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Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before & After Inspection

Before:
1)      What do you inspect within a home? With a checklist of up to 1,600 items, a home inspector has quite a bit to do during a home inspection. While a lot is covered, there’s no harm in being “in the know” of what they’ll be looking for throughout your home.
2)      What are some things/areas you don’t inspect? The keyword of their job is to “inspect.” While they can spot issues, some problems may require a more thorough examination that ultimately leads to a resolution. For example, it may require the help of a plumber, HVAC repairman, electrician, etc.
3)      How much will an inspection cost? Do you accept payments in installments? What forms of payment do you accept? An inspection can range in price from $300-$600, but it all depends upon the size of your home, the housing market, and that particular inspector. Be wary of inspectors that offer suspiciously low prices; this could be a scam. Do some research on this particular inspector/company and don’t be afraid to ask for customer testimonials.
4)      How long have you been in business? How many inspections have you completed? Experience comes in handy if you’re residing in an older home. However, just because they’re “newer” doesn’t mean they don’t know how to do their job and do it well. Again, search online for testimonials and ratings of the inspector/company you have in mind.
5)      Can I be present during inspection? A majority of inspectors should not have an issue with this, as they will want to show you personally each issue that is discovered so you can properly handle it. This also gives you the opportunity to learn about the ins and outs of your home and address any questions you may have about its condition.
6)      How long will this take to complete? This depends upon the size of your home. Larger homes will take longer to inspect than smaller ones, of course. Ask your inspector to get an idea of how much time you’ll need to set aside to be present for the inspection.
7)      Is it possible for me to see a sample report? Looking over someone else’s inspection form will help prepare you for your own and show you how your inspector communicates with their customers.
After:
1)      How bad is the current condition of my home? While there are little problems, there are also big ones that can occur during a home inspection. Don’t be afraid to ask your inspector which issues are serious and need to be taken care of immediately. They’re there to help you resolve any issues that arise before moving into your new home.
2)      How can this be fixed? Many inspectors know plumbers, roofers, electricians, etc., that they can suggest for larger problems. They may also suggest some easy D.I.Y. tips for issues that aren’t as serious.
3)      If this was your home, what would you fix and how soon? Your inspector can not only show and tell you what needs to be repaired, but they can also show you what needs to be fixed immediately and what could cause potential problems over time if it continues to be ignored. This all ultimately leads to the importance of acquiring a home warranty plan.
4)      Can you show me the problem areas? This will help should you need further assistance from a plumber, electrician, or should you be the one fixing the problem. Have the inspector point out each area so you know how to easily locate spots that need repair. Some inspectors take photos and include them in their reports for reference.
5)      Can you show me how this works? Whether it’s operating your HVAC unit to learning about your water heater – especially where emergency shutoffs for gas, water, and electrical utilities are located – your home inspector can assist you with many tasks with which you feel uncertain.