Boris Vorobyov is a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) at Power Home Inspection who spends his days doing visual inspections of Toronto area houses for both home buyers and builders. Boris checks each structure’s various systems and all relevant interior and exterior components for any issues or concerns. Good home inspectors can see problems before they happen and part of Boris’s job is report the likelihood of a facilities failure now and in the future. His affordable services include condominium inspections and that frequently brings him downtown.
This author caught up with Boris on the job near Liberty Village where he was doing a pre-purchase condo inspection.
What’s your favourite joke about your own profession?
I’ve heard some. Did I ever tell you about the time I sent a whole house to the Hospital emergency room? It had window panes. Or have you heard the one about The Roof? No? Well I doubt you’d get it. It’s over your head. At a party, what’s the difference between a home inspector, a real estate agent, and a mortgage broker? The mortgage broker will be the one who knows his job is too boring to talk about at parties!
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
You can find home inspectors everywhere people live and houses are for sale. We inspect condominiums, residential houses and even commercial properties. You’ll see us parked near new condo towers and young subdivisions. Most of our work falls into three main types of relationships: Pre purchase inspections, pre list, and new construction condo inspections.
What is your Toronto pet peeve?
Parking: with the need for tools on every job it’s usually hard to find a spot near the home or condo that I’m inspecting. Sometimes you have to park far away and lug around a ladder, tool case and other equipment. Parking enforcement is very strict, just the other day myself along with a contractor, the listing agent and my client all got parking tickets for parking 2 minutes before it was allowed. It’s almost like the parking officers have a sixth sense for parking violations and can smell them before they happen. In the photo below I got a ticket even though I’d paid using the Toronto Parking smartphone app!
What’s the best job you do?
Explaining to clients about their new home and how to maintain it. Everyday I meet people who didn’t know any basic functionality of the systems in their home. I enjoy teaching people while on my inspections so that they can keep their condos and home in tip top condition.
What’s the worst job you do?
Attics and crawlspaces: Usually not so bad until you have to crawl in them. Itchy insulation and a chance to run into the neighbourhood raccoon or mouse . Crawlspaces are much more rare as most homes have basements in Toronto but on the off chance there is one, it means crawling through dirt to properly inspect the foundation, framing, electrical and plumbing.
How do you get paid? What’s the price for your service?
The average home inspection costs around $350, with condos under 1,000 sq ft. costing as little as $220. Larger units over 2,000 sq ft. will run $400 or more. Indoor air quality or mold testing will cost extra, but will typically cost less if you purchase them with a home inspection. It doesn’t take long. A one or two bedroom unit in a high-rise condominium tower will take between sixty and ninety minutes.
What’s the worst thing a prospective buyer could ever do or say to a member of your profession when shopping for service?
The home or condo is being sold by flippers (people who buy property then do renovations for the purpose of selling at a higher price). The vast majority of flip properties I inspect are renovated extremely poorly and are done to make the place look nice from a distance. Up close it’s a different story with many upgrades installed improperly and destined to fail or cause problems.
What’s the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
“Can I follow along with you during the inspection” my answer is always “YES”. During the inspection is the best time to ask any questions about your new home as they will be answered right away. I love to explain what I am doing and teach you about the various systems that are in your home. The feeling of leaving an inspection with the confidence that my client is so much more educated about their property is always a fulfilling one.
Cover photo by M.Welanc Photography.