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Home Inspection: What Questions Should I Ask

Aug 13, 2008
Now that you've decided to purchase a new home, you are probably very excited. However, the process gets a little more frustrating because there are a few hoops you have to jump through. At least it is worth it in the end, but to get to the end it is important to know a few things about the next step in the process. That next step is the home inspection.

You have to have the home inspected to learn of its condition. If there are severe problems, then you can see about having the price of the home reduced. Then again, you can ask the current owner to take care of those problems. It is important to do so because you do not want to pay too much for a home that isn't worth the amount. You also want to know what hazards exist so that severe injury doesn't happen on the property.

Ask questions

Once you have found a good home inspector to inspect your home, you need to tag along during the inspection. That way, you can ask questions and receive answers to those questions. You don't have to stand outside and wonder about anything. Jump in there and talk. Home inspectors have no problem answering your questions, no matter how stupid you may think your questions are. The truth is that there are no stupid questions.

Here are things you want to ask your home inspector during the home inspection:

- Putting all specifics aside, ask your home inspector about anything you may find you're concerned about. Everyone buying a home has different concerns, so be sure to let it all out.

- Ask the inspector if the drainage around the home's exterior is good. You can then ask how you should keep your basement dry, if there is one. You can even ask questions about prolonging the life of roofing and rectifying any other exterior issues.

- Some homes have abandoned oil tanks. You can ask the inspector if there are any signs of such tanks and it will be quite likely that the inspector will tell you to speak with your attorney if signs of oil tanks have been found.

- When it comes to electrical issues, ask the inspector if there is knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring, especially if the home is old. Both of these can make homeowner's insurance hard to acquire.

- As for plumbing, ask the inspector if the sewer clean out cap is new. If it is, then there may be an issue. Ask the inspector how old the sewer pipes and the plumbing supply pipes are.

- For your heating system, ask the inspector what each of the different parts of the heating system are. Home inspectors like to show how much they know, so they'll be eager to tell you.

- Finally, you want to talk about the structure of the home. You want to make sure it is sturdy. They can tell you about what they can see, but remember that they cannot see what is inside the walls. Many damages within homes can be hidden.

What not to ask

The above serves as a great rundown of what questions to ask during your home inspection. However, there are also questions that shouldn't be asked. These questions include, "Should I buy this home?" "Do you think this home is right for me?" And, "Do you think the price is right?" A home inspector cannot tell you these things. The home inspector provides you with a guide that allows you to make an informed decision regarding whether or not you should purchase the home. The home inspector report also gives you bargaining power if you need it.
About the Author
We insure condominiums and rentals. Whether you own or rent, see how easy it is to ask for a car insurance and home insurance quote on-line.
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