Ask Gitta: what kinds of problems to expect from a home inspection

Question: We’re thinking of buying a re-sale 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?


Home inspections are definitely advisable when buying a re-sale, not for the “problems” you may have to fix, but for the general condition of the home. Home inspections look at the “systems” and “components” of the house. All systems and components wear out eventually, but fortunately, not all the same time. The home inspector will start on the outside of the home, i.e. the roof, chimney, windows, garage, foundation and the slope of the land (hopefully, away from the house). He 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. He will then proceed throughout the interior of the home, ending off in the attic where he will check the insulation and interior of the roof.

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

^Once you’ve purchased the house, a reasonable estimate of the cost of normal maintainance should be 1% of the value of the home. The typical life cycles for some of the most common components and systems in a home are:


-conventional shingles 12-15 years

-top quality shingles 25-30 years

Aluminium siding

50+ years

Asphalt driveway surface

10-20 years

Conventional furnace

20-25 years

Copperwire plumbing



30-40 years

A home inspection, done by a qualified home inspector, will cost approximately $250 — $500. This is a small price to pay for piece of mind!

Good luck with your house hunting!

Gitta Levi, Associate Broker, Century 21 Heritage Group
‘Specializing in the needs of Seniors’