If you’re considering buying a new home – or even if you’ve lived in the same home for a while – a home inspection is a great investment.

A home inspection is a top-to-bottom examination of your house by a certified inspector, who will document things that need replacement, repair or maintenance.

A home inspection will cost between $200 and $500, depending on your location, and the age and size of the home. And be sure to check with your insurance provider - an inspection may be required if you're purchasing an existing home.

How it works

A typical home inspection – which you're encouraged to participate in - will cover:

  • The physical structure, including walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation and attic;
  • The condition of the heating and cooling systems;
  • Plumbing and electrical systems;
  • Visible insulation; and
  • The roof.

If any potential problems are detected, the inspector will show you exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it.

The benefits

The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you’ll ever make – and wet basements, leaky roofs, dangerous wiring or aging furnaces can quickly decrease the value of your investment.

By accompanying a certified home inspector through your home, you’ll see first-hand the potential trouble spots that need attention. You’ll have the knowledge to maintain or repair items to avoid costly emergency replacements.

Finding a qualified home inspector

Your Realtor can provide you with a list of certified home inspectors in your area, or you can visit the American Society of Home Inspectors website.