What to Look For When Choosing a Home Inspector
Importance of a Home Inspector
When you buy a home, it is a major decision so you want to be sure you do everything right and that includes things you might not have thought about like learning what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
For example, purchasing a home without having it properly and professionally inspected is not a good idea. As a potential new homeowner, you don’t want to have to deal with unforeseen and/or expensive repairs that might have been avoided with a proper home inspection.
True, such an inspection isn’t required to obtain a mortgage, but it can serve as an important factor in the home buying process.
When you get ready to have a home inspection you will want to know what to look for when choosing a home inspector so you choose the right person to get the job done. Keep in mind simple inspections may only cover limited aspects of the home’s structure and mechanics. However, a more experienced home inspector will be able to look for specific problems and in certain areas and features of the home.
Usually, a home inspection is conducted after the seller and buyer have signed a purchase agreement pending the outcome of any inspections. This purchase agreement protects each party. The seller then has a valid offer pending the inspection results, and the buyer need not worry about the property being sold to another party while waiting for the inspection. So, knowing what to look for when choosing a home inspector is key.
Finding the Right Home Inspector
As you begin learning how and what to look for when choosing a home inspector be advised there are three different professional inspector associations. The American Society of Home Inspectors, the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers, and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. These three associations offer professional inspector training, education, testing, and certifications.
However, in some states, there are no guidelines for certifying home inspectors, and that means licensing isn’t required. As a result, this means anyone can become a home inspection specialist and start a home inspector business. Check these things out when researching what to look for when choosing a home inspector
In the states where licensing and certifications are indeed required, the standards and training can vary between inspection companies. These are important factors when knowing what to look for when choosing a home inspector
Additionally, some inspectors may not provide comprehensive, thorough inspections. Thus, finding a home inspector you can trust can be a challenge, but it can be done with research and tips as you embark on knowing what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
If you didn’t think it was an important part of the home buying process now you know that indeed it is and these tips below will help you find what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
How to Choose the Right Home Inspector
Yes, there are some terrific home inspector professionals available out there and ready to conduct a quality inspection. Here are some further tips to explore when you begin hunting for what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
Begin by researching what the licensing requirements are in your state. For example, there are 18 states, and in Washington, D.C., that don’t require home inspectors to be licensed. However, even in those areas, most reputable home inspectors will be certified through one or more of the national associations mentioned earlier. Be sure you are aware of these things when you start enquiring about what to look for when choosing a home inspector
You will want to know how much the inspection will cost and what it will cover before hiring. Don’t be afraid to as the inspector you contact about what the basic inspection will cover. Typically, this should include the home’s HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems along with the roof, foundation, attic, and basement. The inspector should also be on the lookout for the general appearance of windows, doors, walls, and ceilings what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
Also, during a standard inspection, you can ask to have the home inspected for other potential problems if you like. Mold, radon, septic systems, and water quality testing may be additional inspections that can be performed. Some inspection services offer very skilled, trained, and certified inspectors who can inspect other areas of the home, and some often specialize in certain types of inspections. These items should be on your list when what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
If you are looking for a specialized inspection, search for a home inspector with the training, experience, and reputation needed to conduct a complete inspection.
Ask for Referrals
A good way to find the correct home inspector and keeping in line with what to look for when choosing a home inspector for your needs is to ask family, friends, colleagues, or neighbors for a referral. But don’t simply rely on them, make sure you also research before hiring a home inspection so you get the one right for you,
You can also ask your real estate agent for a referral since he/she works with such folks regularly. Many agents have inspectors who they know will pass homes on inspections even when there are issues so be on your guard. In the end, you want to find an inspector who isn’t associated with an agent involved in the home selling process when asking about what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
There are other ways to find home inspectors via the Internet that offers a plethora of information about individuals and businesses. Search the home inspector's website, too, and peruse the reviews, from other customers. Various websites may post reviews about professional home inspectors or check out the Better Business Bureau. The BBB keeps track of complaints, and how individual companies respond to complaints. All fine points and important on your checklist when embarking on what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
As you weigh home inspector choices, ask about any of the information you have unearthed when you speak to the various home inspectors you contact. Are they licensed? How long have they been in business? Do they have references you can contact? What training programs or certifications do their inspectors hold? Can you be at the inspection? How long will the inspection last and when will the final report be available. Don’t be afraid to ask these things when you are searching for what to look for when choosing a home inspector.
Remember one inspector might not be all you need to hire depending on the type of inspection you are looking for as you may need the expertise of several when you begin seeking what to look for when choosing a home inspector. For example, the inspector most qualified to do the basic inspection might not be able to do a thorough mold inspection. Thus, you will need more than one inspector to get comprehensive results from the final inspection reports.
Skip Repairmen, Contractors
Be on high alert as some companies will say they can perform inspections and offer repair services when you are asking what to look for when choosing a home inspector. While some inspectors will offer tips on how to remedy any needed repairs, the person doing the home inspection should not be a repairman or contractor.
It’s also important to ask if the hired inspector will stand behind their inspection? The premise of hiring a home inspector to inspect during the home buying process is to ensure there aren’t any lurking or completely hidden issues that could result in home repairs later.
During your interaction with various inspectors as you begin asking what to look for when choosing a home inspector, enquire from each one if they will guarantee their inspection reports. Any reputable inspector should offer a guarantee without any objection to do so if they are on the up and up.
In conclusion, take time to search and hire the right home inspector for your needs when you are beginning to ask what to look for when choosing a home inspector. The cost of a qualified home inspector to inspect before you buy the home will hopefully pay off in the long run. If a home inspection report shows problems within the home when all is said and done, you may be able to use the cost of any repairs as negotiating leverage to reduce the home’s asking price. The more you know, the better off you will be before signing on the dotted line.