Seventy-seven percent of home buyers had a home inspection done last year. Why wouldn’t everyone want a home inspection? An example would be a contractor doing a fix and flip. The contractor may have already gone through the home, felt that it was structurally sound, plans on gutting it, and therefore does need a home inspection. The rest of us get a home inspection and it’s always a good idea to do so, but there are some tips to making sure you get a good one.
1) Always hire a licensed inspector. At least you will be able to have some comfort knowing that they had to pass a core competency test on home inspection to conduct their trade. You can look for licensed professionals with the ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) badge or NAHI (the National Association of Home Inspectors) license.
2) Always ask upfront about costs and shop around. Find out what is included with a home inspection and what’s not. In Colorado, most companies charge an extra fee for a radon test. Some states don’t have an issue with radon so it’s not even a part of their services. Also, ask if their services and inspection carry any type of guarantee.
3) The average inspection for a home should take a couple of hours and even longer for large homes or older homes. Ask the technicians when you will get their report, and how it is delivered (fax, mail, email).
4) Always be present at the inspection. Most inspectors don’t want you to follow them around from room to room. Most prefer to do their job quickly and efficiently and then sit down with you at the end to discuss what they have found. That’s also the best time to break out your list of questions.
5) Finally, if you have more questions after you receive your report, don’t be afraid to contact your inspector for follow up. One cautionary note: everyone wants to know how much things are going to cost to repair. Some inspectors will give you that advice, but most are going to tell you to get a written estimate from a tradesman.