Buying a house? Terrified of all the things that could go wrong?
You’re not alone. It’s a natural fear.
One of the most important parts of the process is the home inspection. Nearly 9 out of every 10 buyers use a home inspector when making a purchase because the inspection can uncover issues and result in invaluable knowledge to sway a decision either way.
You can view a home as carefully as possible and if you’re not an expert and don’t have the training of an inspector, there are still things you’ll miss.
So you know it’s best to hire one, but how do you get the most out of it?
Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth by taking note of the most important questions to ask during a home inspection.
1. What Issues Should Take Priority?
Inspections should cover enough to give you a solid idea of any issues in the house that will pose a problem, as long as the signs of it are already visible to a trained eye.
There’s a high chance you won’t be able to sort out all of the issues at once and in that case, you should make sure you know exactly which issues need to take priority.
Some issues may have a timeframe of ten years before they’ll actually start affecting the house and your life, so they can be put off if you don’t have the money to fix them yet.
Others might have a very short timeframe before the damage to the house becomes significant.
2. Does This Need a Specialist’s Eye?
Although a home inspector is generally trained to spot any problems a house might have, they may not be able to diagnose the specifics or advise you on exactly what the correct solution is.
This includes a chance they won’t be able to tell you how much the repair will cost.
It’s best to ask them directly if any issues need a specialist, like someone to look at the roof or the foundation of the house.
A home inspector is a great start to making sure the house is up to speed, but some problems may need more help.
3. Is This Issue Major or Minor?
One of the home inspection questions that many buyers forget to ask is to directly is if the issue is major or minor.
This is different from the timeframe a problem has. An issue could be major because in ten years it will seriously damage the house, whereas a more minor issue might have to take precedence if it’s affecting the present.
Likewise, a minor, cheaper-to-fix issue could have a long repair timeframe, and a major one could need to be fixed now.
It’s also important to note which issues the home inspector would consider major because you need to know what to discuss with the seller.
A home inspector can’t give you an opinion on whether the seller should pay for it, but their valuable advice might make you think twice about purchasing a home that’s going to cost you a stack of bills in repairs.
4. How Often Do You Come Across Something Like This?
Some inspectors can be very serious and make problems sound like the end of the world, especially by using technical jargon that someone without training may not understand.
To help put things into perspective, ask if the problems are common.
If a problem with the house is making you think twice about the purchase, checking if that issue is common could be a great help.
Asking a lot of home inspection questions is nothing to be ashamed of, so make sure you cover your bases. This will give you some perspective on if the problem is going to be an easy fix and isn’t necessarily the fault of the seller, or if it should make you reconsider your purchase entirely.
Some problems are so common with homes that they seem almost unavoidable, and those are the ones that specialists are used to fixing. You can take them on with confidence.
5. Could You Repeat Yourself or Explain This Further?
Of all the questions for a home inspector, people are reluctant to ask this one. They feel bad for asking too many questions, so they nod when they receive explanations and decide they’ll research the issue later.
Take your time, and never be afraid to ask for further clarification from an inspector. They are trained in the issues they’re telling you about. They’re the expert!
If they’re using technical words you’ve never heard before or just describing a problem you aren’t familiar with, there’s no shame in asking them to slow down and explain it more simply.
You want to come away from this inspection with a thorough understanding of what needs attention in your home.
This should be your main priority.
There Are Many Good Questions to Ask During a Home Inspection for a Successful Deal
There are many potential great questions to ask during a home inspection, and many of them will differ from house to house. Some might depend on whether a specialist is required, and might even be better reserved for that specialist.
However, if you don’t know what to ask a home inspector at all, you can’t go wrong with these inquiries. They’ll provide you with a clear understanding of issues, or refer you to someone who can.
You’ll also understand what takes priority in your home, and where to focus your attention first if you choose to proceed with buying.
Are you in need of a home inspector in the Northern Ohio area? Contact us for a home inspection you can trust.