The home you buy will very likely be the biggest investment you make. And a home inspection by an expert can save you many thousands of dollars by stopping you from unsuspectingly buying a money pit. Following are some important questions to ask at your home inspector. Never forget that asking the right questions can save you money, so you want to get a complete picture of what you’re purchasing.
You’ll want to know how up to date the electrical system is, how many amps the services is, voltage and whether there is room to expand the electrical panel. If you’re looking at an older home, you’ll want to know if there is aluminum or knob and tube wiring, as both are considered possible fire hazards, making your home more dangerous and possibly harder to insure.
Ask a lot of questions about the plumbing system. For instance, if a sewer clean-out cap is newer, it may indicate that repairs to a problem system have been recently made. Ask the age of supply, vent and waste valves. Older pipes may need replacement in the not-too-distant future and you may want this paid for by the seller.
You should know how your heating system works. Ask about the type of system, age of the boiler or furnace, what each part is and what it does. If there’s a fireplace, have the inspector check the brickwork and flue.
With rising heating and cooling costs, insulation is an important consideration, and good insulation also assists with moisture/mildew control. It may be difficult to assess if the walls are insulated, but generally if there is little or no insulation in the attic or crawl space, there may be none in the walls. Inquire about the R-factor of any existing insulation, indicating how well the material resists conductive heat flow.
You should ask about damage from insects, water, rot and various construction defects. However, these may be hard to identify unless obvious problems exist. Your inspector is being honest if he says he doesn’t know. Ask about possible problems/replacement necessity of roofing or siding. Find out about drainage around the exterior, how to keep the basement dry and whether the neighborhood is known for having water problems.
If you ask the right questions, it can save you money. And knowledge from a good home inspection will help you determine which repairs you may want to negotiate with the seller or even whether you want to go forward with the purchase. To learn more, contact USI online to get a free quote. USI believes that excellence in every step of the process ensures timely completion and quality service, time after time.
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