionals we’re happy to help you with.

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