Home Inspection - Home Inspectors - 15 Questions To Ask
Home Inspection Necessity
Thousands of new and resale homes are sold and bought every day. Purchasing a resale home means essentially buying a house “as is”. So how do you know if you’ve chosen a solid home or one ready to crumble? Just as you would use a mechanic to check whether you’ve bought a good car, so too should you do a home inspection, when buying any home, resale or new to ascertain its value.
After consistently finding themselves on the losing end of a bad real estate deal, because they purchased their dream home without a home inspection, house buyers are beginning to realize the value, importance and necessity of doing home inspections, as part of buying a house; just as necessary as using a Realtor and a lawyer.
Home Inspection Unregulated
However, the home inspection business is unregulated by government by-laws. This means just about anyone can call themselves a home inspector. This frustrating fact can make choosing a good home inspector very difficult.
What, for example, if the home inspector you choose is shady, or if he/she doesn’t have the slightest knowledge of electrical systems, or doesn't have enough inspection experience required to properly assess the structural condition of the home, or doesn't advise you about any visible problems that are occurring with the house you wish to purchase. Those and other scary scenarios could possibly have you buying a home overrun with major renovation problems, because you were erroneously told that the home is in good condition.
Home Inspection Organizations
That's where home inspection organizations come into play, to help homeowners find good, qualified, independent, home inspectors for residential home inspections. These organizations oversee the practice standards, training, qualifications and code of ethics of their member home inspectors, assuring qualified and ethical inspectors who will provide standard reports based on the organization's guidelines.
As well, each house inspection organization, and its provincial divisions, provides a listing of its members, making it really easy for you to locate a certified home inspector.
However, a home inspection organization will not recommend a specific home inspector nor will they suggest any home inspection services. That's left up to you to choose.
Besides home inspection organizations, there are many home inspection services with qualified home inspectors who are not part of an organization offering home inspections. With these types of home inspection services, you must do thorough research to ensure you are getting a very capable inspector with proper qualifications and experience.
Home Inspector Questions
Having access to certified inspectors through reputable home inspections organizations still doesn't guarantee you a good home inspector, or one that will meet to your satisfaction. You still need to know what to ask a home inspector to help you determine if you want to use them for your home inspection. So what questions should you ask? Well, ask questions such as:
- Is their work guaranteed?
- How much is the home inspection fees?
- How long does the home inspection take?
- What exactly does the home inspection include?
- Do they have negligence/liability insurance?
- Can they provide you with 3 recent referrals?
- What training and/or what certifications do they have?
- How long have they been working as a home inspector?
- How many home inspections have they personally performed?
- Are they willing to negotiate fees for 2 or more inspections?
- Which home inspection organization do they belong to?
- Is the inspection performed according to an organization's guidelines?
- How long has their company been in the home inspection industry?
- Are pictures and a detailed, written report included in the price?
- How much notification time do they need to come out and do an inspection?
There are also other things to consider besides these questions, including if you feel comfortable dealing with the house inspector, how easily the home inspector answers your questions, if you believe the responses of the referrals given, and if you agree with the home inspection fees.
In the end, the questions you asked of the home inspector should make you feel confident with your choice of residential inspector.
In the same way, a home inspection should help you to feel sure in your decision to either purchase, or not, the home; providing you with sufficient and knowledgeable information about the house's repairs and maintenance needs to make an educated decision. Happy house buying!
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