Friday, August 23, 2013

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A Home Buyer's Guide on What to Ask a Home Inspector

Home inspection is a very important part of buying a home. Many people who forgo this end up buying homes that turn out to be lemons. They end up paying more for repairing hidden issues in the house than they expected. In other cases, the hidden issues of a house renders the house uninsurable. For example, people who don't know that the house they bought had a mold problem would probably get a hard time getting approved for a home hazard insurance. Not only is this a risk on you and your family's safety, it's also going to dramatically pull down the resale value of your house.

Getting the services of a house inspector will ensure that you have a professional looking over things that you're not familiar with. Finding somebody with sufficient professional training will help you spot things that you won't be able to spot on your own. However, there are home inspectors who may not exactly fit the bill of a competent house inspector. To make sure that you hire somebody competent, it's best to keep a few things in mind, especially during a home interview.

Does the inspector seem like he knows what he is talking about?
A great way to go about this is to look around on the internet for articles about home improvement. Find out what things home inspectors usually inspect and ask relevant questions about them. If a person is truly a professional, you'll get an impression that he's talking sense and that he knows what he is talking about. Ask about specifics that every home buyer should ask inspectors in order to gauge whether or not this person can truly deliver as promised.

How long does it take for the inspector to finish the job?
Be wary of big promises. It's understandable that you want the inspection to be done in a timely manner because you want the home buying process to move along. However, home inspections usually take around 3 to 4 hours. Unless your home inspector brings along a team of professionals, having one promise that the inspection would be done in an hour or less could be an indication that you need to look for other inspectors who will do a more thorough job.

Ask whether the inspector has insurance.
There's something called an "errors and omissions insurance". It would be strange if an inspector doesn't have this because in some states, having this kind of coverage is mandatory. If you live in a state where it's not mandatory, it's still a better idea to go with an inspector who carries this type of insurance.

Ask whether the inspector is comfortable if you tag along the inspection.
You should be able to see how a person inspects your future property. If the inspector is very hesitant about having you around, maybe you should rethink the choice and look into other services.

Ask what kind of report you'll get.
Ask for a sample hard copy of a report that the inspector will produce after the inspection. This will give you an idea about what kind of report to expect. You should also ask the inspector if he can adjust the report to accommodate your preference, like adding a narrative along with a checklist of things that he checked in the house.


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