Buying a new home comes with a lot of added costs but skipping a home inspection is not a good idea. Doing so can leave you stuck at the bottom of a money pit. Even if your lender isn’t requiring you to have one done – or you think you can do it yourself – it is a very risky move. You may find yourself paying too much for a house that is in need of pricey repairs. On top of that, there may be structural issues that can pose serious health risks, safety risks or building code violations. Problems like these can put you in the red very quickly. Home inspection reports also uncover any defects that you can use to renegotiate for a better price or walk away from the deal if you choose without losing your deposit. Unfortunately, there are those that will claim they are a home inspector when in reality they are not competent or even qualified to perform one. JMark Inspections offers helpful tips for what to look for when hiring a home inspector.
Tips to Choose a Good Home Inspection Company
1. Make sure the home inspector is certified. Find your inspector by using the websites of trade organizations and cross-check them with online referral and reviews. Having membership in one of these associations means they have undergone a testing and certification process. They also adhere to professional standards and ethics and undergo continuing education.
2. Make sure the home inspector can be unbiased. You can create a conflict of interest if you rely on your realtor to recommend an inspector. That inspector may overlook minor problems to help their friend, the realtor, close the deal. Major problems won’t be overlooked due to liability and reputation, but minor problems can turn into major problems quickly.
3. Make sure the home inspector is qualified. You need to hire an inspector that has a background in the building trades and knows his stuff when it comes to electrical, plumbing and HAVC systems. They should also have knowledge about other infrastructure elements that are critical to the health and functionality of the home. Inquire about the background and experience they have, how many home inspections they have done and ask for proof of licensure and certification.
4. Learn exactly what’s included in the home inspection. The inspector will spend three to four hours at your home scanning for visual clues that something isn’t right. They will not take anything apart to look for hidden problems. Inspections for mold, radon or termites will likely increase the cost of the inspection. Ask upfront you so you know exactly what your inspection is covering for the price you’re paying.
5. Be present at the home inspection. Any reputable home inspector will be more than happy to have you at the inspection. Being there allows you to ask questions and to ensure nothing gets overlooked. You also want to make sure the inspector agrees to get the report to the right people within 24 hours.