It is estimated that two out of five properties are defected and these defects are not cheap either. Repairs and replacements on average cost around $15,000. On one hand, while you try to purchase the best property possible, on the other hand, you need someone professional to inspect the house for any shortcomings and defects. But that is not easy. When hiring a home inspector, there are several important things for you to consider so that you end up with the right person. Let’s discuss.
The Home Inspector Is Responsible For Everything
Even if you have hired a quality home inspector to inspect a property, they are still bound to make mistakes. No one is perfect even after years of experience. A little distraction can lead to the inspector missing out on minor details. However, at the same time, it can cause you major headaches down the road as well.
If the inspector was not able to spot a defect, professionalism demands that an excuse is made. However, if the inspector insists that he/she is not responsible for missing out on something, it should raise a red flag. You are paying someone for the job they are trained for. Not accepting the responsibility is a sign of an amateur and therefore, you should look for other options. You should choose an inspector who possesses insurance especially with the clause “Errors and Omission”. This will provide atleast some protection against leaving major defects out.
The Home Inspector Should Tackle Repair Work
There is a difference between an inspector who is just looking for defects and one that tackles the repair work as well. Although you can find home inspectors that offer both services but the majority of home inspectors tend to focus only on finding defects. Some homeowners prefer choosing a home inspector that gets both tasks done but that might not necessarily be in your best interest.
The reason is that a person who has been hired to find defects will spend more time and energy in finding more potential flaws as compared to someone who is just inspecting the house. To prevent ruining your home inspection, it is advised that you keep both home inspection and repair inspections separate.
The Home Inspector Should Focus On The House and Grounds
A home inspector is most likely to tell you that he/she is only responsible and focusing on pointing out flaws and defects in the house and not on the grounds. This means that any shortcomings beyond the limits of the property are mostly ignored such as the fences. Unfortunately, if these things are ignored, the buyer is left with expensive bills later down the road.
Additionally, most home inspectors do not even inspect underground pipelines and wells or tanks. These things are not cheap and it is better if you are aware of such problems beforehand. Therefore, if you are buying a property that has a lot of outdoor features, make sure that you include all such things in the inspection checklist. If for some reason, the inspector does not seem to co-operate, you should hire another home inspector.
The Home Inspector Should Climb the Roof
The roof is probably the most important part of the house and the last thing you want to hear is the home inspector not climbing the roof for inspection. Everyone knows that roof repairs are extremely costly. Therefore, if you are buying a property, the least you would want is its roof to be in top-notch condition.
Unfortunately, home inspectors are not obliged to climb the roof in many states. Even the American Society of Home Inspectors does not clearly state the way home inspectors should inspect the roof. According to them, the members should only “observe” and the rest depends on the individual to choose the best inspection method.
To avoid such a situation, you should call and ask your home inspector about roof inspection beforehand so that you are able to supply a ladder for safe access.
The Home Inspector Should Be Thorough
The definition of thorough inspection varies from inspector to inspector. Some inspectors will simply cover the major areas and leave out the rest. While others will dig deep and inspect subtle details. Unfortunately, there is no specific law either that forces home inspectors to be thorough with their inspections.
Therefore, you should not leave the scope of your home inspection on the inspector. Instead, you should mutually agree on an inspection checklist so that both parties are aware of what is going to be covered. In addition to that, you should also evaluate thoroughness by recording the amount of time it takes for the home inspector to work his way through the home. On average, it takes around 3-4 hours to inspect a house. Anything less than that raises a red flag.
You Should Not Follow Your Real Estate Agent
You might have thought that your real estate agent is handing out a helping hand by referring a home inspector. This does not necessarily have to be true. You see, home inspectors rely on real estate agents to refer them to clients. Therefore, chances are that the home inspector referred by your real estate agent voluntarily ignores major defects costing you big bucks in the future.
With that being said, you should choose a home inspector that is not related to your real estate agent. This guarantees that the interests do not clash and one does not try to rip you off.
The Home Inspector Should Know What is Behind the Walls
A home inspection is not just about inspecting things that are obvious but also about things that are hidden behind walls and under floors. Old wiring and rotted wood take a significant amount of money and time to fix. And this is something the home inspectors shy away from.
The least a home inspector will do is lift the edge of a carpet but not do the same for ceramic tiles or walls and ceilings. On top of that, some unethical homeowners tend to apply cosmetic fixtures that make the job even harder. With infrared technology available in the market, your inspector should use it to see what the walls and ceilings hold. If the inspector ignores these factors, you should opt for another home inspector.
Home inspections are meant to be done only by professionals who know their way around properties. Someone who is not agreeing to the basics will only cost you money. Therefore, you should follow the tips mentioned above and look for someone willing to go out of the way to ensure that you get your hands on the best property money can buy.