Buying a house is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. Without a home inspection, it could also end up being one of your most expensive mistakes.
Home inspections are a good defense when you’re buying a house.
It’s during this inspection that you could uncover issues you would have been unaware of otherwise. It’s best to find out about all of these things now, while you can still negotiate with the seller on repairs or renovations, instead of when all those costs are your responsibility.
You should be present during your inspection and as informed as possible. To help you know what to ask, here are nine important questions to ask during a home inspection.
1. What Are Your Credentials?
Ideally, you should ask this question of a potential inspector before the inspection begins.
You want to make sure that you’ve got the best person for the job. After all, the last thing you want is a bad inspection that misses a lot of key issues.
You can feel free to ask potential inspectors how long they’ve been in the business, where they were trained, and if they’re experienced with the type of home you’re buying. This can help you make the right choice.
2. What Does This Inspection Cover?
Are there specific things you’d like examined?
If so, you should say so at the beginning of the inspection. It’s also smart to clarify just what the inspection will cover.
You don’t want to assume that your inspector will check the lot and only find out that they skipped it after the inspection is already over. Ask them what they plan to cover and don’t be afraid to ask about any problem areas.
Most inspections cover things like the roof, foundation, exterior, electrical, and plumbing, along with other aspects of the home.
3. What’s the Condition of the Roof?
Are you going to need a new roof within two years, or are you set for another twenty? A roof will cost thousands of dollars to replace, so you’ll want to make sure you know what condition it’s in.
If the inspector comes back and says that shingles are missing or there are other signs of disrepair, you might want to consider asking the sellers to either replace the roof or take some money off of the asking price.
4. How’s the Insulation?
The last thing you want is to end up paying a super high energy bill because your house is poorly insulated. You want your warm air to stay inside during the winter, not escape into the cold outdoors.
You should ask about what type of insulation is used, if the attic is well insulated, and if the ventilation is in good shape.
This will save you lots of money in heating and cooling costs down the road.
5. Are the Electric and Plumbing Systems Functioning Well?
Faulty electric wiring can lead to a terrifying electrical fire.
Burst pipes can lead to a flooded basement and lots of money in repairs. Make sure your electrical and plumbing systems are double checked before you sign on the dotted line.
You should ask if everything is up to code, if there are any exposed wires, and if everything drains properly. To check the plumbing, flush the toilets yourself and run the sinks just to double check.
6. Are There More Issues With Older Homes?
If you’re looking at buying an older home, feel free to ask if the inspector tends to notice more issues with older homes in the area. Buying a house of any age can have its issues, but there are sometimes unique challenges that come with buying an older house.
Depending on how old it is, some elements may no longer follow city regulations or codes. Maintenance could also be more expensive.
7. What’s A Red Flag To You?
If there’s anything that’s a major red flag, you need to know. You can ask this question of your inspector up front, even though they’ll tell you at the end of the inspection.
Things like asbestos, lead paint (in older homes), and other environmental health hazards are examples of major red flags that you need to know about immediately. This could affect not just the repair costs, but your respiratory health if you were to move in.
8. What Should I Be Concerned About?
Not every potential problem is a major red flag that would prevent you from moving into your new home. However, that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t create a major headache for you down the road.
At the end of the inspection, make sure to ask what the inspector thinks you need to be concerned about. This could be anything from ventilation in the attic to a pool motor that needs to be replaced soon.
This helps you become as prepared as possible to either negotiate on repairs with the sellers or plan to make the repairs on your own down the line.
9. What Does That Mean?
If there’s one thing for you to take away from this article, it’s this — don’t be afraid to ask questions! That should include asking for clarification when you need it.
Throughout the inspection, if the inspector uses a word or phrase that you don’t understand, simply ask what they mean. Don’t just smile and nod because you’re worried about what they’ll think of you.
This inspection is important, so you should be informed. Ask as many questions as you need to so that you can make sure you’re making the best deal possible.
Remember These Questions to Ask During A Home Inspection
Having a list of things to ask a home inspector will help you out when the day comes. Bring our nine questions to ask during a home inspection to your appointment so that you can be confident that your potential new home is just as perfect as you thought it was.
If you need a home inspector now, you’re in the right place. CLASS Home Inspection proudly helps the people of Northeast Ohio as they become new homeowners.
Schedule an affordable inspection today to make sure you protect your home investment.