Buying a home is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, at least until you buy your next home. And since it’s such an investment, you want to make sure you’re spending your money well.
Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without a history and quality report, you shouldn’t buy a house without a home inspection. In fact, in some places, you are legally required to do so!
Are you making this investment in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area? Here are some routine questions to ask your inspector, plus a few Oklahoma-specific ones to keep in mind. Learn which questions to ask on your home inspection checklist below.
Home Inspection Checklist
Let’s start at the beginning. Not only is it a very good place to start, but a lot of people don’t ask enough questions about the lot- which is technically where your home begins.
You want to ask your inspector if there are any issues on file with the lot itself, if it has good drainage, and if there’s anything about your outdoor spaces that catch their eye. This could include trees that are in precarious positions, wet spots, or anything else that could damage the overall property of your home.
Questions about The Roof
In Oklahoma, we get tornadoes. It has happened less frequently lately, but we’re still right in tornado alley, and we need to be prepared for when they do happen. Your roof is particularly vulnerable to tornado damage, especially if your home is surrounded by trees.
You want to ask your home sellers and your inspector to give you as much information about the roof as possible. When was it last replaced? Have there ever been any leaks? Are there places that you always have to repair?
This is also a good time to ask about trees around the home, but your inspector may refer you to a tree specialist if they don’t know. If it’s your first time living in Oklahoma, the best way to make sure our winds don’t damage your roof is to have tree service people come at least every year to get rid of any diseased trees or cut back branches that could lead to damage.
Ceilings and Attics
Speaking of rooves, let’s talk about leaks. As your inspector walks around the house, they will look at the ceilings for signs of water damage. It’s possible, however, that the previous owners had those spots repaired and painted over, though, so it’s a good thing to ask sellers when you’re gathering information about the house.
If your inspector finds water stains or evidence of leaks, they’ll direct you on what to do next. Most of the time, that’s going to be something the sellers need to fix for you, or at least take out of the cost of the home so you can fix it yourself.
Another place people don’t think to look for leaks, that hopefully, your inspector will is around windows. We get a lot of rain here in the summer months, and bad window seals can lead to leaks or molding around window frames. That leads us to our next point…
Ask About the Windows
Windows don’t get enough attention, in our opinion. Not only are they important for security, but they can have leak issues and are a large part of your home’s energy efficiency.
Ask how old the windows in the home are and what type. If they’re not Energy-star rated or are more than thirty years old, it may be worth it to work window replacement into your budget. Ask your inspector what they would do in your situation in regards to the windows.
If they say to replace them based on energy costs, that’s something you can put on your to-do list down the line. But don’t wait too long! Just get your closing costs out of the way first.
Gutters and Downspouts
Speaking of rain and leaks, have your inspector take a look at your exterior drainage system. How old is it? What type? Is it clean? Where does the water drain? These are all important questions when it comes to the health of your roof and the quality of your outdoor paint/aesthetic.
Additionally, a mal-functioning downspout or gutter system may be sending water towards your home instead of away from it. This could lead to a damp crawlspace or basement, which puts your home at risk of mold and internal water damage, which leads us to our next point…
Most homes in Oklahoma have a crawlspace but don’t often have a basement. Clean, dry, and well-insulated crawlspaces are essential for the health of your home, as well as the efficiency and the air quality inside. Don’t forget to ask your home inspector to check your crawlspace or to clarify if you have one or not.
When you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, there are no stupid questions. Believe us — we’ve heard them all, and we appreciate it when clients ask a lot of questions! It helps us help you more.
Foundation or Slab Health
If you don’t have a crawlspace, then your home has a classic foundation, or concrete slab, that it’s built on. Cracks in the foundation or issues with the ground sinking (or lifting!) under it can cause internal damage to the structure of your home.
Be sure to ask your inspector to look for signs that there are issues with your foundation before you buy. These issues are expensive, and you don’t want to get stuck with the bill!
Your Tulsa Home Inspection Checklist
If you’re just moved to our beautiful state, welcome. We hope this helped you organize what you need to know and ask when you’re getting a home inspection.
Here’s another tip to keep in mind: if someone says “boomer,” it’s your job to say “sooner.” That’s just the way of life around here!
Thanks for reading. We hope it helped. We’d love to be the ones to work through your home inspection checklist with you, so schedule an inspection here.