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A home inspection is well worth the cost

Most people probably only think of one or two questions to ask a home inspector: “How much is your fee?” and “When can you be there?” But these only scratch the surface.

Here’s a list of suggested questions you might ask:

  • What types of licenses do you hold
  • What kind of training do you have?
  • Do you belong to a professional inspectors’ association?
  • How long have you been licensed in Texas?
  • Are you a full-time home inspector?
  • How much do you charge?
  • Do you also perform repairs? (If the answer is yes, that may indicate a conflict of interest)
  • What will the inspection include? (Get specifics. It should include the electrical, heating, and central air-conditioning systems; interior plumbing; visible insulation; roof; walls; ceilings; floors; windows; doors; foundation; basement; and the visible structure of the house.)
  • Do you inspect gas lines, swimming pools, spas, septic systems, and wells? (You can identify other atypical systems or items.) Do you charge extra for these?
  • Do you charge extra based on the size of the home? Multiple AC units? Other items?
  • How much would you charge if I ask for a reinspection after repairs are completed?
  • Will you supply a written report? (The inspector should.)
  • Can I attend the inspection? (The home inspection is an opportunity for you to learn about your new home and ask questions. If the inspector says no, find another inspector.)
  • Do you go up on the roof to inspect it?
  • How long will the inspection typically take? (Anything less than two hours is not long enough for a thorough inspection.)
  • Can I call you with questions that come up later?
  • Can you give me names and phone numbers of three people for whom
  • you’ve inspected homes recently?

The inspector may not inspect swimming pools, wells, septic tanks, and other systems and items, and many inspectors will not conduct environmental tests or wood-destroying insect inspections. You will likely need to arrange for these inspections separately.

You can find a blank copy of the standard inspector report form at www.trec.state.tx.us to give you an idea of what may or may not be covered in the inspection.

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