Tips To Find The Best Home Inspection Company
Reading For Reviews
As highlighted earlier that going for reviews will give an effective idea of how the company is working, you can check different review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. for the company’s profile. Any legit business would have their online profile set up, which will be given reviews from the customers that have experienced their expertise first hand. In such manner, you can get an idea regarding how the brand has worked previously and are the claims that they make true or just a scam.
How They Work
When it comes to finding a reliable home inspector, you need to make sure that they are working competently. This involves transparency in the overall proceeding as well as communication throughout the process. There are some contractors that don’t involve the clients with them during the inspection process. This makes the inspection process ambiguous, making the inspector unreliable.
You don’t want to have a contractor that won’t be able to give accurate and efficient reports. In case you want to have radon testing, and it turns out that the one you’ve hired isn’t offering such services, your investment is most likely to go in vain. Hence, it’s very much important to communicate with your home inspector regarding the services they offer.
One of the most important factors to consider while hiring any home inspector is their cost. Many can claim that they offer significant services but their costs should be evaluated too. You don’t want to have an inspector that will leave your budget disturbed. It’s not going to bother asking for a quote, and there are brands that provide free quotes too. Hence, for their costs; it is likely that they would even offer discounts on their services.
There are sometimes when you hire a contractor that fulfills the requirement for a license, online profile, etc. but fail to illustrate adequate knowledge. This can be seen when they are using old equipment, unaware of the appliances being used in the house or even using inefficient ways of testing. Hence, hire someone that has the knowledge of the latest tools and knows how to work properly.
A home inspection checklist for buyers
“There is a potential, if it’s an older house, that [there] could have been a septic system,” Turner says. “There have been instances where a septic system has been abandoned and, over time, it created a cave-in.” He says he saw one example where the system collapsed, swallowing a child’s play set. So, you need to find out if there was a septic system. Along with that, even sewer pipes can be damaged by tree roots. They should be checked out, too, and that can be done with a snake.
Lead paint is mostly an issue with older houses, particularly when you replace old windows. With old metal windows, there’s the potential for lead, Turner says. “If we get the feeling that there could be the potential for lead paint, we would recommend a lead paint testing company.”
Turner says to make sure they’re venting to the outside. Even up to 15 years ago, people were building townhouses with systems that vented into the attic, which can cause mold.
“For homebuyers considering a home built before 1980, it’s worth asking a home inspector if they have frequently worked with asbestos and can make a reasonable judgment about whether disturbed asbestos fibers are present based on a visual inspection,” Bruno says.
Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but it is radioactive and carcinogenic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends all homes be tested for the presence of radon. Before a home inspection, a potential home buyer can ask the seller if they have already tested for radon, Bruno says. Sellers often test their homes before placing them up for sale, so recent test results may be available during the closing process. If not, radon tests are reasonably priced, around $40, and the test results can be processed in a matter of days.
How to Find A Home Inspector Who Won’t Drive You Crazy
The main job of a home inspector is to figure out if a home and its components are safe and in good working condition.
In almost all cases, the sale of your home will be contingent upon the home inspection. After a buyer makes an offer on a home, it’s their job to choose a home inspector and line up the inspection in order for the sale and negotiations to move forward. Typically the buyer’s real estate agent will coordinate finding the inspector or call on someone they’ve used in the past and trust.
As a homeowner, you can do background research on the home inspector your buyer selected. You also have the option to hire a home inspector yourself for a pre-inspection to get ahead on any material defects that might come up later.
If you’re selling an older home, a pre-inspection can save you from any big surprises down the line. However, a pre-inspection can also open a can of worms, and it means you have to disclose whatever you find to buyers before they make an offer.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, issues that threaten health and safety shouldn’t be brushed under the rug, so home inspectors need to be on their game.
Home Inspection Tips For Buyers & Sellers
How To Find The Right Home Inspector
It is a sad truth, but a reality, nonetheless: not all home inspectors are created equal—some are unequivocally better than others. That said, you’ll want to make sure you take the appropriate steps to find an inspector that works for you. Here’s a detailed list of the steps you should take to find an inspector:
- Choose someone who wants you present: A great home inspector will want the homeowner to accompany them throughout the process of the inspection. That way, the owner gets the most out of the experience, rather than just looking at a report at the end.
- Look at a sample report: Speaking of reports, the quality of the inspection report will also serve as a good indicator. Many inspection agencies offer a sample report on their website, so you can check for clarity, formatting and whether or not they include photos.
- Go through review sites: Yelp, Google, Review and Angie’s List continue to be great places to check for customer reviews. In addition to good ratings, a great company will often engage with customers and address concerns.
- Ask about experience and certifications: Interview the inspector regarding their work history, if they have any certifications, as well as if they belong to any professional organizations. This information can help you get a sense of their level of professionalism and commitment to their industry.
- Verify their license and insurance: This should go without saying, but one should always double-check that contractors they hire have the required licensing and insurance. Good contractors will often provide copies of these items without your having to ask.
- Ask if there is an extra fee for additional items: If you have any areas to inspect that are not usually included in an inspection, such as a septic system or foundation problems, find out if the inspector will charge an extra fee.
How to Find a Good Home Inspector
Can You Be Your Own Home Inspector?
Yes, but it’s probably a bad idea. For one thing, you probably lack the qualifications and experience needed to locate every potential defect. For another, it will be nearly impossible for you to objectively evaluate the property because you have an emotional, as well as a financial, stake, in the outcome.
Attend the Inspection Yourself.
A good home inspector will be happy to have you tag along, and will talk you through every issue as it’s investigated. As long as you’re physically fit enough to climb onto roofs and crawl through basements, you should plan to be present during the inspection to ensure that nothing is overlooked and to ask questions.
Learn What the Inspection Does and Does Not Include
The average home inspection is a “visual only” affair. The inspector will spend three to four hours scanning for visual clues that something is amiss. What he or she will not do is dismantle the water pump to check for hidden defects or tear off pieces of drywall to look for mold.
Ask about Qualifications
As a rule, do not consider a candidate who doesn’t have a background in the building trades – or who isn’t knowledgeable about the HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other infrastructure elements critical to a home’s health and functionality. Former tradesmen and general contractors are often your best bets.
Find Someone Who Can Be Unbiased
Because inspections are often an afterthought, it’s common for buyers to simply ask their realtors for referrals. In theory (and usually in practice), there’s nothing wrong with this. However, this could create a conflict of interest. An inspector who relies on a realtor for new business might feel pressured into overlooking minor problems in the interest of helping the realtor close the deal.