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Questions to Ask During a Home Inspection

written by: BStone•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 7/19/2010

The home inspection is the time to find out if there is anything wrong with a house before purchasing it. Don't waste this opportunity — know what questions to ask during a home inspection.

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    house You are ready to buy the house that you love, the loan is secured, and everything is in order. But wait — its time for the home inspection! Yes, there could be problems, more expenses, and possibly even enough reason to not buy the house that you put all this effort into finding.

    While the home inspection could be viewed as a stressful obstacle that needs to be rushed through, it can also be perceived as a great opportunity to find out the real story behind the house. It is a time to uncover the hidden truths lying underneath the well-decorated facade. Use this time wisely. Feel comfortable with the inspector and ask all relevant questions to ask during a home inspection. This will help you make a more secure decision in the end.

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    Why Get a Home Inspection?

    A home inspection is an examination by a third party — someone that is not party to the buyer nor the seller. A qualified home inspector will evaluate the physical structure and the systems of the building to make sure that all basic structural, efficiency, and safety needs are in well-working order. Things that an inspector will look at include:

    • Interior plumbing
    • Electrical systems throughout the house
    • Insulation
    • Heating and cooling systems
    • Roof integrity
    • Foundational stability
    • Walls
    • Ceilings
    • Floors
    • Windows
    • Doors

    Experienced inspectors can offer potential home buyers, and even homeowners interested in learning about the true state of their own home, a deeper awareness of the purchase and commitment that they may be stepping into. With the knowledge uncovered during the inspection, buyers can ask the seller to make repairs, decide to pay for the repairs themselves, or walk out of the purchase altogether if the house will be too much of a financial burden.

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    Asking Questions

    Ask questions so that you the home buyer (or home owner) is well aware of the complete condition of the house. Here are some issues that you may want to go over with your inspector during the inspection:

    • Are there any serious problems with the exterior framing? Is the structural integrity in tact so problems won't arise down the road?
    • What about the roof — is it sound, is there water damage, are there vulnerable areas?
    • Around the exterior of the home, are there any potential issues with foundation walls, doors, or windows?
    • Is there is an efficient system in place for rainwater to drain away from the foundation?
    • If there is a deck, is it structurally sound and well-built?
    • Inside the home, are there any signs of defects by looking at walls, ceilings, doors, and windows from the attic to the basement?
    • How is the insulation?
    • How about air ventilation?
    • Is the plumbing system adequate?
    • What about electrical wiring throughout the home?
    • Are there any signs of damage from water or insects anywhere in the home?
    • Is the foundation strong, dependable, and well-placed?

    After going through the home with a licensed professional and feeling comfortable with answers to all possible questions to ask during a home inspection, you can feel secure with the decision you are about to make, whatever it may be. Be patient with the inspection, learn as much as you can, and work with your inspector. This is your home and your obligation, so it is your responsibility to make sure your home inspection is thorough.

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    Inspect America <>

    American Society of Home Inspectors <>

    photo by Pnwra (CC/flickr) <>