To all prospective buyers in the market for a new property, there’s no better time than during an inspection to ask questions and get answers. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced homeowner, there’s always something new to learn. Open home inspections are a good idea to scope the place out yourself and to check the build of the house before you buy it.

Here are six questions you should ask every time:

How long has the house been on the market?

The longer a house has been on the market, the more likely it is that there are problems with the property. This could be anything from cosmetic issues to structural complications and everything in between. It’s important to know about these potential issues before you make an offer.

Don’t forget this question also applies when viewing open houses for your own home. You might be surprised by the answer!

When was the house built and how old is it?

This question goes hand-in-hand with how long a house has been on the market. But it’s important in its own right. Houses age just like people do and parts of them will need to be repaired or replaced over time – even if they were well taken care of previously. You can ask the inspector which parts are likely to give you trouble down the road so that you have a better idea how much work your new home will require in its lifetime.

How long has it been since renovations or repairs?

When was this property last renovated or repaired, and what did they do? Depending on the nature of the renovations or repairs, this might not be an issue. But there could also be something lurking just beneath the surface that you won’t discover until after closing. And it’s good to know about these things before committing your time and money.

What heating and cooling systems are in place?

Homes are heated or cooled in different ways and the systems that keep them at your preferred temperature can be expensive to maintain. If you’re looking for a home with energy efficiency, it’s important not only what kind of heating and cooling system is already installed but how old it is as well—older systems don’t last forever.

Are there any structural issues you should be aware of?

Structural issues can range from cracks in the foundation and leaks in the roof to pest problems. It’s important for you to know what kind of damage or infestations have been reported on a property so that you’re aware of potential costs and complications down the line.

Has this property been inspected by a building inspector?

Asking if the house has ever undergone inspection could save you a great deal of trouble. It’s possible that someone else came along after an initial report and found something that needed to be fixed—but only notified the owner, not any potential buyers. The seller may or may not disclose this information depending on whether it is beneficial for them to do so.

There’s no harm in asking these questions at your next open house. The seller may be honest with you about the conditions of the house if it opens a good negotiation, but if you want to get an unbiased report on your next big investment you should definitely consider getting a registered building inspector to do the job for you.

Why You Should Get a Reputable Building Inspector

Having your house inspected can help give you peace of mind about whether or not this is really the home for you and that there aren’t any surprises lurking in dark corners. You’ll know what kind of work needs to be done and how much it will cost so you can plan accordingly or decide it’s not the right investment for you.

Getting a reputable building inspector is a low cost to know if you are getting yourself into financial trouble or not compared to purchasing a new house with dozens of problems. If they find thousands of dollars in damages, then it may be worth your time and money to remediate those issues before buying the property or not go through with the purchase at all. If you do decide to go ahead with the deal and not remediate the issues, you might risk facing future costs that will end up being more expensive than just having the issues fixed beforehand.

At Inspect East, we have more than 25 years of experience in the trade, completing over more than 1000 inspections in Melbourne. We provide a range of quality building, pest and pool inspection services to give you peace of mind about your next big property investment. Get access to quality and detailed reports with diagrams and coloured photos within 24 hours of the inspection. If you have any questions about your building inspection, get in touch with our friendly team today.