Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring A Home Inspector
Buying a home requires a significant investment and knowing the condition of the house you are considering will help you make an informed decision. As a potential homebuyer without any formal training, you may not be able to spot faults in the structure or mechanism of a house which is why enlisting the services of an experienced home inspector become important.
A home inspector can point out faults in a home that will need to be addressed to ensure that the home is functioning safely and efficiently. In addition, if major faults are discovered, you can bargain with the seller and renegotiate the price or have the seller pay for the repairs. You can also back out of the purchase if the repair costs are too high.
However, with so many home inspectors out there, selecting a reliable, and qualified professional isn’t easy. To help quicken and simplify your search, here’s a list of the top five things to look for in a home inspector.
First and foremost, the home inspector should work exclusively for you. They are your first line of defense in making a poor home purchase decision, and they come at a fraction of the cost of your realtor. Along with integrity, ensure that they are guaranteed. Most home inspectors certified through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) provide a ‘Buy Back Guarantee’ where if you find anything they miss within ninety days of closing, InterNACHI will buy your home back at the full purchase price. This aspect should give you some peace of mind at no extra cost.
2. Client reviews.
Most inspectors have websites or some online presence. Look for an inspector that maintains a very high customer service rating. While inspection prices may be one consideration, I usually tell my clients that most people do not shop for medical care based solely on price, so why should you for a professional home inspection? Dirt cheap does not equate to top-level performance in the home inspection industry.
In West Virginia, every licensed home inspector is required to attend and pass an eighty-hour hands-on class, pass the national home inspector examination test, carry at least $250,000 in insurance, and take at least sixteen hours of continuing education annually. In Ohio, there are zero requirements to be a home inspector other than having a business license. Check the credentials of the person or company you are considering to make sure you’re getting the best-qualified personnel for your money.
4. Experience and services.
Depending on the property you are considering purchasing, there may be a well for supply water, a septic system, possible microbial growth issues, a swimming pool, known area of radon, and so on. If one or more of these items may be in the mix, look for an experienced inspector that can test for or have analyzed the additional items. Typically you will get a break on the overall price since the inspector will already be at the property for the home inspection anyway. Bundling the services saves you both money and time since separate trips do not have to be made in order to get samples or perform tests.
Buying a house is a stressful process especially for first time home buyers. A quality home inspection is designed to help put your mind at rest, knowing exactly what you’re purchasing. Look for an inspector who is communicative, and you enjoy talking and having you around. Ideally, you should attend at least the last part of the inspection and receive a walking tour and explanation of everything uncovered during the inspection. Be wary of inspectors that are not willing to spend time with you and answer questions. They may not quite know what they’re talking about.
If you’re looking for a home inspector in West Virginia and Ohio, reach out to Leading Edge Home Inspections, LLC. I take home inspections very seriously. Apart from being qualified as an engineer and handling jobs in project management, I am thorough when inspecting your house. I strive to help you sleep at night knowing that the property you’re buying or selling is accurately represented and that you’re making confident decisions based on facts and not opinions. To learn more about the services I offer, please click here. To get in touch with me, please click here.