8 Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector
If you live in or are looking to purchase a house, whether it is
older or a new custom home, at some point you will need to hire a
home inspector. The opinions and knowledge of a home inspector help
determine the market value of a home, the cost of renovations, and
whether or not certain additions are feasible. A home inspector
pinpoints areas that need repair work and finds any hidden hazards
Eight Questions for a Home Inspector
What should you ask before hiring a home inspector? Start with
- What is included in the inspection?
Your inspector should cover at least the minimum requirements of
your state, but most will go above and beyond. If you prefer that
other items be included, be sure to ask about them right away.
- How much experience do you have?
Get informed about the home inspector's background and ask for a
list of references.
- How long will the inspection take?
For a single family home, 2 or 3 hours is often enough time;
however, larger homes may take longer. If the time spent is much
less than average, the inspection might not be thorough
- How much do you charge? The cost
for a home inspection depends on the region, age of the home, and
other factors unique to each situation. Get several quotes to
determine an average cost.
- What type of report do you provide?
If your needs dictate a certain type of report, make sure the home
inspector can provide it. Typically, a report should be in your
hands within 24 hours after the inspection.
- Do you offer repairs based on your
inspection? If the answer is yes, be careful. This could
be a clear conflict of interest. Check with local, state, and
association regulations if you are unsure.
- What organizations do you belong
to? Reliable professionals often belong to a state or
national organization for home inspectors. Find out where they hold
memberships and do a follow-up if you want to learn more about
their history and experience.
- Can I watch the inspection?
Watching the inspection is an excellent learning experience. If the
home inspector doesn't want you there, be wary.
Working with a Home Inspector
Make certain the home inspector you choose has experience with
your type of home. Inspecting a new, custom home is quite different
from evaluating an older house. During the inspection, don't
hesitate to ask questions. Reliable inspection professionals are
happy to teach clients all they can about a home.
About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a
freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was
built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her
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