If you are looking for a new home or even if you are a landlord, you are probably in the market for someone to do home inspections for you. Finding the right home inspector is no small job. Your property is a big investment, so you want to make sure it is fully functional and that you are aware of problems. If you are looking for a home inspector, here are some tips on how to find a good one.
What a Home Inspector Does
It is important, first of all, to know what a home inspector does. He inspects a house, top to bottom, to ensure that everything is in working order. He makes sure that all of the home’s systems are working as they are supposed to and that the structure is sound. If you are preparing to purchase a home, he can let you know if there are any problems with the property. If you are a landlord, he can do the pre-tenant and post-tenant inspections to keep a record of the property’s condition. If there is a lot of discrepancy between the two that may entitle the landlord to keep the security deposit to make repairs. If a tenant tries to sue the landlord, or vice versa, the landlord has the home inspector’s reports as evidence.
What To Look For
Many people who become property inspectors start out in a building trade such as being a contractor. But a property inspector should have a working knowledge of most of the home’s systems such as HVAC and plumbing. He should be observant, like a detective, because that is, in essence, what he is. He only does visual inspections and does not take things apart, but he will make sure that things turn on and off the way that they should. He should also be good at communicating what he sees so that he can give reports that are easy to understand.
If you can find a home inspector who uses home inspections software like Simple Inspector, that’s a bonus. Having home inspection software means that he can give you photographs and build his report as he goes. Reports can be more thorough and they can get to you much quicker. There is no wait to for a paper report to be delivered. He can just email it to you.
A home inspector is a qualified generalist. This means that while he may have training in a specific field, he should have a broad understanding of many things. A home inspector should be endorsed by a professional organization like The American Society of Home Inspectors. Often to be a part of one of these organizations, home inspectors have to pass tests and take annual continuing education. Having a professional endorsement lets you know that he is backed by a qualifying organization. He should also come with recommendations or references.
Where to Look
You can check in with a professional organization to find home inspectors in your area. Friends or real estate agents may give you a referral. If your bank offers home loans, they may also be able to put you in touch with a professional home inspector. You can also look in the Yellow Pages or do an internet search to find a qualified home inspector. Angie’s List is a great place to find contractors and other home improvement professionals.
When you are looking for a home inspector to help you find a home or to help inspect your rental properties, there are a number of things for which you should be looking. You should look for a person with credentials from a professional organization. Be on the look out for someone who has a broad knowledge of building structure and systems. Most importantly, look for someone who has good references. A good home inspector can save you money and headaches down the road, so taking your time to find a good one will be worth the effort.