Six Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Home Inspector
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Shouldn't that decision be an informed one? A thorough inspection by an experienced home inspector just makes sense. But how do you sift through the large pool of available inspectors to find the right one? Here are six questions to ask before hiring a home inspector:
- The state of California does not license home inspectors- anyone can claim to be one. The inspector should have membership in a reputable state or national inspector association. (Beware of online organizations where membership is obtained by simply paying a fee!). Membership in a professional organization ensures the inspector will meet strict guidelines and follow a code of ethics. And don't just take the inspector's word for it! You can verify my membership in CREIA by clicking on the logo.
2. How experienced are you?
- Ask how many years the inspector has been performing inspections. How many homes has the inspector personally inspected? Is this a full-time occupation, or a part-time hobby? Will the inspector you're talking to be the one doing the inspection?
3. Are you fully insured?
- Obtain proof of the inspector's E&O (Errors & Omissions) and general liability insurance. It would shock most home buyers and Realtors to know how many inspectors operate without insurance!
4. How long will the inspection take?
- A professional inspection of an average house takes three to four hours to complete unless there are multiple inspectors.
5. When will I receive my inspection report?
- There are various types of reports given by professional inspectors. Stay away from the hand-written, carbon copy reports that are difficult to read. With today's technology, most quality reports are computer-generated. Ask if the report will include photos- they help the reader understand the issues in the report. The inspector should be able to have a report generated within 24 hours. My reports are always completed the same day as the inspection.
6. How much will the inspection cost?
- Home inspection costs can vary dramatically depending on the location, size, and age of the home. Be cautious of low-price leaders- you will usually get what you pay for! Just one missed item during an inspection may end up costing a lot more than the amount you saved by using a cheaper, inexperienced inspector. Your new home is a large investment. Remember, a quality home inspection is never expensive- it is priceless!
These are the six questions to ask before hiring a home inspector. If you ask them, you will be able to make an informed decision. Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections and is a CREIA MCI inspector. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.
Steve Stenros, MCI
Master CREIA Inspector #0115
ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439
Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791
FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975
203k Consultant #S0611
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