Five Things to Know When Hiring a Home Inspector
You just bought your new house…now it’s time to hire a home inspector. You want to make sure your new home is as wonderful as you think it is. Your Realtor may give you several names, or you may decide to go online to find a good home inspector. Wow, there are so many choices! How do you make sure you are making the right choice? The following will help you make the correct decision.
1. FIELD EXPERIENCE The majority of home inspectors have some kind of construction background, (or, they should). If the inspector was a journeyman plumber, that is great. However, what does he know about the other components of the home? There are so many parts to a home that the inspector should be familiar with. A former general contractor would make a great background for a home inspector. The inspectors past experience should be a major consideration before being making your decision.
2. KNOWLEDGE OF THE AREA: Every state has conditions or practices unique to that specific area. It makes sense to hire an inspector that has been in the area for some time. This knowledge will be of great value if the soils under the home have the ability to impact the structural integrity of the home. One should always determine how familiar the inspector is with the area your new home is located in.
3. INSPECTION REPORT: A good inspection report should cover all the critical components of the home. Pictures speak a thousand words. A good report will include pictures to help understand what is there. The old carbon copy report, with check boxes, does not meet today’s standard for inspection reports. In today’s high tech world, the report should be delivered electronically, in a timely fashion.
4. POSITIVE REVIEWS: It is so easy to find other peoples reviews about home inspectors. Check to see what others have posted. Typically, an on-line review is only given when the customer is truly satisfied. (Or not!) Always look at what other people are saying
5. ACCREDITATIONS: There are several home inspection associations in the USA. Some are merely diploma mills, where if you pay for their online classes you can be “Certified” in no time. Others have more rigorous requirements. The oldest and most respected organization is ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors.) An ASHI Certified Inspector is considered the “Gold Standard” for inspector certifications. By choosing an ASHI Inspector or Associate, you can be assured the inspector knows what he is doing.
By considering these items when hiring a home inspector, it should make the selection much easier. A pretty web site does not mean the inspector is truly qualified to inspect the biggest investment of your life!
When looking for a Greater Metro St Louis or a St Charles home inspector please contact Tom Bossard of Heartland Inspection Services.
If you happen to be looking for a Colorado Springs home inspector please feel free to contact my fellow ASHI member, Steve Willis. Steve offers his home inspections in Colorado Springs and surrounding locations.