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What to Ask a Home Inspector

By July 14, 2021September 30th, 2021Home

Once a seller accepts an offer on a house, a buyer has the option of hiring a home inspector to check out the property and ensure that it does not have any costly issues. A home inspection should be an essential part of the home-buying process since it is less expensive to walk away from an offer now than it is to pay for a substantial problem down the road.

Hire an independent inspector who is licensed and insured.  If possible, you should be present at the inspection and ask all your pertinent questions as they arise. While many potential home buyers wait to see the inspection report, it will be easier for you to understand what is going on with the house if you are there for the inspector to show you.

Here are questions that you should ask before, during, and after the inspection. Ask the first two before you hire someone:

 

What are your credentials?

The first questions to ask before hiring a home inspector will pertain to his or her training. Did your training come from a comprehensive program? Or were you merely in a related field and made a transition to being a home inspector? These questions will help you find out if the potential inspector is qualified for the job.

 

What will you cover in the home inspection?

Another question to ask beforehand is what the home inspection will cover. There are various assessments inspectors can make, but they might not all check the same things. If you are paying for a complete home inspection, they should be looking at the following:

  • Signs of moisture damage, including mold
  • Problems with the furnace, water heater, and other appliances
  • Leaking windows
  • Cracks in the walls
  • Roof and attic inspection
  • Adequate water pressure
  • Smoke alarms functioning properly
  • Unpleasant smells pointing to more significant issues

 

What does it mean?

As your home inspector shows you potential issues, ask for more detail if you are unsure what they mean. It is vital that you understand the problem and why it matters. While home inspectors cannot advise you on whether or not to buy the home, they will inform you of the severity of anything they find and the approximate cost to fix it.

 

Is this a significant issue or a minor problem?

Sometimes the home inspector will uncover a problem that immediately sounds like a deal-breaker. Do not go into panic mode right away. Instead, ask the inspector for an opinion on whether it is a major issue. Many problems that sound serious turn out to be inexpensive repairs. Of course, maybe that particular problem is a major one. Either way, the answer to this question will let you know how to move ahead.

 

How well is the house insulated?

Adequate insulation could help reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 30 percent, so finding out that your new home will not have enough insulation could cause you to reconsider your potential purchase. You should also confirm that none of the insulation contains asbestos.

 

How much longer will the roof last?

Replacing an asphalt shingle roof can cost from $5,000 to upwards of $15,000. If the roof on your potential purchase shows signs that it is approaching the end of its life, you might want to negotiate a lower price. The inspector can look for a poor condition of the shingles and asphalt granules in the gutter, both of which are tell-tale signs of an imminent replacement.

 

What are your primary concerns?

You may have decided what to ask your home inspector, but you should add this question to the end of the list if it is not already there. If you know what the inspector’s most significant concerns are, you can immediately create an action plan. You can even discuss these issues with the buyer before the inspector has issued the official report. You could also contact an expert on the problem to find out all that is involved in a solution.

 

Ask one of our insurance experts about homeowners coverage for your new home

Once you have resolved the issues and decided to move ahead with the purchase, talk to a White Cloud Insurance professional for advice on how to protect your investment with the best homeowners insurance policy. Simply fill out our contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at hello@accelinsurance.com.