Choosing an Inspector
You have found the home of your dreams. One of the most critical components of the buying process is the inspection. How do you find the right inspector? An inspector must have a full working knowledge of every system in a home. Most inspectors had formal training in just one trade. A good inspector has cross-trained in all relevant trades. The more knowledgeable inspectors started out with a degree in a field such as engineering or architecture that provides a broad background in general construction or they may even be trained to operate as a general contractor. A good inspector cannot acquire sufficient knowledge by taking a few courses or reading a book. A good rule of thumb is to look for a minimum of fifteen years of combined formal training and on-the-job experience in related fields.
The best inspection referrals come from someone you personally know who was satisfied with their own inspection experience. Many real estate professionals know quality inspectors but it can be considered a conflict of interest in some situations. It is always best to ask for references from past clients, preferably from several years past. When dealing with an inspection company who has a reputation to consider, ask for an inspector with experience.
Make sure that the inspector has errors and omissions insurance and general liability insurance. It is to your advantage that your inspector has this coverage. Do not be afraid to ask for a copy of the policies.
A good inspection should last more than two hours. Arrange for the first or second inspection of the day. Performing a good inspection is tiring, so it is likely the inspector will do a better job if it is the first or second of the day.
Your home inspection is not an area where you should cut corners. Several hundred dollars is a small price to pay when you are about to make one of the biggest purchases of your life. Obviously, the better inspectors charge a higher price.
Ask about the type of report that will follow your inspection.. An inspection should include a signed report that describes what was inspected and the condition of each inspected item. Some inspectors use a checklist type of form with stock responses. Other inspectors simply provide a written description of the conditions found. A modern alternative to these are computer-generated reports. The best of these are generated by advanced home inspection software systems and include comments specific to each home. An important question to ask is, “When do I get the report?” The checklist type and the handwritten type are usually delivered to you on-site. Computer-generated reports are also available on-site from a few inspectors who bring a portable computer to the job. Otherwise, the inspector mails the report. You may want to know up front how long you can expect to wait for it.
Source: Tips for Choosing a Home Inspector.” Tips for Choosing a Home Inspector. Web. 25 Nov. 2012
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