5 Questions Buyers Should Ask Their Home Inspector

A female home inspector writing notes on a home inspection report standing beside a boarded wall and a hot and cold water nozzle.New or not, a buyer should always hire a home inspector to inspect their latest investment. Shady contractors have been known to cut corners to save a buck, and since many homes come pre-owned, the level of maintenance can vary greatly from house to house. With a home being one of the most expensive investments you can make, you want to be sure you know the true condition of a house, and a home inspector is available to provide that information to you. However, to make certain all information is provided, here are some questions buyers should ask their home inspector.

1.     Can I Attend the Home Inspection?

Not only will your home inspector allow you to attend the inspection, but depending on their reliability, they may even encourage it. Being present for the home inspection allows you to personally observe any issues and you can ask questions along the way to improve your understanding of certain complications. It also helps you become familiar with the property, such as finding out where the water shutoff valve is located or seeing if there are any securities systems, which can qualify you for a homeowners insurance discount.

2.     Should I Choose Areas of the Home that Should be Inspected?

You don’t have to worry about the appliances, roofing, foundation, and plumbing being examined, as these parts of the home are typically listed on the home inspector’s menu of items to explore. However, it’s best to err on the side of having everything inspected if possible. Taking the time to hire a trustworthy inspector ensures the home will be thoroughly examined. It’s important to keep in mind that a home inspector cannot dismantle or move objects, though, so they’re only performing a visual inspection and identifying underlying issues based on outward appearance and evidence.

3.     Should I Hire a Hazardous Materials or Septic Tank Specialist?

Since a home inspector can only examine areas of the home with the naked eye, he’s unable to inspect behind the walls or beneath the flooring for hazardous materials – like mold, radon, asbestos, or lead – nor test the septic tank. To address these possible areas of concern, a home inspector will likely instruct you to hire a specialist, especially if the home is old. Mold, asbestos, lead, and radon can have very harmful effects on a home’s inhabitants, and an issue with a septic tank may prove extremely expensive.

4.     What Would You Fix First if This Was Your Home?

A home inspector is well attuned to the inner and outer workings of a house, and you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable asking them for a list of priorities. They could inform you of some structural defects or water leaks that need to be addressed immediately or let you know if some problems, such as inadequate insulation, could be safely delayed. In general, safety issues should be rectified immediately, followed by any costly repairs.

5.     What Should I Do with the Information Provided?

After the home inspection is completed, you’ll receive a report detailing the issues of the home. Items in need of repair could be used as leverage to negotiate the price point of the home, and if you’re viewing a condo, the condo association may be liable to cover some of the reported problems. However, sometimes the best decision is to walk away from a deal, especially if the structure is unsound or the repairs too expensive.

Since it’s such an enormous investment, a buyer should ask their home inspector to be as thorough as possible. Of course, you also want to safeguard your new investment with the right homeowners insurance. At TJ Woods Insurance, we’ll pair you with the most appropriate homeowners insurance or condominium insurance for your needs. If you’re in the market for a new home and need the best coverage, contact us today.