7 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

7 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Buying a home is exciting. For most people, it’s the most expensive purchase of their lives. Before you finalize anything, make you sure you schedule an appointment with a certified home inspector. The city only cares about making sure that your home meets a minimum standard, you can’t rely on a government building inspector to notice every potential problem with your home.

If the home inspection goes sour, there’s a chance that you’ll no longer be interested in the property. That’s why it’s so important that you hire the right person. Buying a home with severe structural or electrical damage is a nightmare if you’re not prepared for it.

Before you make any calls, look at home inspector reviews online. Ask your friends if they have any recommendations.

Once you have a candidate in view, there are a few questions that you should ask.

  1. Are You Insured?

State laws regulating home inspections are far from consistent. Some inspectors will be licensed and others will not. Some will have insurance and some will not. You don’t want to work with an uninsured inspector. You might end up being forced to pay for their medical bills if an accident happens while they’re examining your property.

  1. Can I Be There During the Inspection?

A lot of homeowners like following along with the inspector. It’s a reliable way to find out about the flaws in your home. The inspector might even be able to warn you about potential maintenance issues that you should expect.

If you want to shadow your inspector, make sure that you ask if it’s alright first. Some people prefer to work on their own and forbid clients from joining them.

  1. How Much Will It Cost?

There’s no point in pretending that cost doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be your first question, but it shouldn’t be your last either. Think about your budget and choose someone whose rates fall within your means.

Just make sure you don’t try to be too cheap. You don’t want to encourage your inspector to cut corners.

  1. Do You Perform Repairs as Well?

General contractors sometimes moonlight as home inspection agents. This isn’t necessarily a problem except it calls into question what their real expertise is. Contracting work requires a different skill set that home inspecting.

You also need to be wary of contractors/inspectors who try to push you into approving unnecessary construction projects.

  1. What’s Your Plan?

Different inspectors follow different strategies. Before you can determine if someone’s requested rate is reasonable, you need to know exactly what they propose to do. Will they look at every outlet? Turn on the air conditioner? Run the dishwasher?

A lot of what a good home inspector will do might seem tedious. However, they’re specifically looking for small errors. Glaring mistakes tend to out themselves. You want to hire someone who is extremely meticulous and thorough.

  1. Are You Experienced with Older Homes?

Older properties, because they’ve been around long enough to be beaten up by time, people, and the weather tend to be more problematic than newer ones. Your inspector is more likely to discover issues with an older home.

You don’t have to buy a new model home to be happy. You just need to take precautions. A quality home inspection performed by an independent third-party will tell what you need to know about the property.

If you’re buying an older home, you should choose a highly experienced home inspector.

  1. Do You Have Any References?

Be wary of inspection companies that don’t have a lot of reviews. If their workers were doing a good job people would be talking about it online. If you can’t find anything out anything about the company on Google, it’s a sign that they’re either not as established or not as legitimate as other inspection companies.

If you do find reviews, look closely at what they say. Are there lots of complaints about missed appointments or the inspector not showing up on time? Scores of disgruntled customers?

Hire Your Inspector

After you’ve spoken with two or three candidates, you should have a good idea of who you want to hire. Focus on choosing someone who you feel comfortable with. You might have a lot of questions as the process unfolds and you want to work with someone who will patiently answer you.

Ready to move in? Schedule your home inspection so it falls a few days before your final walk-through with your contractor. You’ll need to see the final inspection report before you can make any decisions.

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