Buying a house in Toronto is the largest purchase you’re likely ever going to make. So when you decide to spend your hard earned savings, it’s best to protect yourself wherever you can. This means when making an offer on a house, you’ll likely need a home inspection. We’re about to tell you why you should, how it’s done, what it costs, and why you need to be extra careful with home inspections in Ontario.

WHAT DO HOME INSPECTORS LOOK FOR?

Home inspections are a standard piece to the home buying puzzle. Whether it’s a new home or a very old home, having a home inspection offers you some peace of mind. Home inspections will help to identify any hidden issues within the house that may cost you post-sale. Beyond the financial costs affiliated with these potential repairs, they will also ensure the property is safe.

An Ontario home inspection checklist should include, but not limited to:
• roofing
• electrical
• plumbing
• insulation
• heating
• structural
• water damage

These are just some of the main areas a home inspector will pay attention to during their inspection. In some cases should they have cause for concern regarding a certain ares, your home inspector may recommend getting a follow up inspection with a specialist.

Not only are they looking for things that need to be dealt with immediately, but they can also provide you with a list of things that may need some attention in the not-so-distant future. Typically, they will provide in their follow up report the cost to fix said items and the timeline in which you should aim to have these repaired by.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE A HOME INSPECTION?

In some cases, a seller will already have a home inspection done prior to listing, but as a buyer you are generally the one who foots the bill. The cost of home inspections Ontario will vary depending on the size of the home. In general, it’s best to budget anywhere from $300 to $500 for an inspection but it is a worthy investment.

HOW LONG DOES A HOME INSPECTION TAKE?

This will depend on the size of the property, but can generally take two to three hours.

SHOULD THE BUYER ATTEND THE HOME INSPECTION?

While it’s not mandatory to attend a home inspection on a property you’re interested in buying, it is in your best interest to do so. This way, your home inspector can point out any issues or repairs that are needed and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions that may arise.

ARE HOME INSPECTORS REGULATED IN ONTARIO?

This is where things can get tricky. As of right now, there’s no formal licensing required for Ontario Home Inspectors and just about anyone claiming to be a home inspector is able to do so.

In order to protect yourself, the best way to ensure you’re working with a qualified inspector, refer to the Canadian Association of Housing and Property Inspectors or in Ontario specifically, Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.

It’s worth noting here that there have been efforts to put more regulations in place regarding home inspections Ontario. In 2017 the Home Inspections Act went to legislation, which would require minimum standards as well as proper education and training for all Ontario home inspectors. While the Act is not currently enforced, it is expected to go into force in 2020.

DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION ON A CONDO?

When buying a Toronto condo, the comparable to a home inspection is getting the status certificate of the building. A status certificate will provide an in-depth overview of a condo building’s management policies, financial statements, the general health of the building as well as any particulars for the individual condo unit. You can learn more on condo status certificates here.

After your home inspection, you should receive a thorough report that outlines all of the issues both pertinent and upcoming, images of important areas, and tips for home maintenance with respect to this specific property. Depending on the outcome of your home inspection, you can discuss with your real estate agent if the value of your offer is still in line with what you’ve learned from the home’s overall health and whether there are any things that can work in your favour for negotiations.