A home inspection can help you determine if a house is the home of your dreams or if you need to reconsider your offer. As such, being present for the inspection is invaluable and is worth the time off of work. You must ask some very important questions when hiring a home inspector and during the inspection itself. Asking these questions will help you get a better understanding of if the home inspector is right for the job and more importantly if the home is right for you.
#1 What does the inspection cover and what does it not cover?
A home inspector inspects over 1,600 features in a home, but there are limits to what they will be looking over. Your inspector should have a list of features that they cover. Be sure to understand what exactly is being inspected and what is not being inspected. Ask the inspector before the inspection what they cover, so there is no confusion.
Most inspections should cover:
- Moisture Problems
- Interior Problems
- Kitchen and Appliances
- Electrical Panels
- Water Heater
#2 Who should fix this and when should it be fixed?
Even the least repair-savvy homeowner can make some simple improvements to their home. Don’t be afraid to ask who should fix an issue and when. A good home inspector should be more than happy to help you understand what needs to be fixed to make the house a home. You, the homeowner, or a local handyman can fix minor issues, while the bigger ones should be left to the professionals. Reading over the inspector’s report can sometimes be confusing. During the inspection, ask the inspector if they would fix the issue and when if the house was their own. This puts the ball in their court, and you can get a better perspective on the severity of the issues.
#3 How much will this cost?
A typical range for a home inspection should be between $300-$500. You have to keep in mind the region, size and age of the house, and scope of services when comparing home inspection prices. Your inspector should never offer to fix a flaw in your home or even refer a service because this is considered a conflict of interest. The American Society of Home Inspectors does not let its members solicit repair work based on inspections they performed themselves.
#4 How long will the inspection take?
The length of the inspection depends on the size and condition of the house. Inspections take place when the seller is not home, which is usually during the day when they are at work. The average inspection time for a single-family house is between two to three hours.
#5 Can you show me how to operate this?
It is highly recommended that you attend your home inspection. It is a great educational experience and can give you perspective on the condition of the home. If a home inspector says you are not allowed to attend the inspection, this is a red flag and you should not continue their services! Home inspectors are there to help you. Asking them how to operate functions of the house gives you less of a headache in the future when you, for example, can’t figure out how to work the thermostat. When walking through the home with your inspector, ask how to operate your water heater, stove, and especially where the emergency shut-offs for your gas, water, and electrical utilities are.
In summary, don’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to a home inspection. Remember to ask what is being covered in the inspection, the severity of issues in the house, how much the inspection will cost and how long it will take, and how to operate different functions of the home. The answers to these questions will help you gauge if the home is for you. Whether you are looking for a fixer upper or a fully removed home we hope you find the perfect fit for you from inspection to close.
Contact us today if you are looking to buy a home or if you have any questions about inspections!