Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before, During, and After a Home Inspection

Home is the most important investment you will ever make. Yet, of all the major purchases in your lifetime, buying a home is often one with which you are least prepared.

It’s hard to know what questions to ask when you first go house hunting. And once you find a place that seems perfect, it’s easy to get swept up in all the excitement and forget about asking critical questions before signing on the dotted line. That can lead to serious problems down the road if something unexpectedly goes wrong with your new house or neighborhood. With so much at stake, it pays to be prudent when going through this process for yourself.

Here are some of the key questions to ask a home inspector before, during, and after a home inspection.

Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before a Home Inspection

Are you licensed or certified?

Some states still lack a licensing structure for home inspectors, even though this work has been around for decades. However, some agencies may help you get certified as a home inspector. If you stay licensed, your house inspector must be licensed or working under the supervision of someone qualified to practice. So don’t forget to check whether the Home Inspector is certified or not.

What type of inspection will be done?

Next, ask them about what kind of inspection will be done. There are different types of home inspections, and your inspector should be able to tell you which one will be best for your specific situation. For example, a general inspection might not be as thorough as a pest-control inspection.

What are the qualifications of the inspector?

You must know who will be inspecting the property. Ask the inspector about their qualifications. How long have they been in the business? Do they have any special training? Are they insured? What kind of warranty do they offer on their work?

Are there any areas of the house that will be excluded from the inspection?

Some home inspectors will not inspect certain parts of the house, such as the roof or the foundation. Others will charge an additional fee for these areas. Be sure to ask your inspector about this before the inspection begins.

What does the inspection include?

The home inspection should include a detailed report of the findings and photos of any damage or deficiencies found. Your inspector should also be able to provide you with a list of recommended repairs.

What is the cost?

Be sure to ask your inspector about the inspection cost before you schedule one. Some inspectors charge by the hour, while others may have a set fee for most homes. Hence it is essential to ask and confirm the same.

Are there any particular safety concerns I should be aware of?

Some home inspections, such as those for lead paint, can be more dangerous than others. Be sure to ask your inspector about any special safety concerns you should be aware of before the inspection begins.

Will the inspector provide a written report?

Your inspector should provide you with a written report of the findings, along with photos of any damage or deficiencies found. Some inspectors will go over the findings with you in person, while others may simply send you a report. Be sure to ask your inspector how they plan to communicate the findings before the inspection begins.

Can I come for a home inspection, and How can I prepare for the inspection?

Yes, you can, and there are a few things you can do to help prepare for the inspection. Be sure to clear the inspection area of any clutter so the inspector can get a good look at everything. Also, be prepared to answer any questions the inspector may have about the property.

Questions to Ask a Home Inspector During a Home Inspection

While the inspector is doing the inspection, be sure to ask them any questions you have about the property. Here are some common questions to get you started:

What is the condition of the roof?

The condition and age of the roof are two of the most important questions to ask during a home inspection. The most apparent Roof problems include missing shingles, curling shingles, and missing flashing. You can expect a good deal of variation in roof types, styles, and materials. Ask your home inspector about the anticipated age of the roof; however, you may need to inquire directly with the seller (and hopefully obtain a receipt/warranty). A typical 3-tab shingle roof has a lifespan of 15 years, although an architectural shingle roof can last up to 30 years.

Also See: How Much Does A New Roof Cost

Are there any signs of water damage?

Water damage can be tricky to spot, but it’s important to ask your inspector about any signs of water infiltration. Water damage can cause extensive and costly damage to a home, so it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Common water damage signs include peeling paint, warped wood, and black mold.

What is the condition of the plumbing?

The inspector should check all plumbing fixtures for signs of leakage, corrosion, and other problems. Be sure to ask your inspector about any issues they may have found related to plumbing and other issues.

What is the condition of the electrical wiring?

The inspector should check all of the electrical wirings for signs of wear and tear, as well as any potential problems. Be sure to ask your inspector about any potential issues related to electrical wiring they may have found on the property.

What is the condition of the HVAC system?

The inspector should check all of the components of the HVAC system for signs of wear and tear, as well as any potential problems. Be sure to ask your inspector about any potential issues regarding HVAC they may have found. And if they have found something, then they should inform yours beforehand.

Are the windows and doors good?

Windows and doors are an essential part of a home, so it’s important to ask your inspector about their condition. The inspector should check for drafts, water damage, and other problems. Don’t forget to ask your inspector about any potential issues they may have discovered.

Also Read: How to Insulate Your Apartment Windows for Winter | Choosing the Best Paint for a Steel Door

Is there any termite damage?

Termites can cause extensive and costly damage to a home, so it’s important to ask your inspector about any signs of termite damage. The inspector should check for termite nests, damaged wood, and other signs of termite infestation.

Did you check the smoke detector?

Many houses have smoke detectors in their house, and the inspector should check all smoke detectors for signs of wear and tear and any potential problems. Don’t forget to ask your house inspector about any potential issues related to the smoke detector they may have discovered.

Where is the main water shutoff?

It’s a good idea to know where the main water shutoff is in case of an emergency. The inspector should be able to tell you where it is, and you can also ask the seller for information on the location of the shutoff.

How are the gardening and drainage?

The inspector should check the garden’s condition and drainage to make sure they are adequate. Ask your home inspector about all information related to the drainage system and a potential problem that the home inspector has discovered. 

Is there any underground outlet in the Home?

The inspector should check for any potential problems with underground outlets. If there are any, they should be able to tell you what the potential risks are.

Is the home in a flood zone?

The inspector should check to see if the home is in a flood zone. If it is, they should be able to tell you what the potential risks are.

Read Also: What State in US Has The Least Natural Disasters

What is the estimated cost of insurance for this home?

The inspector should give you a rough estimate of how much insurance will cost for this home. Keep in mind that this may vary depending on the homeowner’s insurance company.

Is there any lead-based paint?

The inspector should check for any signs of lead-based paint. If there is, they should be able to tell you what the potential risks are.

Is the home in good condition?

The inspector should check the overall condition of the home and give you their opinion on whether or not it is in good condition. Be sure to ask your inspector about any potential problems they may have found.

Any tips on home maintenance?

The inspector should be able to give you some tips on home maintenance. This may include things like changing the air filter every few months, checking the roof for leaks, and other things.

How Much Attic Insulation Is There?

The attic is generally the last thing a home inspector checks, if at all, during my inspections, so it’s critical to ensure it has been looked at. Many home inspectors frequently found attics with missing or insufficient insulation. And infestations of mice might result in urine-stained insulation and even electrical wiring.

The inspector should be able to tell you how much attic insulation is there. If it is not enough, they should be able to tell you what the potential risks are.

These are just some of the questions you should ask your inspector during a home inspection. By asking these questions, you can be sure that you are making an informed decision about the home you’re buying.

Also See: How to Get Rid of Mice in Walls

Questions to Ask a Home Inspector After a Home Inspection

Now that the inspection is over, it’s time to ask questions about the findings. Here are some common questions to get you started:

What are the most important things I should do now?

There are a few things you should do immediately after a home inspection. These include fixing any problems that were found, getting a home warranty, and updating your homeowner’s insurance policy.

What repairs should be made, and When should these repairs be made?

The inspector should give you a list of all the repairs that should be made and how much the repair will cost. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, and the final cost may be higher or lower.

The inspector should tell you when the repairs should be made and how much time it will take to complete them. Don’t forget that some repairs may need to be done right away, while others can wait. So Ask your home inspector to give a list and timetable of repairs in order.

Also See: Home Inspection Contingency: How to Negotiate Repairs?

What is the home’s value after the repairs are made?

The inspector should be able to tell you how much the home’s value will increase after the repairs are made. This can be helpful when deciding whether or not to repair.

Can I do some of the repairs myself?

The inspector should be able to tell you whether or not you can do some of the repairs yourself. If you can, they should give you a list of the repairs that you can do yourself.

Can you explain this to me?

Unless you’re a home inspector, there’s a decent chance you won’t completely grasp all aspects of the report. Even if you were present for the inspection and already asked a lot of questions (which hopefully you were since there is no better way to understand the state of a house than walking through it with an expert home inspector), it’s common to still have lingering concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask the home inspector to explain anything in the report that you don’t understand. They should be more than happy to clarify any findings.

How big a problem is this?

One of the most essential things to ask a home inspector is how serious a problem is on the property. This will assist you in determining how pressing an issue needs to be resolved. Remember that the inspection does not evaluate whether the seller should be held responsible for fixing anything. They can only tell you if a concern is significant enough to warrant your immediate attention.

You may also read our article on Who Pays For Repairs After A Home Inspection?

These are some of the most important questions to ask after a home inspection. 

Conclusion

A home inspection is an important step in the home-buying process. By asking questions before, during, and after the inspection, you can be sure that you’re making an informed decision about the property. And by getting answers to these questions, you can be sure that you’re making an informed decision about the house you’re buying.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I ask for after inspection?

It’s reasonable to demand the seller make substantial repairs that address health, safety, structural concerns, and building code violations. The seller may give cash or a price reduction in exchange for making improvements.

Can I cancel the purchase if significant repairs are required?

This is a complicated question that can be best answered with an attorney. Most purchase contracts have contingencies, or clauses, that allow one or both parties to back out of the deal under specific circumstances.

What is the most important thing to look for in a home inspection?

The structural soundness of a property is the most crucial thing to examine during an inspection. The majority of homes have sturdy structural elements, with the exception of foundations and roofs. It’s important to be aware of any red flags that could suggest potential problems with the foundation or roofing.

How do you counter after an inspection?

After a home inspection reveals possible concerns, here’s how to make a counteroffer:

  • Examine the home inspector’s report carefully.
  • Consider the potential repair costs.
  • Examine the real estate market to determine its status.
  • Consider comparable properties.
  • Communicate and collaborate with the buyer and their representative.

What are home inspectors not allowed to do?

Inspectors may not be required to move large items (furniture, automobiles) or dangers (snow, ice) in order to access the property. In addition, inspectors are not required to shift heavy things like vehicles, furniture, or even snow and ice to inspect parts of the home. So please work with the seller ahead of time to remove any potential hazards and make it easy for the inspector to do their job.

Written by


Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.