Buying a House – Buyer Beware

Pre-Purchase-InspectionWhen buying a house most people have no idea what problems and defects to look for.  They will get advice from relatives and friends which usually involves making sure there is no water in the basement, no mould in the house and to look for cracks in the foundation.  While this advice maybe sound, it just barely scratches the surface if items you should be aware of.

New home buyers  may be quick to spot the visible cosmetic repairs – a coat of paint, a new tile here or there – but what about the less obvious repairs that can quickly send you into a financial crisis.  Aluminum wiring can be dangerous and expensive to replace.  Many insurance companies will not insure a home with Aluminum Wiring.

Who’s to say that termites and carpenter ants aren’t quietly gnawing away at the floor joists or roof rafters? Or that the harmless-looking crack in the foundation won’t eventually set you back a few thousand dollars, or cause flooding of your basement.

Some older homes have UFFI Insulation installed.  While not the stigma it used to have there is issues with excessive shrinkage and although you might get a discount on Property Taxes, you would then have UFFI Insulation registered on title.  While in Ontario Home Buyers have little protection from buying a home with problems, there is the Rule of  Material Latent Deficiencies, which can provide legal recourse in situations where certain deficiencies were not disclosed.

Home Buyer Protection

The only protection a home buyer has in Ontario is what is offered by their Home Inspector.  Your Real Estate Agent would only be liable if they sold you a home and they failed to disclose a defect that they knew about.  I haveLatent-Defects-Help-for-Home-Buyers received many phone calls from home buyers, who have discovered something, after moving into their new home.   They all phoned their Realtor right away, who always told them,  “call your Home Inspector”.  There are exceptions to everything and I have had Realtors call me up to discuss some “hidden defect”  that  was discovered once they started renvovating.  Unfortunately if a “hidden defect” is not disclosed by the seller your only option is to take them to court.

Too often a home buyer will ignore warning signs pointed out by their home inspector because they are so excited about buying the property.   New investors are typically the worst buyers who fail to heed the warning signs and are often totally surprised when “hidden defects” raise their ugly head when they are doing any work or renovations to the building.   Your Realtor knows the value of properties in any given area and should be well aware of any property is below current market conditions.   A good Realtor will consider this and also the condition of the propery and hopefully advise his client of potential risks.

If you can prove the Seller or even the Listing Agent knew about a “hidden defect” you can sue them in the court system.  Read about Latent Defects.

Home Buying Tips


Buying a home is likely the most significant and largest purchase of your life. Do it right with the help of a Professional Home Inspection and avoid buying a home requiring expensive repairs.  It’s ideal to have saved up some money and manage any debt. Talking to your Banks Mortgage Agent prior to house shopping can allow you to have a realistic price point for shopping.

Choosing the Right Home Inspector

If you are buying a home, an inspection could reveal problems you never would’ve noticed. An inspection can require the seller to fix what needs fixing before you buy the home. You could also find issues that make you decide not to buy.  Buying a home in the Orillia area?  Choose the Orillia Home Inspector for Guaranteed Results

Call Barrie Home Inspections for answers to any regarding Home Inspections, Thermal Imaging, WETT Certified Inspections or Air Quality Testing.  Consulatation is always Free whether you need a Home Inspection or not.

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Call Roger Frost for more information about Home Inspections.    705-795-8255

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Purpose of Home Inspection – To Protect Your Investment

When Buying a House the best time to uncover what problems may be lurking in your new home is before you buy it. That way you know exactly what you’re getting (or not getting), and allow you to budget how much it will cost to make the needed repairs. Since the owner, eager to make a sale, and the agent, equally as eager to collect the commission, are probably not the best source of unbiased information, you might want to engage the services of a “professional home inspector”. For a fee of about $449.00, he will assess the house from the basement to the rafters, and present you with a computerized report complete with pictures of any issues. In Ontario your Offer to Purchase will usually include a Standard Condition regarding you having a Home Inspection.  Due to the large investment you are making you might want to find your own Home Inspector as some Realtor’s may have a cozy relationship with someone they refer.   Ontario is also looking to remove the ability or Realtors to “double end” a Real Estate transaction, this is where an agent would represent both buyer and seller.

Buying a House – Are You Protected?

New Home Buyers usually “mistakenly” think that because they are using a Realtor they have some protection.  In most cases whenever a buyer contacts a Realtor about problems after the Sale of the Home, the Buyer is told to contact the Home Inspector.  In Barrie ON Listing Agents were once required to fill out a SPIS Form ( Seller Property Information Statement ) and have seller sign the form, which then becomes part of Real Estate Transaction.  OREA has since removed the SPIS Form from use in the Barrie area as it has been at the root of countless lawsuits.  The SPIS Form creates an Obligation on the seller to disclose existing information but of any changes to information prior to closing date.  So a Realtor is really only negotiating a Purchase on your behalf,  you  cannot expect any more or less, unless the Realtor is representing both parties, then you will definitely get less.  That is why having a Home Inspector,  whose only concern, is your best interest is so important to protect your investment. View Sample Home Inspection Report

Having any suspicious products found in your home tested for Asbestos is always a good idea.  Vermiculite Insulation and Asbestos Wrapped Insulation on heating ducts are very common on Century Style Homes.  Another common item which can be found in older homes is “Knob and Tube Wiring“.   Removal and upgrading electrical wiring would typically have a starting price of around 10 to 15 thousand dollars.

The Barrie Home Inspector offers FREE Thermal Imaging with every home inspection for clients Buying a House.


Key Areas of Home Included in a Home Inspection

  • Structural components including foundation and framing of the home.What We Inspect - Barrie Home Inspection
  • Exterior features including siding, soffit, porches, balconies, walkways, railings and driveways.
  • Roof system including shingles, flashing and skylights.
  • Electrical system including service panels, breakers and fuses.
  • Plumbing systems including pipes, drains, water heating equipment and sump pumps.
  • Heating system including equipment and venting.
  • Cooling system including energy sources and distribution equipment.
  • Interior features including walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, stairs and railings.
  • Insulation and ventilation including those in the attic and other unfinished spaces.
  • Fireplaces including chimneys and vents.  ( These items are only covered by Certified WETT Inspector )
  • Visit Barrie Home Inspection “Items Inspected” page which lists in detail all the items inspected.

Do not make the mistake of cost being a factor when choosing  your home inspector. The knowledge gained from a professional inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training and any government certifications as a guide.  For example the Roger Frost is a Certified Building Code Official with the Ontario Building Officials Association.   Taking between 15-20 one week courses at the OBOA are required to obtain this Certification.

Read our posts on Maintenance Articles

5  Home Inspection mistakes you should avoid

  1. Not researching the inspector.
  2. Not attending the inspection.
  3. Not reading the inspection report.
  4. Not getting a pre-sale inspection.
  5. Not preparing the home for sale.

Thermal Imaging Scans are typically included by most Professional Home Inspectors.  Using an Infrared Camera can help find hidden moisture, missing insulation and electrical hot spots.


Electrical Defect Pictures
Exterior Defect Pictures
Heating Defect Pictures
Insulation Defect Pictures
Roofing Defect Pictures
Structural Defect Pictures
Thermal Imaging Defect Pictures
WETT Inspection Defect Pictures

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WETT Inspection Information & Facts WETT Inspection by Barrie Home Inspection
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Roger Frost

Barrie Home Inspector




Certified Building Code Official
Certified Master Inspector

WETT Certified Inspector

Phone 705-795-8255 

Email Roger