Your professional home inspector should be using the latest tools – such as a laser thermometer, moisture meter, GFCI electrical testers, etc.
Newer technology such as these will uncover “hidden signs of damage and potential problems that might otherwise go undetected. Hand-held computers with the best report writing software, like “Inspect It”, is a must.
The inspector should be able to climb ladders for the roof inspections, walk around attics and enter crawl spaces under houses for a close up view of potential problems.
You would be surprised to learn how many inspectors do not get on the roof or walk in attic or crawl spaces.
A complete home inspections should take around 3 to 4 hours, anything less and you’re just getting a drive by inspection. Ask the home inspector how long they will be onsite.
A thorough 400 plus point inspection is essential to be sure you are getting a complete inspection; focusing on identifying fore, health, safety, deferred cost and maintenance items.
Having a home inspected is like a physical check-up. If serious problems or symptoms are found, inspectors may recommend further evaluation.
Many home inspectors book too many inspections at one time and cannot allocate enough time to provide you with a thorough inspection.
Your home inspection report should describe the condition of the visually examined structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundations – together with a large number of photographs for your review. It should cover 400 plus items to be a comprehensive inspection report. A summary page should be included that details the main items of importance to help you negotiate repairs and/or price.
The report should be delivered in a PDF electronic format within 24 hours of the inspection date so you can quickly move forward with your next step and meet contract deadlines.
Ask for a sample inspection report so you’ll know what to expect and be sure your inspector can provide you with a report within 24 hours.
Did the inspector attend one of the top home inspection schools like the American Home Inspectors Training (AHIT) or just a correspondence course with no formal hands on training?
Certifications are important. It is the combination of experience, education and training that make the difference in the competency of your home inspector.
Is the home inspector a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), following their standards of practice and code of ethics?
Comprehensive, continuing education and training is a must!
Certifications let everyone know that the inspector can pass a test, not that they can inspect a home properly. Therefore, find out your inspectors credentials and which organizations and standards they are a part of and follow.
Think of the inspection cost as an investment. If you want a professional home inspection for one of the largest purchases of your life, you will want and experienced one by your side. The home inspector works for you and has your best interest at heart.
Inspectors that charge less, know less, do less and inspect less, typically do not carry the technology, tools, knowledge and experience that are necessary to complete a comprehensive inspection.
ERIC ROBB is the owner and Professional Home Inspector at www.Illuminating-Home-Inspections.com. License # HI-1031. Eric is a member of the Real Estate Investors of Northwest Arkansas, follows the ASHI Standards and Code of Ethics, and is an associate member of the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors.