When you have found your dream home, or something close to it, you want to make sure you won’t be stuck with any costly problems after the closing. No home is perfect, so a home inspection is a crucial step in making such a big investment.
A home inspection can pinpoint red flags as well as areas of the home that may need work. Knowing what to ask your home inspector and being present at the home inspection can give you better insight about any potentially costly problems.
What to Ask Your Home Inspector
On the day of the inspection, it is important to ask your home inspector any questions you have to fully understand everything the home inspection covers and why the inspector's findings are important. Here are a few questions you may also want to ask your inspector to help you better understand the home you're buying, before you close.
Q. What Do the Home Inspector's Findings Mean?
During your home inspection, the inspector will point out items or areas of concern. Some issues can be simple fixes while others are more expensive to remedy. Ask your home inspector whether a rotting floorboard or water stains on the ceiling suggest bigger problems.
No question is a bad question! Pay attention to comments the inspector makes about the wear and tear of an appliance or the age of the water heater, for examples. Your home inspector should be able to give you basic information about how much it might cost or how difficult it could be to repair an older appliance, or if it may be better to replace it. If any issue raises a red flag, ask your inspector whether it needs immediate attention or not.
Knowing how big the issues are can help you negotiate with the seller to fix the problems. If the home has extensive major problems, the inspection can help you decide if it is really worth the buy.
Q. Where Are Things Located and How Do They Work?
A home inspection is also a chance for you to get to know the home and learn where important things are located. A good inspector should be able to show you how home systems--such as heating and cooling--work, and also offer important maintenance tips. You might not know how to shut off water or gas valves, but your inspector does. Inspectors may be experts, but they're not mind readers. If you do not know how something works, take the opportunity to ask and learn from a qualified professional.
Other Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector
How is the plumbing?
Does the house have any lead pipes?
How old is the HVAC system?
Does it look like the house has been well maintained?
Are there any signs of mice or other rodents?
Are there signs of mold?
Although a home inspection can give you a general idea about the condition of a home, there are certain areas that are not examined such as the chimney, septic system, or well pump. Learn more about what is and isn't covered in a home inspection. You may decide you want another type of inspection from a professional in a specific area, for an additional cost.
A home is a huge investment. Make sure you do your homework to know exactly what you are getting yourself into before closing a deal. Learn more helpful questions you can and should ask your home inspector.