In general, all home inspectors should examine and evaluate the following during the home inspection:
• Exterior: siding, doors, windows, and trim
• Structure of the Home: walls, basement, crawlspaces and framing structure
• Heating and Cooling Systems: systems and ductwork
• Plumbing: plumbing pipes and plumbing fixtures
• Electrical: panels, outlets, switches, and visible wiring
• Attic, Insulation and Ventilation: accessible attic spaces, insulation, and ventilation sources
• Roof: coverings, visible flashings, chimneys, and gutter systems
• Doors, Windows and Interior: this includes doors, operation of windows, and interior wall, floor, and ceiling conditions
• Fireplace: cleanouts, damper doors, and gas inserts
Here are some great questions to ask your home inspector after they do the home inspection.
1. What condition is the house in? This will help you discover if the house is move in ready or needs some work prior to move in. Most houses do have some small problems and they are not always deal breakers. If there is something that is a deal break for you – that is exactly why you’re having the home inspection done! You can address it with the seller prior to purchase, or in some cases may need to walk away.
2. How do we fix that? The inspector should be able to recommend a quick fix or an expert that can help you fix the issue. It’s also not a bad idea to call in another expert—a plumber, electrician, roofer, or HVAC professional—to take a look at anything the inspector flagged as a concern or issue.
3. What would you fix first? This question will help you decide how to prioritize repairs. At the end of the inspection, your inspector should give you a summary of what he found. You’ll get a written report later, but this is a great moment to get clarity on what the inspector thinks are the house’s biggest issues and fixes.
4. Should we know how “x” works? Learn how appliances work and the maintenance for them. Flaws aside, a home inspection is your golden opportunity to have an expert show you how to take care of your house. Inspectors are used to explaining basic things. If you have an inspection question, ask it. Now with that in mind, don’t expect your inspector to teach you how to build a deck onto your house, but they should be okay with explaining how general things in your home should work.
5. How much time is left in “x” item? Get an estimate of when you will likely need to replace appliances (or when they can see the warranty ends). This helps you budget for the future! Maybe something is all good and dandy for now, but having a timeline for when it may need to be replaced can help you save for when that time comes.
We do suggest you hold your questions until the end of the inspection. This allows the home inspector to complete his work fully and thoroughly. If you ask the questions while he is doing the inspection, this may distract the inspector causing him to miss critical items.
Whether you’re purchasing or refinancing your first home or your hundredth, Bank Five Nine is with you each step of the way to help navigate the process for you. We have a team of mortgage lenders ready to help with all your home financing needs and questions! Contact or choose a lender to get started.
Not ready to contact a lender quite yet? You can find some additional resources about what to expect during the mortgage process and tools to hopefully help answer some of your questions.