If you want to avoid buying a money-pit, then you should know that you need to hire a certified home inspector. It’s a good idea to attend the home inspection and ask the inspector questions to get the most out of the home inspection process. Here are our top 5 questions to ask your home inspector.
1. What problems raise cause for concern?
There are many issues that can raise a red flag for homeowners. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a deal breaker. Instead, ask the home inspector questions about the problem and how to fix it. Ask if it will be a problem if you don’t fix it immediately. Rather than deciding not to buy the home because of one issue, you can use it as a negotiation tactic and ask the sellers to reduce the price to account for the cost of remediation.
2. What would you fix right away if this was your house?
It’s the home inspector’s job to point out every defect that might need to be repaired or replaced. But they all know that no home is perfect – even brand new ones, believe it or not. The inspector is obligated to tell you if something in your home is at the end of its serviceable lifetime, but that doesn’t mean it will cause any damage. Asking this question will give you an experienced opinion of what does and doesn’t need to be repaired or replaced and help you prioritize the work you plan to do on the house.
3. Are there any issues due to the age of the home?
Because older homes usually have more issues, things like support posts and beams are often more susceptible to rot, mold and termite infestation because they’ve been subjected to more years of dirt and grime. Older homes also have outdated wiring that can be prone to fraying and starting electrical fires.
Not to say that new homes don’t have their fair share of problems! Some newer houses are sealed so tightly that air can’t circulate properly and causes an unhealthy environment. In cases like these, an air exchange unit is needed to get the stale out through a filtered exchange.
4. What should I know about the heating and cooling systems?
A good home inspector will look at the dates on the furnace and boiler maintenance stickers to see if it’s had a lot of service calls in a short time period, which isn’t a good sign. If the the unit is old and greasy, the inspector may recommend getting a replacement.
Remember these systems don’t last forever. the average lifespan of furnaces is about 15 years, water-heaters last about 10 years, and air conditioning units only last about 6 years. Note the date on the sticker and then figure out how long until you have to replace each unit.
5. What are your biggest concerns about this house?
At the end of the home inspection, the inspector will usually give you a summary of everything that raised any concerns. This is a good opportunity to get clarity on how serious these issues are. Ask the inspector what his biggest concerns are with the house, and you might be surprised to hear that some of the things noted are pretty common and not a cause for immediate concern. Other issues, however, may require calling in an expert to take a closer look.
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Buying and/or selling a home can be complicated – we’ll do our part to simplify the process. Contact Redbud Inspections today!