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How to choose a home inspector

 

How To Find The
Best Home Inspector

 

 

So you found your dream home,
Now what?

 

As soon as you receive an accepted offer, it is time to schedule your Home Inspection!

By law, your Realtor must provide you with at least 2-3 Home Inspection Companies to choose from. They are not allowed to influence your decision beyond that. Most often these are Home Inspectors they have used in the past. That does not always mean that they are the best Home Inspector for you. Keep in mind, your Realtor is hoping to close the deal smoothly and collect a commission. The Home Inspectors the Realtor gives you are probably not the worst home inspectors either, remember, even though the Realtor wants the deal to go smooth and easy, they do not want a home inspector who will miss something BIG that can come back on them for referring the inspector. You on the other hand, want to be sure you know everything you can about the home. You have a large investment to protect, and you and your family need to feel safe in your new home.

So how do you decide? You can look for Home Inspectors on the internet, or ask a friend or family that has had a Home Inspection done by a licensed Home Inspector. You also have the companies your Realtor has provided. But… before you make that first call, prepare your questions and keep in mind 2 things. First, do not hire a Home Inspector on price alone. Do not hire someone fresh out of home inspection school, they may have a license, but to be able to inspect a home they need lots in the field training from a seasoned inspector. You know the saying "You get what you pay for!" When it comes to home inspectors, most of the time that is true. The cheapest guy is probably not the best choice, because they are so cheap, they can't afford to take the time to do a thorough inspection, answer your questions, and write a report that you will understand or they are so new that they will work for next to nothing to try get experience. Do you want your new home to be where they practice? Because someone charges a lot more does not mean they are the best either. Usually somewhere in the middle is where you will find the best inspectors. Second, if they don’t answer when you call, or return your call quickly, most likely they won’t answer when you have important questions later! If they can not do anything but a basic home inspection, you will have to find someone else to do additional inspections later if needed.

 

So how do you choose the right home inspector?

 

Some Basic Questions To Ask:

 

  • Do they have a Home Inspection License?

     

    You would be surprised at how many inspectors try to operate without a license.

     

  • Are they nationally certified? (e.g. InterNACHI)

     

    Inspectors that are nationally certified are held to a higher standard. They have to pass a national exam, not just a state exam. Every year they must complete additional educational courses so they will be trained in latest building techniques and processes.

     

  • Do they have any reviews or references from other clients?

     

    Inspectors that show references most likely have been in business a while. They know how to deal with problems should one come up. Inspectors with good reviews should give you a sense of comfort. If you ask, they may even be able to put you in contact with the person who gave the review so you can speak with them directly.

     

  • Do they actually get on the roof to inspect it properly?

     

    According to the standards of practice inspectors do not have to get on roofs, in most cases they do not have to enter attics, or enter crawlspaces. Some of the best inspectors will go way beyond just the standard or minimal requirements to provide an exceptional inspection.

     

  • Are they certified to perform other inspections you may need? ( WDO/Termite, Wind Mitigation, Pool & Spa )

     

    As mentioned earlier, inspectors that are not trained or certified to perform these additional inspections will leave you searching for another inspector at later time in the event you happen to need one to close your deal. Also, without training in these areas how do you know they did not miss something. After all, even if the inspector performing your inspection is not actually doing a termite inspection, there is good chance he will be able to alert you to the possibility of termites because he is trained to recognize what they look like.

     

  • How quickly will you receive your report?

     

    Inspectors that give you the report at the end of the inspection might sound great, but they haven't taken the time to think about the findings, research possible issues, address any concerns or questions you may have after the inspection. Inspectors that take 2-3 days to get you the report are not any good either. Taking to long may put you at or past your inspection objection deadline, to late for you to make an educated decision. It also may not give ample time to have a specialist or contractor evaluate an issue that was found during the inspection. The better inspectors will generally have the report to you within 24 hours after the inspection has been completed.

     

  • And finally, what will the Home Inspection cost?

     

    I can not stress this enough. BUYER BEWARE! cheaper is not always the best. One inspector might charge $300 whereas another might charge $150 for the same inspection. A home is the biggest most expensive purchase you will ever make. Is a $150 really worth risking something not being found. Quite often that is exactly what happens, something is missed. If $150 is that important to you, maybe save the money and skip the inspection, because if the cheap guy misses something, you just payed him to do what you could have done... miss something. You won't hesitate to spend $150 to upgrade to a bigger TV, to add an extra feature when buying a car, buy a little something special on your next vacation. So why not hire the better inspector, your house will still be there after the car, TV, and souvenir have gone away.

     

 

We hope this information has been helpful. We also hope you will give us a call, we would be glad to answer your questions and schedule your next Home Inspection. 407-878-7808

 

'AS always we are here for you before, during and after each Inspection!'

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