Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases of your life! Before you make your final buying or selling decision, you should have the home inspected by a professional. An inspection can alert you to potential problems with the property and help you to make an informed decision. The following are recommended questions to prospective home inspectors:
1. What is your experience? Ask how long inspectors have been in the profession and how many inspections they have completed. They should provide customer references upon request.
2. How do you keep your expertise up-to-date? An inspectors’ commitment to continuing education is a good measure of their professionalism and service.
3. Do you focus on residential inspections? Make sure the inspector has training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection, which is very different from inspecting commercial buildings or a construction site. If you are buying a unique property, such as a historic home, you may want to ask whether the inspector has experience with that specific type of property.
4. How long will the inspection take? On average, an inspector working alone inspects a typical single-family home in 2-3 hours. Anything significantly less than that may not be thorough enough. If you are purchasing a large property, you may want to ask if an additional inspector will be brought in.
5. What is the cost? Costs can vary dramatically. Home inspections in the Boston area are usually between $400 and $600 for an average-sized home.
6. What type of inspection reports do you provide and how long do they take to receive? Most inspection reports are now presented digitally and sometimes include photographs. Ask for samples to determine whether you will understand the inspector’s writing style. Most inspection reports are provided within 24 hours following the inspection.
Having a home inspection on the home that you are buying or selling is an important part of the home buying process. It is important to ensure that you use a licensed, qualified inspector.