Inspecting a Home Inspector – What Should You Expect in a Home Inspector

You’ve decided you need a home inspector because you’re either buying a home or selling one, and you want to do it right. Out of curiosity you sit down at the computer and do a Google search to see what qualifications a good home inspector should have, and you get a little scared.

The first thing you see is a group of ads for home inspection courses. You’ve heard of people buying bogus college degrees online, but can Joe Anybody become a home inspector the same way? The image of a TV commercial comes to mind. You know, the one where the doctor is on the phone talking a guy through an operation. No thanks!

So, how do you find a truly qualified home inspector? The first thing to try is to ask trusted friends or business acquaintances for their recommendations. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good “word of mouth” lead. Requirements vary from state to state and place to place, so you need to find a good local inspector. Save the bulk of your computer research for checking out the names you’ve been given.

You need an inspector who literally knows houses inside and out and is thoroughly acquainted with state, county, and city regulations. Start asking questions. Interview each prospective home inspector. Let him inform you by describing the inspections he does and why he thinks you should choose him. Here’s a list of possible questions you could ask.

* Is he certified by the proper state, county, or city agencies? What license number does he have? His license number is a great way to know how long he has been in business. The lower the license number, the longer he has been in business. Check to see if he displays his license number on his website.

* What trade associations does he or she belong to and what certificates does he or she have? (For instance, the American Society of Home Inspectors is an excellent organization. There are organizations in each state as well.)

* What’s his educational background? Does he keep up to date with the changes in the industry?

* How many years of experience does he have inspecting homes, and how many has he inspected?

* Does he have a background as a contractor or engineer? (It’s not necessary for an inspector to have an engineering degree or to have been a contractor for twenty years, but the principles learned from such education and experience are valuable.)

* Is he a full time inspector?

* May you accompany him when he does the inspection? (This is typically recommended, but you must not hinder or distract the inspector. You should not get near any open electric areas or get on the roof with him due to safety concerns.)

* How long will the inspection take? (The average is one hour per thousand square feet, but this can vary depending on the house and those who are present.)

* Does the inspector get on roofs when possible? Does he get in crawlspaces when they’re accessible?

* What kind of report will you receive, and when will you receive it? (Most home inspection companies offer onsite reports. Many will provide a preventive maintenance manual as well.)

Here are a couple more guidelines to consider. You should shy away from inspectors who criticize their competition. Don’t go with the lowest price. Go with the one with the best qualifications.

Incidentally, the cost of inspection services is highly variable. It depends on the level of experience of the inspector and the level of services provided. Cost is also determined in part by the size and value of the property inspected. An inspection of an eight thousand square foot home will cost more than one for a two thousand square foot home.

The inspector you’re looking for needs to have an understanding of basic construction practices and mechanical systems. He should understand how buildings are constructed and how the systems work. A good inspector will have a talent for making observations which provide indications of problems or potential problems. This talent comes from years of experience in inspecting homes.

Of course, the inspector must have the skills necessary to issue the inspection report. After all, that’s what you’re hiring him to do for you.

5 Ways a Home Inspector Can Continue Their Education

It is important for a home inspector to continue their education so that they can become the best inspector possible. Below are five ways home inspectors can continue their education to improve themselves and their companies.

Attend Conferences and Seminars

Attending conferences and seminars is a great way for a home inspector to increase their knowledge about the home inspection industry. Speakers will cover a variety of topics that allow the home inspector to learn the latest news and techniques in home inspection. This will allow them to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared for anything they may see on an inspection. Conferences also give inspectors the opportunity to visit with different product vendors related to home inspections. Here, they can learn about the latest technology, advancements in home inspection software, and what’s new in the industry.

Connect/Network with other Home Inspectors

A great way to connect and network with industry contacts is to join an association. There are many benefits to joining an association, including educational resources, monthly news, online forums, discounts, and much more. Online forums allow home inspectors to bounce ideas and questions off of each other, making it a great place to learn. Inspectors can also connect and network at conferences, seminars, and association meetings.

Attend Classes/Training Related to Home Inspections

To continue their education, a home inspector should consider attending additional classes and training. There are several training courses available for new and veteran inspectors. These continuing education courses include marketing and business courses, such as online advertising, selling, and client relationship building. Learning these aspects of the business is critical for making their company a success. Technical classes are also offered, such as what to look for when inspecting roofs, electrical components, and plumbing. These types of classes help an inspector avoid potential issues and cover themselves from liability. For an inspector who is looking to diversify themselves, there are also specialty courses available. Some of these courses include mold, radon, and termite testing, among others. Attending continuing education classes is a great way to stay educated, as well as, give the inspector the ability to offer additional services to their client.

Take Additional Courses, Not Necessarily Related to Home Inspections

Classes that do not directly relate to home inspections are often overlooked by inspectors. Some of these courses include report writing, communication skills, business practices, and legal issues. Inspectors who decide to continue their education with classes like these can really separate themselves from other inspectors who lack this kind of training and knowledge. Even though these types of classes aren’t directly related to home inspections, they can help a home inspector improve the quality of their service.

Job Shadowing

New and veteran inspectors can both benefit from shadowing another professional while on a job. New inspectors can gain a great deal of knowledge and useful information by shadowing veteran inspectors. If they can find someone who is willing to show them the ropes, this is a great first step for inspectors looking to break into the industry. Veteran inspectors can benefit from shadowing professional contractors on repair or maintenance jobs. Gaining additional knowledge that can be used on the job will help them become a better inspector.

Continuously trying to learn and improve yourself is a must in any business. In order to run a successful home inspection business, the inspector needs to be the best inspector possible. Continuing to learn will not only benefit them and their business, it will also benefit their client.

Home Buying Basics – How to Find a Qualified Home Inspector

Home inspection is an integral part of real estate investment. If you are considering buying a property, you should hire home inspection service. Most people do not realize how important it is to find a home inspector, whether you are selling your house or buying a new one. Bluntly, some inspectors are less credible when it comes to their background and qualifications. In order to find a home inspector that suits your liking and preferences, the following should be considered as a resource:

The California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) – Most legitimate businesses in San Diego and the rest of California are members of CREIA. If you ask reputable real estate brokerages, most of them require their agents to work with members of this association. As with most states, a particular member of an association cannot advertise its connection with a particular group until this member has reached the strict minimum standards of a practicing member. CREIA has developed Standards of Practice that define the minimum scope of a home inspection. It also has a Code of Ethics that requires its members to exhibit the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, dedication, and good faith in any dealings with the client. By doing these, associations like CREIA ensures clients that they are dealing with a reputable and reliable home inspection service provider.

Another surefire way of finding a qualified inspector for your home is by asking for opinions and feedback. Talk to friends who have had inspection services recently. How satisfied are they to the services of the inspector? Did their inspector do a great job? You can also ask them the processes that they went through in finding the house inspector for their residence.

If you have a trusted real estate agent, ask for some recommendations. Agents deal with house inspections everyday. They often have first-hand experience on how home inspectors work and they surely know who the good inspectors are. However, take care not to immediately get the services of your real estate agent, unless you completely trust him. Usually, agents recommend the ones who will help them get the deal that they want. Ask the agent at least three references and then use these names as a starting point in your search for a home inspector.

If you do not know friends who have had a home inspection service or an agent who can give referrals, you may utilize the yellow pages to find a home inspector. If you live in San Diego, search for local names first before moving on the companies in other states. Try searching online yellow pages because they have feedback pages where you can check out what other people are saying about a particular service provider.

Before you finally hire the services of the home inspector, remember to check out the home inspector of your choice. Secure copies of their previous inspection reports to determine how thorough they are when it comes to home inspection. Ask about their record of accomplishment. Ask for the names of their specific clients and if possible, try calling a few of their previous clients to find out if the home inspection service did a good job with them. It will not hurt to ask so that you are sure that what you would be paying is worth your money.