When buying a new home, one of the most important steps of the process is the home inspection. The home inspection is a full evaluation of the condition of the home and also a chance for you, as the new potential owner, to learn as much about your new home as possible. We’ve compiled a list of the 15 most important questions to ask during your home inspection.
1. What are the credentials and experience of the home inspector?
Before you even get started, make sure you’re working with an experienced, licensed professional.
2. How is the electrical system?
Faulty wiring is one of the top causes of house fires.
3. How is the plumbing?
Plumbing leaks can result in mold growth. Also, certain types of plumbing materials are prone to breakage and leaking, such as polybutylene piping.
4. What is the condition of the roof?
Replacing or repairing a roof is a costly expense to have in the immediate future. A leaking roof creates risk for water damage and mold growth.
5. How is the HVAC system?
Poorly maintained HVAC systems are a common problem found in home inspections and are costly to repair or replace.
6. Any signs of mice, termites, other infestation or mold?
If so, an inspector specialized in looking for these issues might need to perform a separate inspection for you.
7. How well is the home insulated?
A poorly insulated home can have poor energy efficiency, costing you extra money on your utility bill.
8. Do any of the trees on the property pose a future hazard to the home, particularly during tropical storms or hurricanes?
High winds can down trees and cause damage to your home.
9. Where is the water main shut-off?
This is an essential thing to know about your home in the event of a leak or flood inside.
10. Where is the main electrical shut-off for the home?
This is an essential thing to know about your home in case of electrical fire, electrical repairs or other electrical incidents where the power to your home needs to be completely shut off.
11. Where is the gas shut-off?
If your home is equipped with gas, you’ll want to know where the shut-off is in an emergency or during a repair.
12. Are there any hurricane-proof features on/in the home?
Some homes could have special features to protect from hurricane damage, such as hurricane shutters.
13. Which repair is the most serious/most urgent?
If repairs are necessary, chat with your inspector about which are the most serious and in need of repair first.
14. Who would you recommend?
Whether you need a more thorough termite inspection, air quality inspection, systems maintenance or even just a handyman, your inspector should have a list of referrals he can make for more advanced types of inspections, repairs and maintenance issues. Home inspectors only refer companies and providers that they know do the job right. Your inspector can be a great resource for the right professionals to deal with any issues that turn up during your inspection.
Going into a home inspection can feel a little overwhelming. Feel free to ask plenty of questions. Your home inspector wants you to know as much about the home as possible so that you can make a sound buying decision. These 14 most important questions to ask can give you a good checklist to work with but be sure to ask questions as they come up and get clarification as needed.