It is perhaps too easy to ignore the importance of a home inspection or let an inspector go through the motions so you can check “home inspection” off of your house shopping bucket list.  However, by being an active and involved home buyer you will be setting yourself up for success in the purchase of your new house.  By adequately preparing for you upcoming inspection, making a list of questions to ask the inspector, examining the home for yourself, and making a list of costs following the inspection you will soon be in a position to make a competitive and accurate bid on your new St. Louis home.


Prepare for the Inspection

Just showing up on inspection day is not in your best interest if the goal is to make the most of your home inspection.  While attending the inspection is a great first step in learning more about your potential home and what maintenance it requires, you should go into the inspection prepared.  Before your official inspection, it is a great idea to examine the house for yourself and note anything that strikes you as a potential problem.  Additionally, you should ask the seller or real estate agent about any defects in the home or problems in the surrounding community.  This will give you a better idea of what to expect when the inspector starts taking notes.


Make a List of Questions

After your personal home inspection, begin jotting down questions you have for your official home inspector.  By preparing a list of questions you are guaranteed to not forget to ask about things that may have struck you on your first walk through of the home.  Organized questions will show your home inspector that you are an active buyer that truly cares about the information he can provide, and the inspector will often feed off of this and provide more information than if you assumed the role of a passive shadow following him around the house.


Make a List of Costs

Following the inspection you should organize a list of needed repairs and their estimated costs as given by the home inspector.  While on the home inspection, it is in your best interest to be asking questions about the needed repairs, actively taking notes, and requesting tips about the suggested home repairs.  If possible you should get estimates for the cost of each repair and make a list of what needs to be done, organized by both cost and urgency.  This will allow you to quantify what your potential investment is truly worth and may even serve as a bargaining chip to use with your seller.


While a common practice, home inspections are what you make of them.  A passive buyer will learn far less about their potential home than one truly invested in the experience of a home inspection.  By adequately preparing for the inspection, making a list of questions for the inspector, and organizing costs and repairs following the examination you will be making the most of your St. Louis home inspection.