During your time in the real estate market you’ll rely on a number of experts to help you make the right decision.  While the fees associated with purchasing a home are a noteworthy portion of your budget, this money spent is a valuable expenditure which will protect you and your major investment in the long run.  Once you’ve found a property that you want to make an offer on it is wise to schedule a home inspection or make an offer pending a successful inspection.  Once you’ve selected your home inspector (you can usually get a recommendation from your real estate agent or mortgage broker) and you’ve scheduled a time for the inspection your work isn’t done.  There are a lot of questions you can, and should, ask your home inspector to help guide you in making an informed decision on whether or not you decide to sign on the dotted line.

  1. Can I attend the inspection?
    If they say no, you may not want to hire them.  By attending the inspection you can have them physically point out any potential issues to you.
  2. Who should fix that?
    This is a great way to find out whether or not you can repair something yourself or if you need to hire someone.  You can also ask for recommendations for a contractor for specific jobs from your home inspector or real estate agent. *a word to the wise: any inspector who pushes hard for a specific service provider for repairs (including themselves) is not being ethical and should signal some red flags on your part.
  3. Can you help me prioritize what I should repair first?
    Many good inspectors will do this for you anyway.  This will help you get your budget in line for the first few years of property ownership and help you assess regular ongoing upkeep costs for your home.
  4. Can you give me an approximate estimate on what it will cost to fix that?
    Again, they won’t be able to give you precise costs, but should be able to give you a ballpark range on costs associated with specific repairs or upgrades to help you and your budget planning
  5. Ask the inspector about any concerns you have about the property?
    Unsure of drainage around the outside of the home?  Looking to extend time between specific costly repairs?  Get some valuable tips on home repair hacks from your inspector, and put any worries you may have about things you’ve seen around the property to rest.
  6. Can I contact you later with any questions I have about this report?
    Good customer service is important here.  Likely if the report is clear and well laid out, you’ll never have to contact them, but knowing that the person will make themselves available is a huge win should you have any questions or concerns before or after taking ownership of the property.
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