Owning and Renting Property

10 Questions to Ask Potential Home Inspectors

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The home inspection is one of the most important parts of the home-buying process, because it can reveal so much about your potential new house. Even if your mortgage lender doesn’t require you to get a home inspection, you should definitely request one. This way you can discover if there are any major defects in the property or repairs that you’d like to ask the seller to make.

Your real estate agent or lender may make suggestions on home inspectors, but don’t feel like you have to use that person. Whoever you choose, make sure you research them and verify they have the appropriate credentials and certifications required by your state. Here are 10 questions you should ask before you choose someone to do your home inspection:

  1. What does your inspection cover? Make sure the inspection and inspection report meets all applicable requirements in your state and complies with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics.
  2. How long have you been a home inspector — and how many inspections have you completed?
  3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspections? You might even want to ask about experience with your type of home (homes built in the 1940s, townhomes, etc.) or homes done by your builder/in your neighborhood.
  4. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association? There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID.
  5. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date? The inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and customer service. This is especially important if your house is old or has unique features requiring additional knowledge or training.
  6. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection? Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered during the inspection. Other associations and regulations see it as a conflict of interest and strictly forbid it.
  7. How long will the inspection take? The average on-site inspection time is two to three hours for a typical single-family home. Any time less than that may not be enough to perform a thorough inspection.
  8. How much will it cost? Costs vary depending on where you live, the size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500. Remember that if you get a quality home inspection done, the cost will be worth it if you can discover potential problems before you’re officially the owner.
  9. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report? Ask to see sample reports. Most inspectors will provide a full report within 24 hours of the inspection.
  10. Will I be able to attend the inspection? This is a very valuable opportunity for you to learn more about your prospective new home, so if the inspector refuses your presence at the inspection, that’s a big red flag.

Is your head swimming with all the responsibilities that come with being a homeowner?  Learn how ARAG legal insurance can help.

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