A home inspection is one of the most crucial aspects of the home buying process, and should never be skipped — but do you know what to expect from a home inspection, or even what the inspector is looking for?
The home inspection isn’t just a formality, and all homeowners should try to educate themselves about what a home inspection entails, and what they need to know about their potential new homes condition. At the very least, homeowners should know what a home inspection is and what questions they should ask their home inspector.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a home and is limited to surface inspections unless explicit approval is received from the homeowner. Home inspections are typically completed by a qualified home inspector and can give you a snapshot of a home’s major components and any repairs it might need.
Now you know what a home inspection is, let’s look at five questions buyers should ask about them.
- What’s that (insert concern)?’
If you’ve noticed something in the home and you’re concerned about it, ask your home inspector while they’re at the property. Don’t be afraid to point out issues that you think could be a problem. For example, if you notice damp areas on walls, and are concerned about water damage or a leak, point this out to the home inspection to find out if it warrants further investigation.
2. ‘Is this something I should be concerned about?’
Buying a home is a huge financial responsibility, so it’s important not to take one that has issues you aren’t equipped to fix. Major issues such as foundation problems, roof repairs, and replacements, or even old or dangerous electrical wiring are costly repairs, and can also affect your ability to insure your home. If issues with the house are highlighted and you’re concerned, don’t be afraid to ask the inspector if they are a big deal, and how costly the repair might be.
3. ‘How does this system work?’
If you’re moving into a home with an unfamiliar HVAC unit or irrigation system that you’ve no experience of maintaining, ask your inspector for their advice. Often home inspectors have basic knowledge of various different systems and units and can explain basic needs maintenance to you. Of course, your home inspector is unlikely to be an expert in AC repair or your new pool pump, so bear this in mind when asking questions.
4. ‘What does that mean?’
Once your inspector has completed their inspection, you’ll most likely receive an inspection report. This will include every component and system that was checked, and the condition of it. This is the perfect time to ask questions and gather more information about their findings — it’s crucial to understand any issues and what they might mean for you as the new homeowner.
5. ‘What concerns need addressing immediately?’
If your inspection report highlights any issues that could be safety related, or hinder the insurability of the home, they should be taken care of immediately. It’s a good idea to ask your inspector which aspects of the home require further investigation by a professional. It may be necessary to go back to the seller and negotiate a credit for significant repairs or issues that need fixing.