Buying a home

Buying a home is the biggest investment you will make in your life. Whether it’s your first home, your family home, or an investment property, you want to ensure your investment is well worth it. Most buyers will feel some level of uncertainty when viewing a home, they are considering buying, and rightfully so. We are not all home experts and thus it can be difficult to properly determine the value of a home, spot potential issues, and to assess a properties condition. When purchasing, selling or maintaining a home, a professional home inspector will provide you with the information needed to feel confident in your decisions. A home inspectors’ ability to detect current issues and foresee future issues helps homeowners and buyers understand the true value of the property they are invested/investing in. It is also important to ensure your inspector is adequately qualified. Not all inspectors are the same. Most lack proper training and credentials. Ask what the experiences are and even ask to see credentials.

Here are the major benefits of hiring a home inspector next time you buy or sell a home.


Discover Hidden Issues

We all know that feeling. You just bought a new (used) car and are driving it home when all the sudden the check engine light comes on. Your stomach sinks as you call the repair shop for an inspection only to find out it’s a major problem with the engine that the owner never told you about. At least it was only a $5000 investment. Now imagine this same scenario for a $300,000+ home.

Unfortunately, some homeowners do not care for their home properly over the years and it takes its toll on the structure and its components. Like a mechanic, a professional inspector will inspect a home’s condition from top to bottom, inside/out and evaluate and test all its mechanical systems. They understand what typically where issues lie based on a home’s age, design, location, 
and more. This allows them to look in places you never even would have thought of looking. Plus, once they do spot an issue, they will be able to estimate the cost to remedy it. 

Alleviate the Risk

This brings us to our next point. Buying a home is a massive investment and unfortunately, without all the information, you are taking a risk when purchasing a home, new or old. With a home inspector, you eliminate most of the risk and can make your decision based on all the facts. A typical inspection only costs $375-500 dollars and one issue detected could save you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. It could save your house from something major like burning down due to poor electrical wiring, from a health hazard like a
mold issue, or from a major structural issue like a foundation collapsing.
No matter what the situation, it’s always best to be informed.


Detect Issues Invisible to The Eye

Some homes issues are not visible to the human eye but can cost hundreds of dollars if not properly maintained. The primary culprit in Canada is heat loss. When a home’s seals are no longer effective, a home will lose heat quickly which means you end up running the air conditioner or furnace more often. This can result in extremely high energy bills each month which is an expense you may not anticipate when you move in.

Home inspectors have special tools like thermal detection guns that can identify issues like these. A discovery like this could help you realize you need to replace the heating system, windows, and doors, which would then factor into your purchasing decision.


Establish Your Home’s Value During Negotiation

On the flip side of the coin, for homeowners who do invest time, money, and effort into maintaining their home will be able to instil more confidence in potential buyers, meaning you can sell your home sooner, for a higher price. The information they provide will help a seller during negotiations and be able to justify their asking price more confidently.


What We Inspect

Now that you understand the value of a home inspection and how important it is when buying or selling your home, it is also important that you understand everything we look for. With every inspection, Red Seal Inspection provides a comprehensive report with details on all the following:


Site/Property Conditions

1) Driveways, walkways, on-ground ramps, porches, patios, decks, and balconies
2) Fences
3) Exterior stairs
4) Soffit, fascia, and trim
to, an examination for trip or fall hazards.
5) Retaining walls and constructed planters
6) Site drainage and grading


7) Foundations
8) Concrete slab on ground/grade
9) Floor structure
10) Wall structure
11) Roof structure
12) Interior guards and handrails
13) Interior stairs
14) Building envelope

Building envelope

15) Exterior walls
16) Decks, balconies, pergolas, trellises, and similar structures
17) Exterior guards and handrails
18) Exterior doors
19) Garage doors and openers
20) Exterior windows and skylights
21) Roof and attic
22) Gutters and downspouts
23) Insulation, air barrier, and vapour barrier

Plumbing systems

24) Potable water supply and distribution
25) Non-potable water reuse supply and distribution
26) Domestic water heaters
27) Plumbing fittings and fixtures and bath and shower enclosing surfaces
28) Interior sanitary drainage systems
29) Storm drainage systems
30) Non-potable water discharge systems
31) Automatic irrigation systems

Heating, cooling, and mechanical ventilation systems

32) Heating and cooling systems
33) Mechanical ventilation systems
34) Fireplaces and chimneys

Electrical systems

35) Electrical service, main disconnect, and earth grounding system
36) Distribution panels
37) Distribution wiring and circuitry
38) Lighting, switches, receptacles, and junction boxes
39) Auxiliary and other electrical systems
Life safety systems
40) Carbon monoxide detection
41) Smoke and heat detection
42) Fire separation and egress

Interior finishes and built-in or attached furnishings

43) Floors, walls, ceilings, interior doors, glazing, and trim
44) Attached cabinetry and countertops and built-in or attached furnishings
45) Swimming pool areas


Contributed By:

Trevor Sczesny - Red Seal Inspections Inc
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