Don’t Skip the Home Inspection. Here’s Why.

Live Tahoe Real Estate Team

Whether you’re buying or selling a property, you should invest in hiring a home inspector. A professional home inspection allows you to discover major and minor issues with the property, and the home inspector can even determine which issues should take priority. For example, an inspector can find holes or cracks in the roof that can lead to leaking, thus resulting in even more expensive damages. Inspectors also provide helpful advice on how the structural and mechanical aspects of your property work and how to maintain the property overall.

A home inspection is a worthwhile investment for sellers and buyers alike. Sellers want their home in pristine condition before putting it up for sale, and buyers want to ensure they’re purchasing a well-kept home. Many lenders won’t even finance a property unless it has had and passed an inspection. All in all, a home inspection benefits everyone. Here is a quick home inspection checklist to ensure you make the most out of your experience.

Questions to ask — before

Home inspections aren’t exactly a straightforward process. You can’t expect to hire an inspector and leave it at that. Instead, be curious. Ask questions. Get to know and understand your property and how it works. Inspectors are professionals who know the inner and outer workings of homes and should be able to answer your questions.

Here are a handful of questions to ask the home inspector before the inspection takes place.

What will you check? What won’t you check?

You’ll want to ask what home inspectors look for before the inspection begins. Home inspectors will conduct a visual evaluation of your property, meaning that they won’t cut open walls, tear up flooring, or dismantle the structural systems throughout the house, such as air conditioning and electricity. They’ll be on the lookout for signs of structural and mechanical damage in the home's visible exterior and interior.

Exterior inspections usually involve checking the roof, garage, grading, and foundation. Interior inspections will examine the plumbing, electrical system, heating, cooling, ventilation, fire safety, and laundry room, if applicable.

May I be present during the inspection?

You should always ask if you, or someone else you trust, can accompany the inspector during the inspection. A good, trustworthy inspector will never turn you away. Accompanying an inspector allows you to ask questions regarding specific issues as they arise. Ensure you or a trusted individual will be present during the inspection.

How long will the inspection take?

If you’re the only one available to accompany the inspector, ask how long it will take. Inspectors can only provide an estimate, but knowing the average duration will help you work the inspection into your schedule if you find yourself busy. Inspections typically take 2-3 hours, but they can vary depending on the size and layout of the house. An experienced inspector who knows exactly what to look for may also take less time than an inspector with less experience.

Questions to ask — during

You’ll also want to ask several questions during the inspection.

What does that mean?

Inspectors don’t expect you to understand the specific inner and outer workings of a house and its systems. Ask questions if you’re unsure what they mean. For example, if an inspector points out bumps on the ceiling, ask what the bumps mean. Sometimes bumps can indicate a leak, which may come from either the plumbing or the roof. Always ask questions if they arise, including the difficulty and average cost of specific repairs.

Is the issue severe or minor?

Sometimes inspectors point out minor issues, such as scuffs on the walls or scratches on hardwood flooring. If you’re unsure if an issue is severe and should be addressed, ask your inspector. They’ll know which issues are harmless and which demand immediate attention.

How do I maintain this structure?

Throughout the inspection, the inspector will point out what kind of systems you have. Never be afraid to ask how to maintain systems like the boiler and HVAC so you can take better care of your property and avoid problems in the future.

What are your biggest concerns?

At the end of the inspection, ask your inspector about their biggest concerns regarding the property. A professional opinion will help you determine which issues to prioritize above the others. The inspector will also notify you if major issues require further investigation, preferably from a professional who specializes in the area. For example, a major plumbing issue should be further investigated by a plumber.

Questions to ask — after

Once the inspection is over and you have received a full report, you should ask a few closing questions to sort out any lingering concerns.

Can you clarify this part for me?

Going over the full inspection report may be intimidating, especially if you’re unfamiliar with home inspections overall, so don’t be afraid to ask the inspector to clarify what they mean in the report.

How much would this repair or replacement cost?

Inspectors are generally familiar with the costs of certain repairs and replacements. Ask them about the tentative costs so you can gain a better idea of how much you’ll be spending on repairs. If you’re a buyer, you can use these potential costs to negotiate for a lower purchase price when you make an offer to the seller.

Should I schedule a follow-up inspection?

Ask for your inspector’s opinion on additional, follow-up inspections. If there are major issues that need to be addressed, an inspector may suggest you schedule another inspection after the repairs have been made. You don’t want to risk the repair having been inadequate, or potentially resulting in another issue. A follow-up inspection will provide further security and comfort that the property is in good condition.

The Final Verdict

Overall, home inspections are essential, and not only because most lenders require them before they agree to finance a home loan. Inspections allow sellers and buyers to determine what the property needs before any serious decisions can be made. Invest in a home inspection. It’s a worthwhile expense.

Work with a local real estate agent

An experienced real estate agent may also be an invaluable asset before, during, and after inspections. Since they know what people typically expect out of a home, they’ll be able to provide a second opinion on the property’s condition. If you’re interested in additional assistance, reach out to top-rated agents like Chris and Brooke Hernandez at Live Tahoe Real Estate. Chris and Brooke have over 30 years combined real estate experience in the Lake Tahoe areas of both California and Nevada. They are dedicated to providing the best service and guidance to their clients, so make sure you have them on your side whether you’re buying or selling property!


Renowned for their unparalleled experience in Tahoe, Glenbrook, and Incline Village real estate, paired with unrivaled local insight and an unwavering work ethic, the duo consistently delivers the ultimate client experience. Whether it's a lakefront property in Tahoe, a cozy residence in Glenbrook, or a second home in the heart of Incline Village, Team Hernandez approaches each venture with unmatched enthusiasm, accessibility, and transparency.

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