Why It is Important to Know How to Find and Choose a Home Inspector
Of all the many experts involved in the home buying process, the home inspector is probably the most underrated. Remember, you’re buying a house filled with unknowns, and so making a home inspector your best friend can save you a lot of money. A home inspector can highlight any flaws in the property and inform you before the deal is closed.
Some buyers decide to go without a home inspection. Others get the inspection done but ignore the recommendations from their inspector. Don’t be any of these people. Hire a home inspector, read their report carefully, and act on their recommendations. This is the only way to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
But What Exactly Do Home Inspectors Do?
The job of a home inspector is to determine the condition of the various components of a home. When doing a home inspection, inspectors are trying to determine its livability, safety, and usability of its systems. A reputable home inspector will do a proper home inspection, and then give a written report regarding every major aspect of the home, including:
· Gutters and downspouts
· Plumbing (toilets and sinks included) and electric systems
· Structural elements (basement, foundation) and any physical flaws caused by structural issues
· Windows and doors
· Water or pest damage signs
· Water heater, furnace, and air conditioning
· Toxic elements, such as mold, lead paint or asbestos
After inspecting the home, inspectors will give you a detailed report. The report is usually in the form of a checklist, so it can be easy to check whether all areas have been inspected. It will include any deficiencies requiring you to take appropriate actions.
These actions might also include looking for additional inspection from specialists such as plumbers, roofers, or electricians. In some cases, the inspector will highlight the repairs that need to be done.
Why Going with the First Referral by Your Realtor is a Bad Idea
If you’re working with a realtor, you should think twice before going with their inspector referral. Why say this? Some realtors might prefer an inspector who’s reluctant to highlight any flaws in the house. Such an inspector will be good for the realtor but not right for you as a home buyer.
You’d rather get referrals from other homebuyers. The idea is to get an inspector who works for your interests and not the other way round.
Questions to Ask the Home Inspector
You deserve the best from your inspector and so don’t fear to ask any questions you might have. They can be about:
Most home buyers are concerned about home inspection costs. However, you should keep in mind that the amount you pay for a home inspection will determine the quality of services you get. Many inspection companies charge you a small fee and skip many vital steps during the home inspection. This can be very bad for the buyer and you may end up paying more than the amount you saved when you opted for cheap inspectors.
Consider what you want from home inspection before deciding whether a quotation is cheap or expensive.
Let your inspector tell you how long they have been inspecting homes. Unfortunately, the home inspection is an open field where people from various backgrounds claim to be home inspectors. There is no well-defined way to determine a qualified inspector.
But, it is important to confirm whether the inspector is a member of the National Society of Home Inspectors (NSHI) or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). If the inspector is a member of any of these organizations, then their inspection job is not a side gig.
A good inspector should also have a website, so be sure to check them out. Also, check their professional stationery and business cards to determine whether they are in full-time business.
To be sure that the inspector is worth their salt, be sure to ask them whether they have experience inspecting the kind of property you plan to buy. Some inspectors specialize in specific types of properties.
Since you’re buying a residential home, you’d surely not want an inspector specializing in commercial properties or apartment buildings.
Your Presence During Inspection
This is very important. If you have time, we’d suggest you be present during the home inspection. Here, you’ll see what the inspector is looking at and ask questions. If the home inspector is opposed to this, then you need to look for another inspector.