One of the biggest investments you’ll ever make is buying a new home and buying means, as much as possible, avoiding having regrets about the purchase. This is where home inspection comes to the rescue. Though it is not required, being present during home inspection is highly recommended for buyers because this decides if the house was a go or a no. We gathered a few questions you should ask your Nanaimo home inspector to help you get this essential show-and-tell session rolling.
- What Credentials Do the Home Inspector Have?
Of course, you can’t do a thorough home inspection without hiring first a professional home inspector. Asking for their credentials helps to reassure you that you’re hiring the right professional to inspect your future home. You could start by asking them if they belong to a professional organization and what training and qualifications are required? What certifications do they have? How long have they been inspecting homes? What did they do before becoming a home inspector? Are they insured? Your home inspector needs to be knowledgeable about red flags during an inspection. Being able to answer your questions and advise you is a sign that you hired the right person for the job.
- How is the Electrical?
One of the most common cause of fire are faulty wires, so you’ll want your home inspector to check the home’s electrical. Ask if it is up to code. Are there any parts that are worn? If any upgrades were done to the electrical, were they done by a licensed electrician? Some insurance companies won’t insure the house, or will charge a higher premium, if the electrical is knob-and-tube so better ask the inspector if the home’s electrical is one. Know also if the outlets that near water sources are, like the kitchen, bathrooms, garage, and outdoor locations, GFCI outlets. Are there any exposed or damaged wires? Knowing the answers to these questions ensure the safety of not only the home’s electrical but also the home and those who will be living in it.
- How is the Plumbing?
A great piping condition indicates good plumbing system meaning the common problems homes usually encounter is less likely to happen. While inspecting, be aware of the visible water stains on the floor and ceiling as it could indicate a problem with the plumbing system. Ask if there’s galvanized-steel piping in the house as they can rust, affecting water pressure, or can even rupture. Though this may be more common in older homes, lead piping can wear down over time and can get into the water supply, which is what you don’t want. If you’re with your inspector during the inspection, flush the toilets to see how they perform. Does the water stop running once the toilet is filled? Test also the water flow from each faucet and if everything drains properly. Are tubs secured properly? A home inspector will evaluate drains, water heaters, pipes, water pressure and temperature so be brave to ask these questions during the process.
- How Well is the Home Insulated?
During the inspection, the home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) will be checked out to make sure it’s properly functional. How well the home is insulated will also have an impact on your heating/cooling costs. You would like to ask your inspector about the condition of you’re a/c unit. How old it is and how long it will last? Has the maintenance of furnace been observed or serviced properly? There should be some indication on the unit itself of any regular maintenance that may have been done. The attic should have an R-Value of at least 60 to stop heat from escaping from the home. The higher the R-Value, the better the insulation. If you hear vermiculate insulation from your inspector, better avoid it for it can contain asbestos which can create a serious health risk if disturbed. If the house has an attic and/or basement, ask if it is properly ventilated or insulated? Proper insulation and ventilation throughout the home means less mold and mildew growth.
- What is the Condition of the Roof?
For assuring that the roof is in good condition, ask about the condition of the shingles. Are there any that are buckling or missing? How about the eavestrough? Is there an accumulation of asphalt granules in the gutters? Are there signs of major wear and tear? If so, the home may need a roof replacement. We all know roof replacement isn’t cheap so having good roof condition right off the bat is a great deal. If not, you can always ask that the sellers take care of replacing the roof, or you can ask for a price reduction to compensate.
- Is the Home Structurally Sound?
Some homes have long cracks along the walls that seems endless. Ask about any cracks that are found. Not all foundation cracks are serious, so if cracks are discovered, ask what type – step, vertical, horizontal, along walls or along the basement floor. If a dime can fit into the crack, it’s probably a good idea to get a second opinion from a foundation specialist or structural engineer.
- Any Signs of Mice or other Critters?
New home means new comfort so any unwanted guests is unwelcome. Your home inspector may come across mice droppings or other evidence of such. If an infestation is suspected, ask for ways to drive away these pests forever. Mice and other rodents can cause significant damage to homes and can also pose a health risk so getting rid of them before moving in would be a great help for you.
These are only some of the questions you could ask during home inspection. Once the home inspection is complete, read the received the report. Contact the inspector and ask as many questions as you need because it’s important that you understand everything that’s in there. If the inspector recommends some additional follow-ups, like with the furnace or plumbing, do it. Collect all the information you need to make a smart decision on what could potentially be your future home.