home-inspector-qs
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What are some questions to ask a home inspector? If you’re buying a house, you know that your home inspector will check it out and make sure it’s in decent shape. So if you want to get to know your home beyond its pretty facade, you should pepper your inspector with questions—a whole lot of them, in fact!

But when you ask those questions is as important as what you ask. Namely, you should attend your home inspection and ask him right then and there. The reason: Rather than trying to decipher your inspector’s (very technical) report, it’s much easier for this pro to actually show you what’s going on with the house.

To help you get this essential show-and-tell session rolling, here are a few questions to ask a home inspector that will help you size up a house yourself, and keep it in good condition for as long as you hang your hat there.

1. ‘What does that mean?’

During the inspection, your inspector will go slowly through the entire house, checking everything to ensure there are no signs of a problem, says Frank Lesh, executive Director of the American Society of Home Inspectors. He’ll point out things to you that aren’t as they should be.

Don’t be afraid to ask any questions about what he’s telling you, and make sure you understand the issue and why it matters.

For example: If the inspector says something like, “Looks like you’ve got some rotten boards here,” it’s smart to ask him to explain what that means for the overall house—how difficult it is to repair, and how much it will cost.

Just keep in mind that your inspector can’t tell you whether or not to buy the house, or how much you should ask the seller to fix (though your real estate agent should be able to help with that).

2. ‘Is this a big deal or a minor issue?’

For most people,…