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What is a Home Inspection in Canada?

It is easy to forget about all the other little things involved with buying a property when you get wrapped up in the excitement of viewing properties, making an offer and then having your offer accepted, especially when this could potentially be your forever home.

A property that seems like it is perfect may not actually be so perfect under the surface. Especially when a potential buyer tends to look at it with rose-tinted glasses. This can lead to expensive fixes which may not be overtly apparent upon first viewing.

For that reason, all buyers must hire a home inspection before any contracts on a property are signed for the purchase. This may seem like a boring cost that could be avoided because….your property is perfect, right? Often, inspectors can be worth their weight in gold, especially on a property with many hidden problems that your average person cannot see.

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

An inspector will visit the property in question and do a full inspection of the property’s interior and exterior to look to find any aspects that may be of concern or may be of concern in the future. It is not uncommon for sellers of properties to try and hide potential issues, which you might have missed in your viewing. However, a home inspector will be aware of all the tricks and uncover anything you might have missed.

When a full inspection is complete, the inspector will write a report upon the findings, including any photos of any issues they have found. On top of this, the inspector will usually provide a timeframe of projects which require completion on the property. This should give you a rough idea of the extra cost you might need to spend on the property.

This can be great, but it may also ruin your hopes of buying your dream property. It is always recommended to include in your offer that it is based on a positive inspection outcome. You don’t want to buy a house for $400,000 and then realize it actually needs $100,000 of essential work when you could have bought another house for $410,000 in perfect condition. This is the potential value of a home inspection!

What Will a Home Inspector Look For?

A home inspector will generally look for things that a prospective home buyer wouldn’t even know about unless they were an expert in that particular field. This generally involves looking at plumbing and electrics and whether they’re in good condition or need an upgrade. This is more likely to bring up issues on older properties commonly.

They may also look for hidden water damage, which could lead to significant issues down the line. Another common area of focus that buyers often do not know is any structural issues around the foundation or roof of the property, which might impact the property’s overall structural integrity.

These things can often become an oversight for buyers when they look around the property, as they often don’t have the know-how to spot the issues. This is why an inspection is always recommended.

When Should I Get an Inspection? And How Much Does It Cost?

The home inspection will always take place after you have had your offer accepted. It is generally not the norm to inspect before you place your offer, and a seller may not allow this. However, you can make your offer conditional on a positive home inspection outcome.

Once you have had your offer accepted, you can arrange to have your inspection completed. Having this in place in the days after your offer is recommended, as this means the inspector can view the property in the same state that you viewed it in.

Typically you as the buyer are responsible for a home inspection cost unless this is worked into your offer for the seller to cover the cost. The overall cost will likely be $300-500, depending on the property’s size, location, and age.

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