Purchasing a home is certainly a very exciting time in anyone’s life. It can also be a very stressful time. During the entire process, it highly recommended to be as detailed and careful as possible so that you don’t regret anything later. One of the most important steps in the process is completing the home inspection. By hiring the wrong home inspection company can end up costing you thousands down the road. When hiring someone to complete your home inspection, there are many more questions you need to ask, rather than just the price. Here are a few questions that you should ask to ensure you are making the best decision possible.
The first question that you should be asking is whether or not they are insured. According to USNews.com, there are a surprising number of home inspectors who are not insured. If a home inspector is up on your roof and falls, or is in the attic and falls through; if he or she is not insured, they may sue you or the current home owners. This often leads to a lien on the property which will put the entire home buying process to a stand-still. So prevent this from happening by asking a simple question about insurance.
Next, you should ask for references, or reviews. You don’t want to hire someone who does not have a proven track record. When it comes to the safety and operation of a house that you are purchasing, you can’t be too careful. You need someone that is detailed, has complete household knowledge and has a proven history of not missing anything. A missed defective furnace, or air conditioner can end up costing you thousands of dollars down the road. When it comes to which sources to trust, it is recommended that you look at third party web sites such as AngiesList.com. Looking on the company’s web site for references or reviews could result in controlled, bias reviews.
You should also ask what the full inspection includes (or does not include). It should be as thorough as possible, but there are some inspectors who do not test certain areas such as appliances or do not feel safe going up on certain roofs. Rather than make a judgment call or prioritize what areas you do or do not want inspected, it is a good idea just to be safe rather than sorry. Pay a little extra and hire someone who has complete household knowledge and tests every major area. When it comes to a house, you don’t want to risk only half of it being reviewed.
Finally, you need to ask what certifications they hold (if any). Home inspection companies do not have to be certified in order to complete inspections. Many operate simply from their contracting or “handyman” experience. National certifications such as The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or State certifications such as The Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) insure their inspectors have the proper knowledge and experience to gain their certification. These certifications cost the inspectors money to obtain, so this certainly makes them more desirable during the hiring process. By inquiring about certifications such as these, you know that you can feel confident in your choice for a home inspector.
At the end of the day, there are certain things in life that you should try to save money on, and a home inspection should not be on that list. When it comes to the safety and well-being of your family, price should not be an issue. So when it comes time to hire a home inspector, take your time, do your homework and ask a lot of questions. Your house will thank you for it.