What To Ask A Home Inspector
As part of the homebuying process it is always a wise idea to have a home inspection completed by a reputable professional. Even if the home is on the newer side it is a good idea to know exactly what you are getting into. Before you go into this blindly, here are some key questions to ask the inspector before, during and after the inspection. You should also always attend the inspection so you can see things first hand.
What do you and don’t you inspect?
A home inspection is supposed to be as thorough as possible with reviewing everything from top to bottom. However, there are some limitations where they are restricted to visual inspection. For example holes won’t be cut into walls to dive in deeper to things.
What do you charge and what is your experience?
These are very important questions you should ask up front. Find out what it is going to cost for the size of home you are purchasing and do some research on the inspector’s experience. In some areas some inspectors are also more savvy with certain types of homes like a historic one by example.
How long does it take?
Relay the size of the home to the inspector to gauge a ballpark time frame for planning purposes. The average inspection is a couple of hours. Of course add more time should the home be larger than normal or older.
During the inspection
Question the scope of the findings
Sometimes an inspector may point something out that you may not totally understand so be sure you ask questions. Plan on taking some thorough notes on your end so that you can remember everything in detail. It is a good idea to also ask the inspector how big of an issue something is when it comes up. You can even rate these items in your notes as well – it may just be many more minor repairs.
Ask what the biggest concerns were
Similar to each issue’s importance in the grand scheme of things, ask the inspector which issue they felt was the biggest concern. They sometimes will even provide a ballpark estimate of cost of repairs if it is something they are familiar enough with and the issue appears clear enough.
Post the inspection
Ask if another expert is needed to follow up
If there is a repair item needed that requires more of a specialty like electrical or is of larger significance like a roof then you may want to consider calling in an expert for that item. These professionals are going to be the ones that will provide a more accurate estimate for your budgeting and planning.
Ask about what is needed in order of importance after you take ownership
Finally, when you have the report in front of you and know all of the potential items that need to be addressed it can’t hurt to ask the inspector to rank some of the top pressing items in order of importance. This will also help you plan and organize what you will need to do once you close on the property.