Purchasing a home in Toronto is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, which is why you need to be as informed as possible before committing to purchase.
Home inspections are one of the best ways to learn more about your potential new home. The more information about the house that you have, the more confident you’ll be in your home purchase or decide to go another route.
A home inspection aims to give you and the current owner a holistic overview of what currently needs attention within the house. Once completed, the current homeowner can either fix the issues or give the buyer a discount.
Let’s explore why home inspections are important, what they cover, and how they impact the home purchasing process.
What Exactly is a Home Inspection?
Simply put, a home inspection examines the current state of the home. The goal is to identify any potential issues with the home that the new owners should know about.
A home inspection will last upwards of three hours and you should expect to be involved the entire time. Being present during the inspection will ensure that you have a greater understanding of the problems facing the home than if you were to just read the report.
The end result will be a report detailing all of the repairs that will be needed for the home to reach a satisfactory condition. Some inspections will include the full dollar amount to repair everything, however, this can depend on the inspector.
What Does a Quality Home Inspection Cover?
What does an excellent home inspection look like? How many areas should be inspected? What are the signs of a quality home inspection?
- Ceiling: Has no cracks and is level
- Exterior Walls: These walls should have a sturdy coat of paint that is not peeling.
- Basements: Any house with a basement will need to showcase that they’re ensuring that water is draining away from the house and will not flood the basement.
- Yards: Should be properly leveled to drain water away from the house and into the street
- Roof: Must be stable and completely undamaged. It should also have operational vents and a chimney, if applicable.
- All Windows: Every window should be aligned properly and have drip caps installed.
- Doors: The trim should be free of any rot or decay.
- Bathrooms: Everything in the bathroom is operational and not leaking water on the floor.
- Attic: Has proper ventilation and does not have water damage, which would be indicative of a leak.
- Circuit Breakers: The electrical system is up to date and up to code.
- Garage: Has a solid foundation and all electrical components are up to code.
- Smoke Detectors: Should be completely functional and present wherever needed.
- Kitchen: Every appliance should be functional and insulated well to avoid wasting energy.
- Heating and Cooling: HVAC should be completely functional and have no damage.
Each of the above items could be broken down into further categories. Remember, the actual home inspection sheet will be much larger and more detailed. The important thing to note is that the home is thoroughly inspected by a trained professional before you sign the closing documents, which is vital.
Plus, in a balanced market, your home inspection report can serve as a valuable tool during the negotiation process. If a major component of the house is damaged or needs repairs, you may be able to negotiate a price reduction.
What Isn’t Inspected During a Home Inspection?
Home inspections are thorough in one way but are often lacking in others. The inspector is not going to look behind walls, inside chimneys, or do anything with sewer lines. Home inspections are intended to give you a well-rounded view of the home, but they’re not addressing some areas of the home that could be problematic in the future.
- Does not look inside walls
- Does not look behind electrical panels
- Does not check for asbestos or harmful mold
- Does not look for damage caused by termites or other pests
If a home does not pass the inspection, the inspector does not give his recommendation to the buyer. Fortunately, most inspectors have a list of specialists on hand for referrals to fix such issues.
Understand the Importance of a Home Inspection Before Closing
A home inspection ensures everyone involved is aware of any major problems that have been discovered. After that, it’s up to the buyer and seller to sort it out.
Sometimes the seller cuts the buyer a check (or a discount) in exchange for the repairs that will be needed. In other situations, the seller simply fixes the problems before the sale is closed.
Having a home inspection before closing allows everyone to have a firm understanding of the state of the house. The last thing anyone wants is for the buyer to move in and discover a detrimental issue that could become a messy legal matter. Instead, having an agreed-upon third party handle the inspection and write up a report removes the possibility of bias from the seller.
Are you looking to purchase a home in Toronto and need a reputable home inspector? Let’s chat.
Hi, I’m Joel, a real estate professional based in Toronto.
My approach is simple—I put you first. I believe in open communication, total transparency, and meaningful results. I’ll guide you through the real estate process, market values, and always keep the focus on you—and your needs.