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Guide to finding a home inspector you can trust

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Finances and a small wooden house, a reason why finding a home inspector you can trust is important

Buying a home is probably one of the most expensive purchases in your lifetime. Not getting your home inspected is probably one of the most expensive but common mistakes people make when buying a home. So, no matter how good your potential home looks, you need to get a clear-eyed assessment of its true condition.

Don't wait until you have an accepted offer, but start looking for the right person as soon as you find a property you are interested in. Finding a home inspector you can trust might take some time and effort. Follow this guide to know what to look for.

 Damaged wall and flooring.
Some issues are more hidden, and that's why finding a home inspector you can trust is important.

Finding a home inspector you can trust is important

When buying a house and moving, you're going to need help from professionals. However, there are a lot of "professionals" who just don't do their job the right way. The moving industry is unfortunately full of fraudulent companies, and that's exactly why you need to know how to take actions against irresponsible movers. As you can see, you need to be careful throughout this whole process. However, for now, let's focus on finding a home inspector that will let you know if you're paying the right price for the house.

Have your questions answered

When finding a home inspector you can trust, you want these questions answered:

  • Is the home inspector licensed and certified? A positive answer to this question is not enough, you need to find out what kind of certification you home inspector has.
  • How experienced is the home inspector? New inspectors might do a great job, but certain cases require more experienced home inspectors.
  • How much do you need to pay and what are you paying for? If the price is very low, this could be a red flag.
  • How long does the inspection take? You might not know how long an inspection should take. However, if the suggested time seems too short, there's a good chance that it is, especially if the house is older.
  • Can you come along to the inspection? You should always get a positive answer to this question. It's very important that you understand the issues in the house. That'll be much easier to do if the home inspector points them out to you in person. Besides, a home inspector can point out certain things that will require maintenance in a couple of years. If this is the first home you're buying, you'll be able to learn a lot from coming along to the inspection.

Finding a licensed home inspector

When finding a home inspector you can trust, you'll want an inspector who's licensed or certified, right? But, it's just not as simple as that. Not all states require home inspectors to be licensed. Also, not all licenses are the same, as they mean different levels of expertise, depending on the state. Certain independent groups and even companies certify inspectors online, with some of them giving away certifications very easily. That's the reason why you should know what licenses and certifications your inspector has.

Licensing does not guarantee quality.

American Society of Home Inspectors

ASHI is a respected home inspector association that is recognized by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ASHI has its own certification that has to be renewed every three years. Members of the American Society of Home Inspectors are given necessary resources, education, and connections with other professionals.

Hire an experienced home inspector with proper training

Other than looking for an inspector with proper certifications, you also need your home inspector to have experience of at least a couple of years. Experienced professionals have dealt with many different situations and have seen different issues in many different home types. This is even more important if your home is older. In this case, you should expect to pay more in to get an experienced professional with extra credentials. It's better to hire someone with a home engineer's license than to deal with many different issues down the road.

Additional services

Inspectors charge from a couple of hundred dollars to around a thousand dollars, depending on the size and location of the home, the experience of the inspector, and other factors. That's one of the reasons why you should have an idea of what you're paying for. Do you get additional services or not? While an inspection can reveal some of the common problems, a thorough inspection with infrared cameras that detect temperature differences, or a drone, can reveal some hidden problems. However, you should ask whether these services are included in the price or not. A trustworthy home inspector will have no problem letting you know what you're paying for.

Compare home inspection reports

Get a sample copy of the previous inspection on a similar home. This should give you an idea of how the home inspector does their job. If the report seems filled with generic information, you might want to stay away from this home inspector. On the other hand, if there are a lot of specific details in the report, photographs, videos, and maintenance suggestions, you might be dealing with a true professional. Compare sample reviews from different home inspectors before you make your decision.

Check the reviews

One of the home inspection missteps to avoid when hiring an inspector is not checking the reviews first. You should see what previous customers have to say about this home inspector and you should get a sense of their work history. It would be good if there are many good reviews. See what the reviews say about the following:

  • Was the inspector easy to work with?
  • Were there any mistakes discovered after the inspection?
  • Was the home inspection report easy to understand?

Feedback, very useful when finding a home inspector you can trust
Reviews are very useful.

Do you feel comfortable with your choice?

Don't forget your instincts when choosing a home inspector. It's all about finding someone you can trust. Now that you know how to find a good home inspector, if something seems off, why risk it? Some home inspectors might be great on paper, but it's important that you feel comfortable throughout the process.