What to Look For in a Home InspectorPosted by Steve Minino on Monday, January 21st, 2013 at 10:45am.
A home inspection is a critical part of buying a home, but how do you choose who to hire? While you can look online or in the phone book, the best way is to get a referral from someone who's worked with a local inspector in the past and had a positive experience. Ask friends, family, and of course your real estate agent, who can suggest potential home inspectors to interview. When you've collected a few names, it's important to learn more about each home inspector, to find the right one for you. You'll want someone who:
- Performs home inspections as their full-time job.
- Is licensed if your state requires licensing. You can check to see which states require licensing here.
- Has been an inspector for at least a few years. You don't want someone who's inexperienced to be in charge of such an important part of what's likely to be the largest investment of your life.
- Has training and practical experience in home building. This component is critical, as you want someone who really understands the functioning of a home's various systems, and how they work together.
- Carries insurance.
- Is affiliated with nationally-recognized organizations like the National Association of Home Inspectors.
- Will provide you with a detailed written report rather than a generic checklist.
- Uses the most up-to-date technology such as electrical testers, moisture meters, infrared thermometers, digital cameras, and continuous radon monitors.
- Is happy to provide you with references.
- Is prepared to devote enough time to the inspection. A thorough home inspection will typically take about 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the home.
Once you've interviewed a few candidates, it's time to make a choice. Don't automatically go with the person who offers the cheapest rates unless that person also has a really solid background and references. You want to make sure the person you hire is going to do a good job; this isn't an area you want to skimp on.
--written for the Hopkins Home Team
Steve Minino - Realtor, CRENHopkins Minino Home Team
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