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A home inspection is often required before you purchase a new home. Most buyers call a few inspectors and choose one based on price and availability. You can take it a step further and attend the inspection. This will give you the chance to ask pertinent questions about the details of the report.

When you’re making such a big investment, you need to ask more than what it will cost. Ask thorough questions about their experience and background, or check their websites for certifications. You’ll want to find out details about the types of houses they typically inspect and where they received their training. Ideally, you’ll want an inspector who does this type of work full-time, rather than doing inspections on the side.

Is there evidence of water damage or mold?

Ask the building inspector if there are stains or spots on ceilings, in closets, or hidden elsewhere. Determine if the spots are primarily surface mold or if a leak is feeding an active mold colony. It’s prudent to avoid the cost of mold air quality testing and remediation if there is no reason to pursue it.

Are there contaminants in the water, soil, or air?

Home inspectors offer a full range of testing services for contaminants in the air, water, or soil of your home. Ask your inspector which tests he recommends for the property. You can test the water for heavy metals, organic and inorganic chemicals, and other contaminants. Ask about the air quality and the chance of radon gas. If the home is in an urban area, talk to your inspector about testing the soil for lead contamination.

Can you check for evidence of hidden cisterns or a soak well?

A soak well is a valuable asset in Australia because it can accept a large amount of water that falls quickly and dissipate it over time. Not only can this help control flooding, but it also recharges and filters groundwater. A cistern will require maintenance and regular cleaning to store rainwater, so you’ll need to determine the condition of the vessel and pipes.

What is the age of the major appliances?

Ask about the age of the major climate units of the house. Furnaces typically last about 15 years, water heaters only function well for about ten years, and HVAC units can last as long as 15 years. The experts at Building Inspections Brisbane can help you estimate the age of the appliances, so you’ll know how soon they’ll need replacement.

Is there a maintenance log?

Some homeowners keep meticulous records of maintenance and service. Ask your inspector if they see evidence of maintenance logs, service calls, or neglect. Although your inspector won’t be able to quote costs to correct or repair any issues found, they are certainly a good resource to find skilled professionals in the trade.

Inspectors are property experts

The inspection is a relatively inexpensive way to find out the condition of the exterior structure, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, and ventilation systems. The cost of the inspection can vary depending on the size and age of the house, and will likely take 2-5 hours.

A skilled, professional home inspector will help you avoid a bad investment by giving you the best possible information about the property. The comprehensive report you receive can help you avoid major repairs or negotiate a better price.