Having a thorough home inspection done by an experienced professional is one of the best decisions you can make when buying a single-family home. To get the most out of your home inspection, however, there are a few important questions worth asking; the answers to these questions can offer you valuable insight on how to move forward with negotiations after the inspection is completed and how to properly maintain your new home.
How Many More Years Will X Last?
While an inspector will never be able to give you a definitive answer regarding how long any major home component will last before needing replaced, most inspectors are happy to provide a ball-park estimate if you ask. Consider asking about how much longer you can expect components such as the furnace, air conditioning, and roof to last before needing replacement or major repair. This can help you plan ahead and budget moving forward.
How Should I Maintain This?
Don't hesitate to ask for maintenance tips on systems that you may be unfamiliar with. For example, if you're looking at buying a home with a septic system (but you've lived in homes with municipal plumbing your entire life), ask your inspector for a basic explanation of how the system works and what you should be doing to keep it in good shape.
What Are Your Biggest Concerns?
At the end of the inspection, ask the inspector what he or she would be most concerned about moving forward. This will help you get a better understanding of the severity of the issues addressed in the inspection report and what you may need to prioritize getting fixed or having looked into further.
Does Anything Need to Be Brought Up to Code?
In most cases, single-family homes for sale are "grandfathered" in when it comes to building codes. This means that the home you're buying only needs to be up to the building codes that were in place when it was built. Your inspector will let you know if anything is not up to code in this regard, but it may also be worth asking if anything needs to be brought up to today's codes—especially if you plan on doing any major renovations or additions down the road.
A home inspection can provide valuable information about the home you're buying and peace of mind with your purchase; just be sure to ask these key questions to get as much information as possible from your inspector.
For more information on single-family homes for sale, contact a real estate agent.