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How To Choose A Good Inspection Company

Updated on July 7, 2011

Home Inspection Pointers

A home inspection is very necessary. Think of a home inspection like applying for a credit card. If you were the credit card company you would want to make sure the person you are about to give credit to was credit worthy. The same thing works with a good inspection company. You want to make sure you choose a good home inspector to tell you exactly what is wrong with the home you are about to purchase. NO HOME IS FREE OF DEFECTS. Remember that. But you can have a good inspector to help you make a good informed decision about your planned purchased.

Is an inspection necessary is what I have been asked by the numerous friends and family members that I have helped guide on the path of home ownership. With any home purchase you have the right to request an inspection of any property you are thinking of purchasing by an inspector of your choice. That inspector you choose needs to be qualified so you are not wasting your money on finding someone who does not know what they are doing. Always have the property physical condition as well as its inclusions inspected. To an untrained inspector, conditions like faulty or shady plumbing, electrical work, and structural work can go unnoticed to an untrained professional. Would you go to a tire and wheel specialist and ask his opinion on the different varieties of carpet? I don't think so you would go to an expert or someone familiar and trained in the area of carpentry. The same goes for a qualified inspector. Increased buyer awareness is helping to drive more professionally inspected homes especially with the high number of foreclosures lately.

Ask your real estate agent if the person they referred you to is licensed. Or ask your local bank for a list of recommended home inspectors. If you do a quick google/bing search for home inspectors for your local area, you will probably have a list as long as the used car dealers at your local auto row in your city. It can be a hit and miss with the quality person or business that you choose. A good place to check to give you piece of mind is the American Society of Home Inspectors or ASHI for short. Again, most realtor's can refer you to someone that they recommend that is hopefully qualified, if not ask for a ASHI certified professional.

If you research your own inspectors and they don't willingly provide you with their credentials, ask if they are a member of ASHI. It is a non-profit organization with strict standards and qualifications for membership. Various testing and proven knowledge of building materials in the ever changing home construction world is required of a ASHI certified home inspector.

A home inspection consist of a physical inspection of the home with the purchaser present with them as they do a detailed walk through the home. The home inspector will then provide in a day or two a detailed report of the findings after the walk-through. The report should report on the general condition of the home's foundation, electrical, plumbing, insulation if visible, and other systems related to your future home. The report will not tell you about the history of the home like the history of your health that you may find in your health record. The report should explain in detail the potential issues if any that you may experience or should be fixed before moving in.

The home inspection can help a buyer make the perfect informed decision if they have a few choices of homes to choose from. One home can look perfect on the outside, but the foundation and the electrical wiring may need to be taking into consideration compared to a house that doesn't look as nice outside but the foundation and the insides are in top notch condition. I had a friend who had purchased a house and the home inspector said there sewage drain/pump and collection under the backyard was in top notch condition. Based on that report and the rest of the house he purchased the house with his wife. A month living into his home, the sewage backed up and well you can only imagine what happen to the backyard and other pipes in the home. Long story short, the inspection company was not certified by ASHI, as I asked him to make sure, but just someone referred by another person that knew the person. That same company that did the inspection offered to do the repairs which was just shady from the beginning. They ended up fixing the sewage problem for less than $200, but the moral to the story is make sure you find a well qualified hopefully ASHI qualified inspector. There is no guarnatee the ASHI certified inspector will meet all of your needs but its an extra layer of help and security compared to someone who isn't certified.

Look into ASHI standards and guidelines to help you purchase your next home or condo. Do your own research on a person or business. We are an open society with information everywhere, you just have to search for it, or find an organization that can help you make informed decisions.


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