5 Questions You Should Ask at Your Home Inspection

Top Questions to Ask During a Home InspectionAn inspection is one of the most important things to have before buying a home. The expert advice of a certified home inspector can help buyers ensure that there are no major problems with the property that's about to become their home. However, many people don't know a lot about the inspection process or what questions can help them get the most out of it. Additionally, some people decide to skip a home inspection entirely, which is never advisable. Want to make sure a home is completely free of hidden hazards? Ask these five questions before getting a home inspection.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Is the Inspector's Background?

Ensuring that the inspector has the right experience helps prospective buyers get what they need from the process. The best inspectors should have experience with construction and homebuilding. For example, a homebuyer might ask if the inspector has a background in trades such as plumbing or electrical work. This is the sort of experience that can give inspectors the knowledge to speak directly about potential issues in this area.

Buyers should also ensure that their inspector is licensed, insured, and bonded. Making sure that they have the proper qualifications can help buyers be sure that the inspector will go over every detail and detect any potential issues.

Are There Any Red Flags?

After finding the right inspector, the next step is to tackle any deal-breaking issues in the house. Also called red flags, deal-breaking issues are defects that will cost a lot to repair without a strong return on investment. Identifying major issues right away is important. Buyers should ask the inspector what issues they would take care of right away if it were their home. Identifying red flags as soon as possible can save time, money, and stress.

What Are the Most Expensive Issues?

High-cost issues such as roof, foundation, wiring, unpermitted construction, and HVAC system problems need to be known before agreeing to buy a home. In some cases, resolving the issues may be more expensive than the job is worth. In others, they put the buyer in a strong position to negotiate for a lower price. A buyer who discovers that the HVAC system needs to be replaced can potentially lower their offer on the home.

Homebuyers should also ask their inspector for referrals if there is work that needs to be immediately done. Many home inspectors know which professionals in their area do good work and which potential buyers might wish to avoid.

What Is the Condition of the Roofline?

The roof is often the most expensive part of a house to maintain. Issues with the roof, if not addressed, can lead to serious structural damage over time. If the roofline looks wavy, it can indicate some of the most common roof problems, including humidity in the attic, dry-rot in walls, leaks, poor insulation, or foundation problems.

The roof itself should also be fairly new and in excellent shape. Broken or missing shingles, issues with the flashing, or worn and missing gutters are all problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

How Long Will the Current Features Last?

Different features of every home, including the roof, the HVAC, the kitchen appliances, and the floor, need to be periodically replaced. Find out how much life each of these has in them before committing to buy. While learning that the roof will need to be replaced within five years might not necessarily be a dealbreaker, it is vital to know going in. Understanding future costs can help home buyers plan for them going in. By making a timeline of the life expectancy for each of the features in the home, owners can establish a budget instead of being caught by surprise.

A Proper Home Inspection Can Lead to a Stress-Free Move

The home inspector can be a strong ally to buyers when looking for the right home. Whether taking on a fixer-upper or buying a new construction home, no one should ever skip a home inspection. Home inspections help buyers spot issues like unpermitted work, foundation issues, and other snags that can affect the costs associated with the home in the future. Getting a handle on these before purchasing means that a buyer is going in with all the information they need. With that knowledge, they can decide what to offer, what to ask for from the buyer, and what different aspects of the home will cost in the coming years.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

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