The search was long, but you’ve finally found the home of your dreams! The next step is hiring a home inspector. But not all home inspectors are created equal. How do you go about hiring a home inspector? Whether you’re buying a new home, or preparing your home to be put on the market, a home-inspection by a qualified inspector will help you identify any problems or concerns within your future or existing home.
Here are five questions to ask when hiring a home inspector:
1. What are the Inspector’s Qualifications?
When hiring a home inspector, ask questions about their training and experience such as:
- How many years has the inspector been practicing?
- How many houses have they inspected?
- What is the inspector’s background? An inspector should be trained in construction, building standards, home systems, and structures.
- What types of homes is the inspector familiar with? Homes vary and show signs and symptoms of hidden damage in differing ways. A home inspector who has experience with a variety of home builds can make an impactful inspection.
2. What Inspection Reports do they Offer?
Ask the candidate for a sample inspection report. A longer report is more beneficial than a quick check list, as the more information you have, the more empowered you are as a homebuyer or home seller.
A sample report should contain:
- Detailed notes that are explained clearly and completely.
- Pictures of any damage or defects.
- Detailed descriptions on the location of the damage.
2. Is the Inspector Regulated or Belong to a Home Inspection Association?
Not all states regulate home inspectors.
- If your state does regulate, contact the agency to verify the inspector’s license and to check for complaints.
- If your state does not regulate, look for credentials such as memberships and association certifications. Home inspector associations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), provide members with ongoing training and certification programs and current information on practices, trends, and standards.
3. What Recommendations and References are Available?
Use online searches to initially locate inspectors and read reviews. Reach out to your local community for recommendations. As you narrow down your candidates, ask the inspector for the names of people who have used their services. Contact those references who have been in their homes for at least a few months, as problems that were missed or overlooked by the inspector could take some time to surface.
4. Is there Insurance or a Warranty Offered?
Errors can be made and problems missed. Ask about the inspector’s policy in these situations. Some offer insurance for errors and omissions, while others offer warranties of varying lengths of time. Look for an inspector who offers a warranty or insurance, as these are established to protect you and your investment.
Hiring a Home Inspector in New Hampshire
Hiring a home inspector with the proper training, experience, and references gives you peace of mind knowing your home has undergone a thorough examination. If you’re plunging into the real estate market, contact the home inspection professionals at Advanced Home Inspection. AHI provides highly-trained and experienced ASHI-certified home inspectors and all inspections are backed by a 90-day warranty. AHI is one of only a few New Hampshire home inspection companies that stand by their service with such an extensive guarantee.