Given the chance, 40% of homebuyers would do things differently: survey
One in four Quebecers who purchase a home had an unexpected issue with their property within five years, according to a survey released by insurance company Allstate on Tuesday
One in four Quebecers who purchase a home had an unexpected issue with their property within five years, according to a survey released by insurance company Allstate on Tuesday.
Seven per cent of survey respondents who had a problem had to pay between $1,500 and $5,000 to deal with it, while five per cent had issues that cost more than $10,000 to repair.
Many of those issues are preventable, said François Mercure, the agency manager at Allstate’s Boucherville office.
“It’s really simple stuff, the most frequent one that comes up is water damage coming from a pipe leaking or breaking.” Mercure said.
Water damage is the most common cause of home insurance claims made by Allstate customers in Quebec, according to the survey. In 34 per cent of those cases, the damage was caused by burst pipes, while toilet and shower leaks accounted for 25 per cent of water damage claims.
Of those respondents, 18 per cent would hire a building inspector, while 17 would “be more cautious in looking for potential damages or risk factors,” according the the survey which was conducted by polling and market research firm Léger.
“People spend weeks searching before they buy an $800 cellphone and then they don’t spend as much time buying a house,” Mercure said.
The most important thing for prospective home buyers to do is hire a professional building inspector, Mercure said.
“Do not buy a house if you don’t have an expert that’s looking at all the components of the house and gives you a clear picture, as best as it can be, of what you’re getting,” he said.
Inspectors can also identify potential issues with electrical systems, exteriors, roofs and foundations, he said.
He also recommends people find out if there’s a history — or a risk — of flooding in the area where they’re thinking of buying.
“It could have a major impact,” including not being allowed by rebuild on the site, he said.
According to the survey, 35 per cent of buyers checked for such a risk.
He also recommends looking at urban development plans to see what could be built nearby, finding out whether the previous homeowner made any insurance claims for flooding or fire as well as looking for lawsuits or complaints against the contractor who built the house.
“These are all things that can have major impacts on your investment,” Mercure said.
The survey, conducted in February, was answered by 618 Quebec homeowners.
Jacob Serebrin, Montreal Gazette