What to Ask During a Home Inspection in 2019

must ask questions during a home inspection

The hard part is over — you finally found a home you can’t stop thinking about and are mentally preparing yourself to sign the papers. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement. However, even if you’re proactive and tag along for your home inspection, you may miss a vital opportunity to save yourself time, money, and future hassle by not knowing what to ask. To calm your nerves and boost your confidence, we compiled 10 key sets of questions to ask that’ll make you feel like an expert. Here’s what to ask during a home inspection in 2019

1. How Do I Pick a Home Inspector?

You may be worried about this first — how do you even know the person you’re relying on is even qualified? You should ask a few different questions of your home inspector, and not just simply how much they charge and when they’re available. Additionally, if you’re trying to prepare for a home inspection of the home you’re selling, here’s what you need to know.

Call upon home inspectors who work full-time. Part-time home inspectors may have a wealth of knowledge; however, they may not have as much experience identifying issues. Ask:

  • Where did you get your training?
  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • What types of homes do you have experience with? (Particularly the one you’re having them inspect).
  • How many homes do you inspect in a year?

2. What Does This Mean?

Don’t feel silly asking for clarification at any point during the inspection — if you don’t know what a term means or what problems could arise from a certain issue, simply ask, “What does this mean?” Without clarification, you may overestimate or underestimate the gravity of an issue. 

3. What Would You Fix First?

Why you would ask, “What would you fix first?” is pretty straightforward. Asking your home inspector to emphasize what is more urgent can help you determine what projects or repairs you can hold off on till later, especially if you need to save up to do so.

4. What Issues Are Unique to Newer, Older, or Foreclosed Homes?

Depending on what type of home you want to buy, you may run into some unique issues. Newer may not always mean better, and buying a home in foreclosure may not be that bad. Ask, “What issues are unique to newer, older, or foreclosed homes?” For example, new homes may not allow adequate circulation or airflow, priming them for mold. Older homes or foreclosed homes can have similar issues with owners lagging on maintenance — either because the volume of fixes is too great or the issue is simply too expensive to fix. 

5. What Is the Condition of the Roof, Plumbing, or Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioner (HVAC)? 

This question ties into the last one, wherein you may overlook asking about the roof, plumbing, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of your home depending on the age. Typically, air conditioners need to be replaced more often than hot water heaters, for example, so it’s wise to check on any warranties. There are also certain parameters for how old roofing can be to remain covered under insurance. 

6. Are There Any Exterior Hazards You Can Foresee?

There a few different types of hazards that can impact your home that you may not consider. Be sure to ask about these hazards that extend beyond structural or lot-related issues to weather-related incidents and more. Hopefully, you’ll never need to know how to deal with fallen tree damage. Trees can also be damaging to your home or land underground as well. If your property has a lot of large trees that are close to your home, you may want to consult an arborist who can identify potential disease or other warning signs. 

7. What Structural Concerns Are There?

You don’t need to be a housing expert to understand the importance of your home’s foundation or construction. Ask about any cracks you see — either in your home or in the driveway and walkways. Take note of the “health” of any porches, decks, balconies, or supporting structures. Wear-and-tear may be natural and not necessarily sign of a serious problem. 

8. How Much Will This Cost?

You may dread this question, but especially when it comes to the negotiation process or the safety and value of your home over time, it’s crucial to ask during a home inspection in 2019. After all, the answer may surprise you in a good way. 

While your home inspector will likely answer this question with ease, or, at least, a good estimate, he or she can’t advise you whether or not you should buy the home or how much you should ask the seller to fix

9. Do You Know Any Experts Who Can Fix This Problem? 

It’s likely that your home inspector will have qualified contacts in various specialties, from plumbing to construction, to painting, and more. Your realtor is also another great resource. 

10. What Would You Do Next?

What else should you ask during a home inspection in 2019? Try to wrap up the inspection with an open-ended question that’s personal to the home inspector. They’re in the business for a reason, and hopefully, if for the right reasons, they won’t hesitate to offer additional advice. They may suggest what they view as the highest-priority repair or they may recommend a different kind of upgrade. Of course, you may already have the answer to this question based on the inspection.

In this case, you can ask, “Is there anything else I should know or consider about this home?” 

They may not provide a brand new answer if you ask this question, but they may take it upon themselves to clarify some important points or emphasize certain repairs. All in all, if you ask any professional about their line of work, they’ll likely be more than happy to educate you on even the finest details — like your friends at Holloway-Westerling!

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