Choosing the Right Home Inspector
There are several important questions a person should ask when interviewing a home inspector. The answers provided in response to these questions will help the prospective buyer determine which inspector will be the most qualified for the task at hand. In addition, they will also help the prospective buyer financially protect himself or herself.
Read our interview with Mel, the experienced home inspector who operates Focus Home Inspections:
Are you an experienced home inspector?
Yes; I employ over 18 years of experience in home and building inspection, and 13 years of architectural design, planning and renovation experience. I am a recognized member of InterNACHI, which is the Internation Association of Certified Home Inspectors. I have performed close to 9000 inspections and provided as many customers with valuable information to assist them in their decision to purchase. Buying a home or commercial building may be the single largest investment of your life. I recommend that you hire the most reputable and experienced inspector you can afford to ensure a quality inspection.
The “other” inspector also said he/she was experienced. What makes you different?
Knowing how to inspect is one aspect to the business, but having a background or knowledge in architecture and the building materials that put the buildings together, is even more important. Being able to see in my mind what it looks like within areas that are not visible gives an advantage to propose why problems may exist in certain situations.
How are you paid?
I disclose my fee up front and charge by the job; not by the hour. Factors that influence the investment required are: distance to the site, and the style or type of house. Homeowners should find out if an inspector works by the hour or has a flat rate that he or she charges per job. If the inspector works by the hour, then the homeowner should find out how long the inspector anticipates it should take to complete the job. Having this information will allow an individual to work the expected costs into his or her budget. Also, be cautious in shopping for the “cheapest” home inspector, because that’s exactly what you will find.
Do you offer free estimates?
Once I know the distance to the site, and the style or type of house, I will be able to tell you the exact fee required for a proper inspection. It is a common mistake for prospective property owners to hire the cheapest or least expensive inspector, and to confuse the “low price” with “high value”; it doesn’t work that way. Interview your home inspector and shop for experience, knowledge and credibility, not the lowest price. This strategy could in fact save you a great deal of money and aggravation in the future.
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