Buyer Services Making An Offer The Home Inspection Buyer Broker Agreement CMA The Closing


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How can I make sure I get a good home inspection?

Property with Public Water/Sewer

General Building Inspection (inc. Pest)

Radon Air $89.00


Estimated Total $439.00


Property with Private Water/Sewer

General Building Inspection (inc. Pest)

Radon Air $89.00
Basic Water $79.00
Radon Water $49.00
Arsenic Water $49.00
Septic Inspection $175.00


Estimated Total $616.00


Ask friends who purchased recently for recommendations. An inspector who is recommended by both your agent and by a friend whose opinion you respect is probably a good bet. Interview inspectors before you select one. Find out how long the inspector has been inspecting homes in the area. Out-of-area inspectors may not be familiar with local conditions. Find out how many inspections each inspector does in a year. A good, active inspector will inspect at least two hundred homes a year. Make sure that the inspectors work full-time doing home inspections and that they are not also in the business of contracting to fix defects uncovered during an inspection.

Most states, including New Hampshire do not license individuals as home inspectors. In states that do not license home inspectors, virtually anyone can operate as a home inspector. You need to be especially careful hiring a home inspector in a state where licensing is not required. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is a trade group association for home inspectors. Membership is restricted to applicants with experience. ASHI membership does not guarantee that you will get a good inspection. But, an inspector who is an ASHI member, in good standing, is likely to exhibit a level of professionalism that might not exist with a non-member inspector.

Ask each inspector to describe the scope of the inspection. A home inspector should complete a thorough examination of all the major home components and systems: the roof, attic, foundation, basement, garage, drainage, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, walls, floors, fireplaces and chimneys, windows, doors--the works. But, some inspectors don't check roofs, others won't check out the drainage system. Make sure that you'll get the kind of inspection you want and need. Find out what the inspector charges, but don't base your final decision solely on the fee. This is one area where you don't want to skimp. Also, make sure that your inspector has errors and omissions insurance which covers home inspections.

FIRST-TIME TIP: Let your home inspector know that you will be attending the general home inspection. This is a must. Schedule the inspection at a time when you can be available, and plan on devoting several hours to this endeavor. There are several reasons why it's important for you to be there. Attending the inspection allows you the opportunity to ask the inspector about defects while you are at the property. Also, attending the on-site inspection is an excellent learning experience. The inspector will be able to educate you about good home maintenance so that you learn how to preserve your investment.

Transferring home buyers, who are buying long distance, may have difficulty attending inspections. If it's impossible, try to find a friend or relative in the area who can attend the inspection for you and give you a detailed report. Ask him or her, or your real estate agent, to tape record the inspection. The audio tape, and the written report, can be express mailed to you. Call the inspector directly if you have any questions, or for a recap of the inspection.

Your home inspection should be scheduled during daytime hours, on a clear day, and the utilities at the property should be on.

Copyright 1998-2005 Dian Hymer. Distributed by Inman News Features