It can be daunting to purchase a house. It can be stressful if you’ve never been through this process before. What are some questions to ask your home inspector before and during the inspection?
So you feel more confident about your home purchase, we will break down the most important questions to ask during your home inspection.
What is a Home Inspection?
Before we jump in, it is important to understand what a home inspection entails. A home inspection is an independent evaluation and assessment of a property’s structure. This is usually requested as part of a real-estate transaction but it can also be done.
Homebuyers can hire licensed inspectors to assess the property’s condition, make a report and recommend specialists if necessary.
Let’s now understand what a home inspection in Los Angeles looks like.
7 Questions You Must Ask Before The Inspection
You must first hire a home inspector before having a real home inspection. These are the questions to ask your potential home inspector. It is not enough to hire the home inspector that your agent recommends.
What are your qualifications & experiences?
- Ask about industry affiliations such as InterNACHI, FABI or ASHI.
- Compare their experience with other home inspectors and ask for years of relevant experience.
- If you are unsure, ask for state licensing. Some states do not require licensing.
- Ask them how many inspections have they completed. Ask how many inspections they have completed.
- Ask their Yelp reviews, Facebook reviews and Google reviews.
What does your report include or exclude?
- Is your inspection complete?
- Is your inspection complete?
- Are you willing to go into the attic?
- What will you do if the roof is too high?
- Are you willing to go into the crawlspace with me?
- Are you able to do thermography along with home inspections?
- Are you able to inspect detached garages or buildings? Most inspectors charge an additional fee.
When will I receive the report?
This is crucial because you may be in a time crunch sometimes. Also, you might want to know how long your reports are and if they include pictures.
Sometimes, a concise and shorter report is more valuable than a long, complicated report. Ask for a sample report.
Do you have an agreement I need to sign?
Every home inspector should ask clients to sign an inspection contract. This is a big red flag!
The inspection agreement describes what the inspection will include and exclude.
What is the length of your inspection?
It can help you determine how thorough they are. But, don’t rely solely on this. An inspection company may send out multiple inspectors to speed up the inspection process for you and your Realtor. A faster inspection could be because the inspector is more experienced.
This is a guideline only. Be aware of extremes. It is not accurate for an inspector to claim that he will spend 4 hours inspecting a 1500-square-foot home. However, an inspector who claims he will take only 30 minutes to inspect a 1500-square-foot home is wrong.
An average home inspector can inspect 1000 square feet per hour.
I would like to receive a summary after the inspection is complete.
After the inspection is complete, your inspector should not leave. Ask your inspector to take pictures of the property and answer any questions.
What is the cost of a home inspection?
The cost of a home inspection can vary greatly from one company to the next. Find out the truth about home inspection prices to understand what to expect.
Ask these questions to multiple inspection companies!
Don’t settle for an inspection company that was recommended to you. Make sure to do your research on the company and feel comfortable. This is the biggest investment you’ll ever make.
6 Questions You Must Ask During a Home Inspection
It is best to not follow the home inspector around and ask questions. Home inspectors do a regular job. They may become distracted by interruptions that could cause them to lose their routine. It’s like someone talking to you and trying to read simultaneously. You can lose focus on both the conversation or what you’re reading if you do not pay attention to details.
If you cannot attend the inspection, it is best to stay with the inspector. However, don’t forget to ask questions during the final review. Pro tip: Bring a notebook or a note-taking app to help you keep track of all your questions.
Our home inspection checklist can be brought along to your home inspection.
These are great questions you can ask your inspector following their review.
What are the conditions of your roof? And what is your life expectancy?
Roof replacement can be costly. You can negotiate the price of your roof in your agreement if necessary. You can plan for your future expenses by knowing your life expectancy.
What are the conditions of your HVAC system? And what is the expected life expectancy?
The cost of replacing the heating and air conditioning systems can run into the thousands. It is important to know when you should budget for this expense.
How is the electrical system? Will it need to be updated?
You don’t have to worry about old electrical in newer homes. This may be an issue in older homes built before 1990. This question will help you plan for costs of replacing the wiring or electrical panel. Check out our blog on electrical issues that could arise during a home inspection.
How is the plumbing system? Will it need to be updated?
It is the same answer as for electrical. Major updates are not required for most newer homes. You may have to make some updates if your home has cast iron or polybutylene.
How is the structure of your home?
Although this is a very basic question, it’s one you should ask in case an inspector notices signs of foundation or structural problems.
Is there water leaking from the house? Are there grading problems?
Water must flow away from your home to avoid water intrusion and structural problems. Repairs or adjustments to the grading caused by constant water ponding may be expensive.
The bottom line
It is crucial to hire the right home inspector to understand what you are buying. These questions should be asked before you hire a house inspector. Then, ask them during the inspection to help you make informed decisions about your investment.
If you have any questions, read the report thoroughly after your home inspection.