This post was inspired by a recent Keats Island home inspection. Island properties are special, not only for their location but also for the fact that they allow the owners an expression of building creativity which would not be possible in an urban setting. Here is my ‘Top 3’ list of issues:
- Site: Is the ground stable or is there evidence of a slide or movement? Is it on high ground or water logged? Have the trees and vegetation overtaken the buildings on site?
- Occupancy: Is the structure built as a cabin, cottage or 4-season occupancy? Is there deterioration due to long periods of vacancy? Has the structure been converted to a full-time residence? How is freeze protection managed?
- Owner Improvements: To what standard were any repairs, renovations, new structures built? There is a broad spectrum of owners capabilities and attention to detail… how do those improvement affect occupancy health, safety and comfort?
A home inspector needs experience and judgement to treat these island dwellings fairly. It is important that the prospective buyer use a inspection firm with recreational property experience for a balanced report.