The process of buying a home can be overwhelming. When it comes to the home inspection, there are a number of questions you should have in mind to ask your home inspector before and during the inspection. Below are a few questions that you might want to ask:

 

1. What kind of problems raise red flags?

Structural issues are the biggest red flag if found during a home inspection. Home inspectors will look for cracks in the foundation which could be a sign of framing problems. They will also check for doors and windows that will not close and leaks in the basement. Other issues could be asbestos, mold and pests. If any of these issues are found, instead of calling the deal off, ask the current owner to either fix the problem or lower the sales price to accommodate your need to solve the issue. 

 

2. Can I join you during the inspection?

A good inspector will want prospective owners to be present at the inspection. Declining your request to join should make you wary. Inspectors can use the time you are with them to explain your house’s systems and how they work. This will be helpful once you receive the inspection report. Tagging along will also offer you an opportunity to ask questions and get clarifications.

 

3. Do older homes come with more issues?

As a home ages it is susceptible to more general wear and tear. Roof material can deteriorate and older homes also tend to have older electrical systems so there may be wiring issues. In addition, building codes and regulations change over time, so some aspects of older homes may not be up to current standards and regulations.

Newer homes aren’t exempt from issues however, even new builds could have issues pop up. It is better to be proactive rather than reactive. Just because the home is newer does not mean you should skip a home inspection. There is a likelihood that something could go wrong and a mistake may get overlooked. It is better to identify a problem early on than have to deal with it down the line.

 

4. What are some things to look out for when it comes to HVAC?

Make sure that your inspector locates the maintenance stickers for your heating and cooling systems. The inspection should also cover a filter check, voltage check, calibration with thermostat as well as checking for blockages and gas leaks. If the system itself looks worn down or has required frequent service calls, it could indicate the need for replacement.

 

5. What are your biggest concerns about the property?

At the end of the inspection, the inspector should give you a summary of what they found. You’ll receive a written report as well, but it’s great to hear first hand what the initial takeaways are. You should walk away from inspection day with a to-do list of things that need to be addressed by either the seller or other experts. Make sure you get your inspector’s opinion on what items need to be addressed by an expert in another field. 

In summary, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Home inspections can be intimidated because you may not be familiar with typical issues found in homes both new and old. Preparing yourself before and not shying away from communication will help the process move smoothly and be less daunting.