Having a home inspected can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone especially since you, the home owner, as you are unsure of what is hiding from plain sight , the cost of fixing any problems, and what it is exactly that needs to be examined and evaluated. However, this worry should dissolve with the hiring of a trained and skilled home inspector. No matter the firm you have hired, numerous questions should be asked before, during, and after. For this reason we have compiled a list of relevant and important questions that every home owner should ask of their home inspector. A good inspector will always be willing to answer any questions that you may have, even those you feel are silly.
1. First and foremost, always ask to see their home inspector’s license and/or ID card. This should be readily available; however, if it is not, this is a strong sign to move on to another company.
2. Make sure to ask who it is that they are working for. The answer should always be you. You are the one that has hired them. You are the one paying for their services. If the answer is anything other than you, it is best to look elsewhere.
3. As with any important service, make sure to ask about the inspector’s education, their training, and their experience. Any good inspector will have a few years of experience and will have completed all of their mandatory hours within their training years.
4. In addition to the inspector’s experience, a home owner should always ask about the firm’s experience. Make sure that they have the skill and familiarity with resale home inspections.
5. How much will the inspection cost? A simple question, but one that is very important. Cost for a home inspection is dependent upon many factors such as region, size and age of home, etc. Typically a home inspection will cost between $300 and $500.
Make sure to be present during the inspection itself. This is a great time to ask questions, learn about equipment in your home, and become at ease with the home itself. Though all forms of questions can be asked during this time, there are a few that should be on your “to ask” list:
1. How is the drainage around the exterior of the home?
2. What are some ways to help keep the basement dryer?
3. How can I prolong the life of the home’s roof?
4. Is there a problem with the roof or the siding of the home?
5. If the home is older, make sure to ask about the electrical; if there is knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring.
6. For plumbing, it is important to ask about the life of the sewer cap. Will it need to be replaced shortly? How old is the plumbing itself?
7. How does the heating system work? In addition, this is a great time to learn about the different parts of the equipment. Never be afraid to learn more about the workings of the home.
8. How is the home’s structure?
9. Keeping in mind that many issue are hidden from the naked eye, it is always a good idea to ask about rot, insects, and water and construction defects. The inspector may reply with an “I don’t know”; however, it remains an important question to ask.
Even with the provided list of relevant questions, remember to trust your gut. If there is something that you do not understand, make sure to get clarification. As mentioned, home inspectors are willing to answer any questions that you may have. They just need to be asked.