Q&A: What to Expect from a Home Inspection

Home inspection

 

Question:
We’re thinking of buying a home, and have been advised to have a qualified home inspector do an inspection before we finalize the agreement of purchase and sale. What types of “problems” should we anticipate?

Answer:
Home inspections are definitely advisable when buying a home, not for the “problems” you may have to fix, but for understanding the general condition of the home. Home inspections look at the systems and components of the house. Everything will wear out eventually but, fortunately, not all at the same time.

The home inspector will start outside of the home (ex. the roof, chimney, windows, garage, foundation, and the slope of the land). They will then spend a large part of the inspection in the basement, checking the heating/air conditioning system, plumbing, electrical, and foundation for possible leaks and cracks. Finally, they will proceed throughout the interior of the home, ending in the attic to check the insulation and interior of the roof.

If you’re buying a 12 to 15 year old home, it’s quite possible that you’ll need new roofing. If the house is 60+ years old, you may need to update the plumbing or electrical. The inspection gives you information that you’ll need for future budgeting of expenses.

The typical life cycles for some of the most common components and systems in a home are:

Roof

Conventional shingles: 12-15 years

Top quality shingles: 25-30 years

Aluminium siding

Up to 50 years

Asphalt driveway surface

10-20 years

Conventional furnace

20-25 years

Toilet

30-40 years

A home inspection, done by a qualified home inspector, will cost approximately $250 to $500. This is a small price to pay for peace of mind and can be a bargaining chip during the bidding process!

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