Buying a house can be one of the brightest moments of your life and one of the most stressful. You will probably hire a home inspector at some point during the transaction and here are three things not to forget before they get started.
Ask to see a sample home inspection
This sounds like a no brainer but very few people actually do it before hiring their inspector. At PunchList, we see thousands of home inspections and they differ more in detail than you might think. Some list all the deficiencies and lump all the photos together at the end (not ideal) and others show pictures annotated in sections with the text (this is what you want).
Ask the inspector to detail ALL the deficient items
It’s very common for inspectors to write comments like this: Repair or replace all fogged windows. (Additional fogged panes may be present. Recommend a contractor evaluate ALL windows and replace all glass panels with failed seals.) Basically, the inspector is saying, I don’t have time to look at every window so get someone else to do my job! Here’s the thing, you are paying them to inspect and they should give you a thorough inspection. Additionally, comments like these require you or your agent to spend extra time on resources to determine the details. This just wastes everyone’s time for something that should have been detailed by the inspector.
Be present at the inspection
Alright, this isn’t a question to ask but it is something not to forget. Home inspections range from $300 - $1,000 depending on where you live and how large the house is. Most inspectors like teaching homeowners the ins and outs of systems like HVAC and electrical so take advantage of their knowledge. Reading something on a report just isn’t the same as the opportunity to hear it from the horse’s mouth. There’s also a good chance that this inspector performed inspections in your neighborhood and potentially on that exact same house.
Good luck on your next home purchase and remember to ask questions!