How to choose a home inspector
I have heard this question asked many times about choosing a home inspector, I can only add my perspective. The first thing I would look at is his/her experience in general. Does he/she have a background in construction? How much home inspection specific education does he have? Is the inspector just an inspector, meaning does he have other qualifications ie) Certified Master Inspector (CMI). IAC2 mold or radon accreditations showing his/her integrity to the profession and not just settling as an inspector.
Does the home inspector perform any other ancillary services like lead testing, termite testing, asbestos testing, again these show the inspector is updated and experienced? Infrared scans (thermography) are they free with the inspection or an ancillary added cost? When offered, infrared services are a large commitment both financially and educationally by the home inspector again showing his commitment to the profession.
Is the home inspector affiliated with any associations, how long? Is there a contract to sign, will you get a copy of the inspectors Standard of Practice which outlines what is and is not inspected. Is the inspector bound by a code of ethics?
Will you receive a written narrative report including pictures and does the inspector go over his findings onsite after his inspection?
E and O insurance again another big financial commitment.
Remember that a home inspector will not grade the house but present his findings and answer your questions. Finally, the best thing you can do for yourself is your homework, look for an inspector before you buy and don’t let price be the only deciding factor. Research the internet, friends, family, lawyer, and ask about the report. Only a report that has pictures within the report that are annotated should be acceptable, not a tick report and a binder full of fluff.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is, make the inspector your choice, not one that is chosen for you out of a select few, it is your financial investment that is at stake! Remember buying a house is an emotional time, so don’t be backed into a corner to close the deal.
Take a breath:
I always tell clients that I want them to have 24 hours to read the agreement and standard of practice so they know what they are getting. Most agreements and standards of practice are very similar, but take the time to read it. Now that I have given you a bit of basic knowledge, go find that house!
More tips to come soon!
I hope this helps and good house hunting!