Buying a house is a major milestone in one’s life–and a major investment. If you’re buying your first home or property, you may not know what to expect, which is why first-time property buyers tend to make a few key mistakes.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when buying a property is waiving the inspection. Without a proper home inspection, you run the risk of overpaying for a house that needs costly repairs, some of which can be urgent.
However, another mistake that we tend to overlook is choosing a home inspector without doing your research, first. You’re going to realize quickly that you have a few options for inspectors, and making an informed choice is going to get you the best results.
What should you consider when choosing a home inspector? Read on to find out.
Table of Contents
- Are They Licensed?
- Are They Insured?
- What Kind of Home Inspection Experience Do They Have?
- Do They Provide a Written Contract?
- Do They Encourage Clients to Attend the Home Inspection?
- Are They Well Reviewed?
- What Is Included In Their Inspection Package?
- How Much Do They Charge for Inspections?
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Choosing a Home Inspector
Are They Licensed?
Licenses and certificates are often provided by home inspection organizations or governmental organizations, depending on where you live. Even if your region doesn’t require a home inspector to carry a license, it’s ideal to find one who has one. This means that they’ve received the proper training and exhibited the proper conduct to receive verification from a third party.
Are They Insured?
If you’re hiring a home inspector as a seller, you may want to look for one that carries an insurance plan. This comes into play if the home inspector fails to notice or disclose major issues that impact your buyer down the road. When a home inspector has insurance, this can help protect you from liability under these unfortunate circumstances.
What Kind of Home Inspection Experience Do They Have?
What kind of property are you buying or selling? Does this align with your home inspector’s area of experience and expertise? Take into consideration things like:
- Local climate and weather patterns
- Construction styles and building types (ie single unit vs multi-unit properties)
- Local building codes
Feel free to ask potential home inspectors about the kinds of properties they typically inspect. If their background does not align with the property you’re looking at, they may not be the best option for you.
Do They Provide a Written Contract?
A quality home inspector should provide a written contract before the inspection occurs. This protects your interests, as it outlines exactly what they’re supposed to do during the inspection. (Always make sure that you read the contract and/or have your real estate agent review it before signing.)
Do They Encourage Clients to Attend the Home Inspection?
At the end of the day, you don’t want to skip your home inspection. Even if you have an agent or representative that is willing to go, you should really attend the home inspection, yourself. If a home inspector discourages client attendance, it’s in your best interest to pass and keep looking.
Are They Well Reviewed?
Reading online reviews can tell you a lot about a home inspector. Don’t just read the reviews provided on their website, either. Look for reviews on third-party sites like Yelp or Google.
What you want to find is a home inspector who has received mostly positive reviews. If they have one or two previous clients claiming that they missed significant damage to a property, take a look at how the home inspection company responds because your ultimate goal is to find your Dream Design Property. A few less-than-positive reviews aren’t the end of the world as long as the company addresses its mistakes and commits to improved service in the future.
What Is Included In Their Inspection Package?
It’s very important that you know what to expect from your home inspector. Depending on what you’re hoping to reveal in the inspection, you may need to hire a specific type of inspector in addition to a general home inspector.
A standard home inspection will assess the general state of:
- the property’s heating and cooling system
- the interior plumbing
- the electrical system
- the walls, windows, doors, and insulation
- the basement, attic, and/or crawl space
- the roof
- any water damage or mold growth
- any visible signs of pests
In some cases, you may be aware of a specific problem with the property and need a more thorough analysis of the damage. In that case, you may want to look for an inspector who focuses specifically on those issues. For example, head to abis.com.au if you need expert pest inspection in addition to your general home or property inspection.
How Much Do They Charge for Inspections?
Finally, it’s time to think about comparing inspection costs. Only you can decide on the right budget for your home inspection, although it’s worth noting that inspections tend to cost a few hundred dollars for a single-family home.
One thing we recommend? Don’t go with the cheapest option in your area without looking into the other factors we’ve discussed here. Sometimes the home inspector with the lowest rates charges so little for a reason: because they’re not offering quality services.
Remember, paying for a home inspection as a property buyer can save you money in the end. Without a home inspection, you run the serious risk of overpaying for a property that needs all sorts of work.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Choosing a Home Inspector
It’s not just that first-time buyers or sellers may underestimate the importance of getting a home inspection. We also want to remind you that it’s important not to underestimate the importance of choosing a home inspector that aligns with your needs. Use our guide to ensure that you’re getting the best home inspection for you and your property.
Purchasing a property can help increase your net worth. Wondering about the net worth of some of your favorite celebrities? Take a look around to find out how much the rich and famous are actually worth.