Best Experiences Can Be Found in Home Inspector Schools

The role of the home inspection in real estate transaction is powerful. Deals in residential properties depend on the judgment provided by home inspectors. A very good home inspector means the one with good skills and knowledge. All of these start at home inspector schools. In school, the whole process of home inspection is tackled and also the opportunity the profession brings to an individual.

There are different kinds of courses offered in different schools and training centers. Students can choose any of these depending on their time and resources. Classroom courses offer the curriculum where the students are required to study home inspection class at school or training centers. The Home study or Online courses are offered to those individuals who prefer to study at the comfort of their homes, managing their own time and resources. Questions are answered through online also. Some training centers provide the Continuing Education. This is offered for marketing course, technical course or specialty course, depending on the needs of the applicant. The basics of the inspection are vital in producing licensed, certified or qualified inspectors. What the individuals learn is the knowledge that no cost can compare.

The home inspection process involves the steps being done prior and during the arrival at the site, the process during the inspection, communicating the findings and reporting. Home inspection follows specific guidelines in structural inspection. It is also the same with dynamics of the house structure wherein the weight, movement, wind and water, and internal stresses are taken into consideration. The foundation inspection includes inspecting the home’s footing’s, foundation walls, block foundation, poured concrete, brick and wood foundation, and piles, piers and beams. Home inspector schools provide tips on inspecting crawl spaces like accessing and inspecting the floor, ventilation and insulation. Inspecting the roof structure means checking the framing members, roof trusses and sheathing, water penetration and attic moisture.

The exterior inspection is one important part of the inspection. This includes the inspection of trim, windows, doors, areas of the house (steps, porches, balconies, patios, driveways, etc) and garage. One of the services done in home inspection is inspection of roofs. Home inspector is understood to have knowledge about the different types of roofs, the equipments needed and the natural enemies of roofs. Electrical and plumbing systems are part of the process and the same with the heating and cooling systems, insulation and ventilation systems.

A home inspector upon discovering flaws uses his or her judgment in inspecting. The checklist is reviewed and findings are filled-in on the report. An advanced home inspection company nowadays uses software that generates a formatted report. Good and unbiased reports usually win the trust of the home buyers and sellers. A Federal Housing Administration or FHA home inspector also provides a detailed report to protect the lenders and assures that the property is habitable.

Home inspector schools are really homes of certified home inspectors. Basic knowledge about home inspection is introduced in schools. An importance must be placed as early as this stage in order to instill to individuals what are the roles of the home inspection profession to the real estate world.

How to Hire the Right Home Inspector

25 years ago, a home inspection was a rare thing, and professional home inspectors were few and far between. Now, nearly every buyer knows that they should get an inspection, and there is a seemingly endless supply of inspectors, all claiming some ‘certification’ or credentials that sound impressive. But how do you know which is the right inspector for you?

Well, here are a few simple thoughts from someone inside the business (some of which, many inspectors will be upset with me for revealing, and will hope you won’t read them). Interview them personally. Don’t just take someone’s advice that “this guy is good.” Talk to them.

  • Ask them about what they do (and don’t do – many don’t walk roofs, some don’t give repair cost estimates).
  • Ask them about their reports (simple checklist, or descriptive narrative?)
  • Do they provide repair cost estimates?
  • Are they licensed (if necessary in your sate)?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • What is their background and/or training?
  • Are they members of the BBB or Angie’s List or other consumer oriented groups?
  • Most importantly, do they treat you with respect and listen to what your needs are?

You will quickly find that there is a world of difference in Inspectors and how they view YOU, the client, as part of the inspection. Some see you as a necessary evil, or an interruption of “their” inspection. You will know you have hired one of these inspectors if they hand you a measuring tape to keep you busy measuring rooms while they inspect.

Often on inspector chat boards they talk about “controlling” their inspection, as if the client is a bother. Never forget: The inspection is (and SHOULD be) all about YOUR education, and making YOU comfortable with your new home.

E & O Insurance.

Ask your inspector if they are insured. Many inspectors treat this question as if you have just asked them for their Debit Card and PIN, but it is a legitimate and VERY intelligent question for clients to ask. You wouldn’t let an uninsured plumber work on your pipes, would you? So why allow an uninsured inspector advise you on the entire home and all of its systems and components? E&O (Errors and Omissions) Insurance is your protection that if the inspector misses something significant, that you won’t be left paying for that mistake.

Experience.

My dad always said: “There is no substitute in life for experience.” (He also said, “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”) This is also true when it comes to inspectors. While some may have read it in the best books available, you simply have to learn some things by doing them. (Like, for example, never test the door to a room by closing it from the inside of the room. The reason why will be instantly clear when the knob falls off in your hand and you are stuck on the interior.)

You will know just by talking to an inspector and asking them the questions listed above whether you are talking to a raw “newbie” or a seasoned pro. Some pride themselves on “writing up” lots of defects, but often, many of these items are actually quite common and relatively minor (the kinds of things most sellers won’t address or compensate for). Some inspectors also pride themselves on being disliked by Realtors. This simply mystifies me since most Realtors I know honestly care about putting their client in a good home, and respect the opinion of the inspector. Most times, this indicates to me an inspector who is a little full of himself, and may be out to prove how much he knows, or wants to make a major deal out of a minor issue.

Certifications are a dime a dozen in the inspection industry. Every day, my email inbox is jammed with people selling more quick and easy “certifications” of this and that. In fact, one place will certify you (yes, you) as a “master” inspector if you take several free online courses and send them a check for $375 – without ever performing a single inspection! As you can see, certifications are highly suspect. Professionally, the ones that are truly significant are offered by the International Code Council (ICC) and certify that the inspector has a detailed understanding of current building code (particularly helpful if you are purchasing new construction).

In general, I would recommend an inspector who has performed at least 1,000 inspections, and has at least 3 years experience – but even among these, you must ask the other questions to get the best fit for your needs.

Choices.

Does the inspector offer choices to accommodate you? All buyers are not the same. All homes are not the same. So why do most inspectors offer the same inspection to all clients? Ask if they offer choices in prices, level of detail, and services offered. An investor seeking an opinion on the basic components (structure, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC) of a home they intend to renovate may not need the meticulous detail required by a nervous First Time Buyer. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you really need, even if it seems to be more (or less) than what the inspector typically offers. If the inspector you speak to can’t offer the service you need, keep searching, you will find one that does.

Price.

Which brings us to the last point, and the first question most people ask: “How much does an inspection cost?” The answer is – it depends (mostly on your area of the country, and the size of your home). Most inspectors base the price on square feet (the larger the home, the longer it takes to inspect). Be cautious of those who use price or zip code as a determining factor (buying a more expensive home in a more affluent neighborhood can dramatically increase your price with these inspectors who believe you must have more money to spend). Shop prices around. You CAN and WILL find a reasonably priced inspector who is every bit as good or better than the highest priced inspectors.

A good clue is: If someone doesn’t post their prices on their website, they are higher than is typical. Again, many inspectors will react rudely with some variation of “you get what you pay for.” Ask that inspector if they buy Premium Unleaded at the most expensive gas station in town, and then look through the grocery store circulars to find the highest priced items available – after all, they must be the best if they are the most expensive!

The Best Online Home Inspector Course Avenues

Home inspection is one field that does not require you to have a degree which is a good thing in these times of recession, where people are looking to save money on education and degrees that are costly and long. But most importantly, home inspection is a profession that is widely respected. Moreover, it is deemed as something that is professional and career oriented.

There are various avenues where you can get home inspector course education. As home inspection is a technical field, its education is not widely available, though many colleges and institutes offer this education. A typical course runs for only a few months as compared to a whole degree. The home inspector course provides you with the basics of home inspection. These basics or the foundation courses help you to become more aware of the field of home inspection.

The first place where you can look for a home inspector course is online. There are various online technical colleges which are now offering short courses on inspection of homes. These courses are quite exhaustive and offer you a broad based curriculum. Many people believe that home inspection is rather an all out practical job, where you would be getting your hands dirty during home inspections.

On the contrary, this is certainly not the case; inspection of home is very technical job which requires the experience and expertise of the home inspectors in order to spot the problems in houses which are not detectable to home owners.

So, after you have completed the online education, you must get some sort of practical experience. This experience can be gained by going to the various home inspections technical colleges which not only offer home inspector course, but also apprenticeships that would give you the most needed experience.

Once you are done with the courses whether online or at college, you would have sufficient knowledge to handle new and old home problems that most of the home owners face. You would be able to make preemptive measures on how to solve problems such as water seepage, asbestos, heating and flooring.

These are the basics in any house and it would require an experienced home inspector to identify these problems. When you are involved in acquiring home inspector education, you will also be taught some real estate dealings and determining the prices of the homes that have certain problems. A career of home inspector is certainly very much in demand and would always be, as people buy and sell homes all the time.

Anyone, who is thinking about becoming a home inspector, must get all the information about this field; this is certainly not your common office job. It also has a fair amount of practical and traveling work that is part of the job. Many inspectors travel to different homes for inspections. Some inspectors have their teams to carry out the inspection. All in all, it depends on the individual on how he or she handles a particular home inspection job.