Archives for October 2011

Top Ten Questions for a Home Inspector

Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or if you have “been around the block before,” a qualified home inspector will be a crucial member of your real estate team.  A great inspector can point out expensive repairs, familiarize you with your new home, and give you the peace of mind that you are buying a great home.  Not all home inspectors are created equal.  Consider asking these ten questions as you interview potential inspectors:

1.  May I see your license? Although home inspectors are licensed differently in each state, a qualified home inspector should be able to show you a license and professional association credentials.

2.  Have you had any recent training? Residential building codes and requirements change frequently.  A great inspector should be taking frequent training classes in your local area.

3.   How many homes have you inspected?  May I have a referral from a past customer? Don’t leave your home inspection to chance.  Hiring a seasoned professional means that he will be able to easily recognize potential pitfalls.

4.   Is home inspection your only business? Only hire a home inspector who is strictly a home inspector.  In fact, most states forbid licensed home inspectors from also being contractors, roofers, or repairmen.

5.    What does your inspection cover? A good inspection covers the home’s foundation, structure,exterior, interior, roof, attics and basements, plumbing, electrical, and much more. At the end of your inspection, you should receive a written report.  Recently, many home inspectors have started including digital pictures in inspection reports.

6.  May I come to the inspection? Being on-site during your future home’s inspection is invaluable. Have the inspector point out all issues and flaws to you in person, and make sure to ask questions and take notes.

7.  Can you come look at this? You may have noticed a few quirks during visits to your new home. Point out these concerns to your inspector.

8.  What condition is the roof in?Depending on materials and climate, the average home’s roof lasts about 20 years. Roof replacements are a costly investment. If you are buying an older home, ask your inspector for an estimate of when it will need to be replaced.

9.  Can you show me how that works? Home inspectors are experts in your home’s various systems.  Especially if you are a first-time homebuyer, have your inspector take a few minutes to show you how to use your home’s furnace, water heater, electrical
panel, and emergency shutoffs.

10.      If you were buying this home, what would you fix and when? Your inspector may not be able to give you specific repair
estimates, but he or she can help you prioritize items that need to be repaired immediately, and those that can wait a few months or years.