Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector During an Inspection
It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to buy or sell a property; a thorough home inspection is on your to-do list. Additionally, you’ll have to ask the professional home inspector (you can’t do this without one) that’s accessing the property-specific questions. Some are less important, while some of them are downright necessary. Today we’ll talk about the latter. Here’s the thing: your inspector isn’t there just to uncover flaws in a home. They’re there to help you gain some insight. Therefore, you shouldn’t hesitate to demand some info during the inspection process. So, without further ado, here are questions to ask your home inspector during an inspection!
How long have you been in the business, what do you check, etc.?
There are specific questions to ask before you hire a professional home inspector. Here are the essentials.
First and foremost, you’ll need an experienced professional for the inspection process. That being said, it’s only natural to ask your potential inspectors whether or not they possess some excellent experience. Feel free to inquire about just how many inspections they have done. However, it would help if you remembered that a newer inspector doesn’t necessarily mean something wrong, but the experience can mean a whole lot. That’s especially true if you’re trying to sell or buy an older home or property with some unusual features and attributes. A home inspector will help you find out the real value of a property.
Also, you’ll need to figure out exactly what the inspectors will check during the inspection of the property you’re planning to sell/buy. Lastly, let’s consider the pricing: you’ll want to know how much the whole thing will cost.
#1 Start from the top: what’s the (overall) condition of the roof?
Once your inspector has done inspecting the roof, feel free to ask them about the (overall) condition of the roof. Also, you can get a little bit specific and ask about the condition of the shingles: are there any that are missing or buckling? Figure out whether there are any signs of major roof damage. If there are, the property is probably in dire need of a new roof. If you’re trying to buy a home, you can always compensate for a not-so-cheap roof replacement by paying less. Of course, you’ll communicate this one with the sellers.
#2 What about plumbing and electrics?
A top-quality professional will need to inspect and evaluate drains, water heaters, pipes, and other parts of the plumbing system. Yours is to inquire about its state once the inspection’s over. For instance, check if all faucets are alright, if everything drains appropriately, or if tubs are secured correctly. Also, don’t forget to ask about any lead piping on the property, especially if you’re trying to buy or sell an older home.
Besides the plumbing system, a professional home inspector must check if everything is alright with the electrical system. Faulty electrics cause many home fires. Therefore, you should inquire whether there are any issues in this field. Check if there are any exposed or damaged wires. Or if there are any outlets or neat water sources in spaces like the kitchen or the bathroom. Home safety is essential, so don’t skim through this part.
#3 Are there any signs of mice or other critters?
There shouldn’t be any unwanted guests on the property. Mice and other rodents are known to cause some good damage to properties. Also, they might pose a severe health hazard. Therefore, a professional home inspector will be on the lookout for any signs of critter invasion, infestation, etc. Pay close attention to this; since you don’t want to move your basement to a storage facility later on. Getting rid of these pests is not an easy process.
#4 What’s that last thing you said?
Now, there’s a chance you won’t understand a part of the terminology professional home inspectors might use. Don’t be afraid to ask some questions if you don’t understand something. In other words, don’t hesitate to pose some “dumb questions” (quotation marks are there since there are no dumb questions). Experts’ insights don’t mean much if you’re not able to grasp their full potential. All in all: don’t feel like you’re not supposed to inquire about this or that.
#5 What’s there to do once I move in? (buyers only)
This one’s for buyers only. After the inspection’s over, you’ll get a written report. However, it’s better to ask your inspector right there, on the spot, what’s there to be done once you move into the place. There are always some things you need to do in the first 2-3 months following the relocation. There’s a good chance you’ll have to invest in some things, like buying new furniture or repairing the seepage in the basement. Whatever it is, your home inspector will point out those things to you. Don’t think you can easily get away with not following their advice. It’s for your own benefit.
#6 Is the foundation solid?
Ask your inspector about potential cracks in the property’s foundation. Check if there are any the inspector has found. Don’t worry, as not all of them are considered serious. You’ll have to figure out whether they’re stepping, vertical, horizontal, etc. Also, you’ll need to consider their size: if they’re big enough for a dime to fit right into it, it might be best to reach out to a foundation specialist or structural engineer.
#7 Finally, what’s the property’s biggest flaw?
Lastly, you’ll want to ask your inspector for a quick recap of the biggest issues found during the process. As we’ve already said, you’ll receive a written list of things that you’ll need to get a second opinion on from a trusted professional. Just don’t think a home inspector will recommend you to buy or not buy a property, as they’re only there to provide you with the report. It’s your job to identify whether or not certain issues resemble deal breakers.
Closing thoughts on the subject
These were the questions to ask your home inspector. Hopefully, they have helped you deal with some misconceptions you had about the process of home inspection. All in all: don’t be afraid to pose any of the questions we’ve discussed above. Some identified problems are an investment worth making.