Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector
You’re likely to have a whole long list of questions to ask your home inspector, and we expect to hear many of them. We get asked about our training and education a lot, and we’re often asked if buyers are more likely to run into problems when purchasing an older home vs. a newer home. Those are great questions, but we think there are a few more essential questions to ask.
Here are the 5 typical questions you should consider asking your inspector to get the most out of your home inspection:
- Who Should I Have Fix This?
If your inspector finds an issue that needs repairing, ask him or her what type of professional he or she would recommend you hiring to make the repair, such as a handyman, plumber, or electrician. Many home inspectors will be up front with you if they feel you could easily make the repair for far less expense than hiring a professional. If it’s a major issue, or one that really does require a professional’s input, the inspector is likely to tell you. And your repairs may all be ones it’s necessary to get a professional’s involvement with. But if you ask and find out it’ll only cost you a $20 part from Home Depot and a half hour of your time? Totally worth asking.
- If This Were Your House, What Would You Fix First?
Sometimes it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the issues an inspector finds in your home. Grading landscaping away from the foundation, ineffective seals on windows, and improper HVAC exhaust venting all get put on the same master list of necessary corrections, but you don’t know where to start. Asking your inspector to make recommendations regarding which issues are more concerning to get repaired can help you draw up your priority list.
- What Could Happen If This Isn’t Repaired?
Inspectors are required to point out anything they see as problematic. That could be anything from a water heater ready to let loose to a loose faucet handle. Since the impact of one of those going unrepaired is far greater than leaving the other alone, it’s best to make repairing the more pressing issue the top of your list. Your inspector can give you an idea of the potential impact on your home – and your budget – if you let repairs on some issues slide for a while.
- Can You Show Me How To Work This?
Experienced home inspectors have seen nearly every possible add-on feature in a home. From fancy security systems to in-floor heating, we’ve seen it all. If your home has an extra you don’t know how to work, ask your inspector to show you how to work it. Chances are s/he’ll be able to show you not only how it works, but some tips and tricks for its use and care.
- How Would You Maintain This?
There are all sorts of recommendations for routine system maintenance on everything from water softeners to ovens to HVAC systems. Sometimes, blogs or news articles you read tell you to perform much more in-depth – and expensive – maintenance than is truly necessary to keep your system in peak working condition. Your inspector will be able to help you figure out the best schedule for maintenance to save you money and time. Some inspectors, like us, give out informational material on home maintenance.