You have finally done it! You have a house under contract and you’re doing the paperwork to get your mortgage booted. If your Realtor calls to ask you who you want to use for your home inspection, you freeze.
Your brain has to go back and repeat that part. You get to pick your own home inspector? How do you go about doing that?
Choosing a home inspector isn’t a hard procedure, but as usual, we have tips that will help you make it easier.
When you don’t have an existing relationship with a home inspector, your Realtor will probably present you with a list of pros that they recommend highly.
Even though time is of the essence because your inspection interval is moving away, you can quickly assess each recommended inspector to find the one that’s right for the home purchase. After all, not each inspector can be an expert in every type of construction or area. You will need the person who best fits your purchase!
Now, for some helpful tips!
Check that all potential inspectors are members of a reputable home inspector association.
InterNACHI and ASHI are the two largest. ASHI, for instance has been accrediting home inspectors for more than 40 years and demands that inspectors finish at least 250 inspections before they can call themselves”certified.”
It is a top achievement for a home inspector, and a confidence builder for their clientele. You want someone who is ready to do the job and go the extra mile. Your new mortgage isn’t chump change, so it’s important that you go in with your eyes open.
Ask What Inspections they Perform
Some home inspectors only do a general home inspection, which can be fine if you’re not afraid of that 15 year old air conditioner condenser. But because home inspectors come from all areas of the construction business, some have specific expertise that can be helpful in finding problems that you probably did not notice when you walked into the house of your dreams.
Have they Scrutinized Houses Like Yours?
There’s a big, huge difference between a brand new house and one constructed in 1904. Not only are construction techniques very different, the sort of strange upgrades that may have been made into the older home would never be viewed in a newer house. An inspector that has little to no experience with a house like yours may flag things wrong that are actually quite typical for a home of that age. You don’t want to get your inspection back and panic because your inspector held an older house to a newer standard, for example.
Do they provide photographs inside their reports?
There’s no standard format for a home inspection report, even though there are a limited number of software packages for inspection companies. They have a good deal of options, such as providing optional photos of trouble spots or other items the inspector may feel needs pointing out.
If your potential home inspector doesn’t provide photos, it can be hard for you to monitor potential problems or for future pros to find and fix the issues pointed out. Photos are absolutely a must-have.
How Soon Can They Come Out?
It may appear to be a silly question, but you’re very likely working with a limited window of time to ask for repairs. That means the sooner your new home inspector can get out, the better. It takes several hours to finish a home inspection, as well as time to compile the report and send it to your agent.
You also never know when you are going to need an additional specialty inspection of systems like your HVAC, roof, foundation and so forth. If you are down to a final cut and one can come out tomorrow and the remainder can’t until the next week, it’s not a hard call.