What to Look for in a Home Inspector

After your offer has been accepted on a home, you’ll have to start preparing for your inspection period. This is important time that you’ll need to make sure that everything is as it should be before you commit to your investment. Part of this requires hiring a home inspector.

 

With this article, we’ll help you understand what to look for in a home inspector and prepare for the sort of things that your inspector might be on the lookout for.

 

Finding a home inspector

When deciding what to look for in an inspector, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. These include certifications, hours of experience, and the types of services offered. Here’s a breakdown of some of those things.

 

Certifications and hours

Going through professional organizations—such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), and the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers—could be a good place to start your search for a home inspector.

 

You could also consider personal recommendations—but remember that there might be a conflict of interest if you go with your realtor’s recommendation. Professional organizations such as ASHI, have strict requirements. These include passing an in-person National Home Inspector Examination and documenting that they’ve done at least 250 paid home inspections.

 

Services offered and cost

Another thing to consider when deciding what to look for in a home inspector is the types of services they offer and how much those services cost. For an older home, add on services like infrared cameras that check for damage-causing moisture along walls and ceilings could save you a lot of money in the long run.

 

When comparing more than one inspector, you can always ask for a copy of a previous inspection they’ve completed. This will give you a good idea of the types of services that are included.

 

Preparing for a home inspection

Gaining a better personal understanding of the home inspection process can also help you feel more confident about what to look for in a home inspector. Remember that during your inspection period you still have time to make adjustments to your offer. This mostly happens if an inspection turns up something that needs to be repaired, so it’s smart to keep an eye on it and be as careful as you can about inspecting all areas of your home.

 

Here are just a few things that a home inspector might check while inspecting your home.

 

Exterior checkpoints

Scan the outside of your home to see if there might be concerns in any of these areas. If something does grab your attention, you can make sure to have your inspector take a look at it.

 

Roof condition

Make sure the roof is in good condition. If you notice spots or missing shingles, check with the homeowners to see when the roof was last replaced.

 

Foundation and flooding issues

This is an important one that could also be impacted by drainage. Check the parameter of your home to make sure there are no cracks in the foundation. You should also check your gutters and drainage system to make sure all of the water is being drained away from the home.

 

Windows and doors

Check for signs of moisture, mildew, or other damage like termites, around window and door frames. Make sure all openings have a proper seal.

 

Interior Checkpoints

There are many issues you can predict in a home just by taking a look around. Some of these things include odd smells, cracks or stains in walls or ceilings, and pools of water (especially in the attic or basement). Here are a few other things to look out for.

 

Heating and AC

Check to see if your heating and cooling system has been properly maintained and make sure it’s in working condition.

 

Plumbing

Check the water pressure and make sure all fixtures work. Look for any signs of an existing or previous leak.

 

Electrical

Your inspector will keep an eye out for this, but you want to make sure that all of your outlets are working and grounded. Make sure the inspector also checks the fuse box. If you notice old wires mixed with newer ones, ask if the electric is fully up-to-date (especially if it’s an older home).

 

Major appliances

If appliances are included in the sale, make sure they’re all in working condition and won’t require replacement in the near future.

 

Understanding what to look for in a home inspector can help you find the right person for the job and give you peace of mind that you are making the best offer on your house. Don’t be afraid to take your time deciding. Just make sure you’re taking care of other things, like getting a home appraisal, in the meantime. 

 

 

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Published 04.28.22

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