The home inspector is a very important person when it comes to buying your home. They can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. A home inspector can tell you whether you are buying a lemon and even warn you about the potential problems that can arise with the home. Your inspector will either give you a good feeling about the house or a bad feeling. The inspectors report is going to go back to the bank and if they are not willing to work with you, your bank may not approve your loan, especially if there are major issues with the home.
The first thing you want to look for in a home inspector is their qualifications. You want to find one that has the top qualifications. Buying your home is most likely going to be the biggest investment you ever make, so you are going to need an inspector that is going to give you a direct and hands-on experience. It is important to find a home inspector that doesn’t have to disassemble a house to know what is inside of the walls and how everything is put together. Many things are hidden from plain sight, and your inspector needs to know what to look for and how to look for them. If at all possible, choose an inspector who has experience in home-building and who has been involved in the installation and layout of homes.
Don’t be fooled by some of these inspectors “certifications”. Home inspectors who only have a few weeks of course and study time are not good choices. You want to find someone who has years of experience, since this is what it really takes to know a house inside and out and what to look for. Check into how long the inspector has been in the business and how make inspections he has performed on his own. You want someone who has been in the business for a long time, not someone who is doing this for fun as a side job. Make sure that they have professional affiliations and certifications. If they are affiliated with the NAHI, ICBO, EPA, or AARST, they are a good choice for an inspector.
Make sure you obtain a written report about the inspection. Do not accept the hand written checklist with vague and general responses that is given at the end of the inspection, request a detailed written report. A checklist is difficult to understand and may not have all of the details you need. An inspection report should have three basic areas: an overview, maintenance items, and major repair items. The overview is a detailed picture of the house that itemizes all of the major components and their conditions, Maintenance items are items that need normal maintenance or attention. Major repair items are any defects that could cause a potential and present issue that will cost you a significant amount of money near term. These items should be clearly identified in the report with the estimated repair/replacement cost if at all possible.
Your home inspector is a very important person when it comes to your home buying experience. Do not settle for less that you deserve. Remember, this is one of the biggest commitments you are ever going to make, so make sure you know everything about your future home and get all the answers you need from your inspector.