When buying a home, how do you know what you’re getting? 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.

Below is a list of suggested questions you might want to 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 licenses 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 in 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? Do you charge extra for these?
• Do you charge extra based on the size of the home? Multiple A/C units? Other items?
• How much would you charge if I ask for a reinspection after repairs are completed?
• Will you supply a written report? (Should!)
• Can I attend the inspection? (If the answer is no, find another inspector. This is the opportunity for you to learn about your new home.)
• Do you go up on the roof to inspect
• How long does a typical inspection take? (Should take atleast two hours.)
• 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 might 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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