There aren’t many things that can compare to the thrill of being a homeowner for the very first time. But, this exciting time in your life can quickly become your worst nightmare if you’re not careful!
When buying any home, you have to know what you’re getting yourself into beyond the sale price. This means getting a full home inspection report, researching the average sale prices in the area, and talking to your real estate agent about negotiation options.
Such efforts are crucial to not just closing a good deal, but for getting the best possible value out of your home. The last thing you want is to move in only to realize you have a major heating issue or plumbing malfunction.
As far as heating goes, here are the best questions to ask a home inspector about a property you’re thinking about buying.
1. Can I See the Home’s Maintenance History?
Any responsible homeowner keeps a record of all the repairs they’ve done to their AC unit, furnace, plumbing, and major appliances.
If they don’t have them on-hand, a home inspector can usually figure out if a furnace has recently been replaced or worked on. They know the signs to look for and they aren’t afraid to ask the current homeowner specific details about the home’s heating and cooling system.
This gives you a better idea of the furnace’s working condition. It helps you determine whether you’re going to need a new heating solution or if the current one on the property is reliable.
2. How Is the Wear and Tear Looking?
If there haven’t been any recent repairs done on a furnace, it could mean some maintenance work is in your near future.
Depending on how much wear and tear is on a furnace, you have to decide whether the home’s heating condition is something worth betting on or at least putting extra money aside for. The decision is ultimately up to you, but the insight from a home inspection is an invaluable piece of information to take into account.
3. Does the Thermostat Work Well?
Keep in mind that the heating in your potential new home depends on more than just the furnace. It’s also worth looking into the condition of the thermostat and how accurate it is.
All it takes is a faulty reading to throw everything else in your heating/cooling system out of whack. Take a few minutes to talk to your home inspector about this and make sure the thermostat is working as it should.
4. Is the Heat As Strong As Expected?
Another part of the heating “working as it should” is that it’s as powerful as you expect it to be. It does you no good to only heat a few rooms in the house if the other areas are still super cold.
The best way to get a full understanding is to have a home inspector tell you about the airflow in the house, as well as how it relates to the furnace and thermostat.
Such an in-depth approach to the home inspection gives you the full story. Home inspectors leave no rock unturned in their search for all the good, the bad, and the ugly of a property.
5. Are There Any Noises Coming From the Furnace?
Just when you think you’re in the clear, see if there are any noises coming from the furnace. This is a sign that something is wrong, but it’s hard to determine exactly what that “something” is from the noise alone. You need a professional to go to where the furnace is located and figure out the root of the problem for you.
The noise could be coming from something as small as a loose screw to a problem as big as a leak in the system. Either way, you need to be well aware of it before you put an offer down on a home and move forward with the contract.
6. Does the System Cycle On and Off?
The next inspection matter to discuss is if the heating system cycles on and off. Imagine moving into your new home, settling down for the night, then waking up freezing at 3 A.M. This could happen to you if you don’t talk about whether or not the system cycles.
When a heating system turns on and off, it’s usually a sign that there’s a bigger issue going on either with the furnace or the thermostat. Checking for the quality of airflow and how long the heating lasts helps you rule out almost all the possibilities that a heating issue is affecting your (potentially) future home.
7. How Old Is This Home’s Heating System?
The final question is good to think about when you’re discussing the long-term needs of the house. It’s one thing to trust that your heating system isn’t going to give out on you when you move in or in the first couple of years of being a homeowner.
But, you do need to get an idea of when you’ll have to replace the furnace or some other part of the heating system. As durable as these things can be, they definitely don’t last forever. See if your home inspector can give you an estimate as to whether or not you’ll have to replace your furnace in the next 5 or 10 years.
Solve a Heating Issue Before It Starts!
The only way to prevent yourself from dealing with a heating issue when you move in is to ask all the necessary questions before you even make an offer. But if you don’t get an inspection, you risk finding out the hard way that your dream home is actually kind of a dump!
Getting a professional to look that the property you want to buy gives you the full picture. It helps you understand what kind of issues – heating and otherwise – you may expect, as well as those you don’t have to worry about.
To schedule a home inspection for the property you’re thinking of buying, click here.