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  • How to Hire The Right Home Inspector

    If you are buying (or selling) a house, having it inspected by a qualified professional is very high on your to-do list. The way your home appears to you can be deceiving, and you need someone who knows how to look beyond the surface to ensure the condition of the home is well-documented. A professional home inspection will provide you and your realtor with the tools to put your buyer’s mind at ease regarding the condition of your property. And if you are shopping for a home yourself, this report can offer valuable leverage for negotiating your final price.

    Here’s what you can do to find the right home inspector:

    1. Check with the American Society for Home Inspectors (ASHI.org) to find registered members in your area. Members of ASHI must have completed at least 250 hours of paid inspection work before obtaining membership in this organization, and experience is definitely an advantage.
    2. Check references. Every professional inspector should have these available for you. Make the calls and find out what kind of impression your potential inspector has made on previous clients.
    3. Ask your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers and your realtor, as they may have valuable advice regarding home inspections they have experienced, and can possibly steer you towards or away from the right home inspector.
    4. Is the home inspector bonded and insured? You’ll want to be sure they are responsible for themselves and their own well-being during the time they are working for you.
    5. Ask about price upfront. Don’t be shy. Costs can vary state to state, but the going rate for home inspections run anywhere from $300-800, depending on the details of the inspection.
    6. Be sure to find out what your home inspection includes. General home inspections include the roof, plumbing, water and mold issues, HVAC, electric systems and the home’s foundation, but you’ll also want to check for wood-destroying insects and other pests, as well as have the home examined for harmful construction materials, such as lead or asbestos.
    7. Ask your home inspector for a sample inspection report to help you understand the scope of their visit and what they will be including.
    8. Be sure you can be present during the inspection. Watch the inspector at work, and be sure to ask any questions that come to mind.