Home Buyers Guide

Choosing a home inspector

How to Inspect the Home Inspector.

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Many new home buyers have the impression that all home inspectors are the same, in fact, many Canadian provinces and American States have no regulations for home inspectors so the experience level of inspectors vary. When you find a home inspector in your area, you should ask the following questions to be sure he/she has the proper experience you expect from a home inspector:

Things to look for in an inspector:

A home inspector's experience in the building field usually comes from a background in contracting, architecture or engineering. By whatever route, the professional you want is one who knows homes inside and out, who makes a living poking into cellars and attics and crawl spaces looking for structural and equipment flaw, and who then gives you a detailed written report that takes some of the risk out of buying a home.

The inspector you hire should be independent, not beholden to the seller's real estate agent and not interested in promoting a repair or remodeling business.

Certification / Professional Affiliation
Look for inspectors who are members of a home inspector organization or association that requires them to follow special training or continuing education and that follow strict code of ethics training.

When you first choose a home inspector:

  • Compare Fees. It should range from $150 to $500 depending on the size of the home.
  • Ask what's included in the fee and how long the inspection should take. It generally takes two hours or more for a thorough inspection of a moderately sized home.
  • Compare telephone manner. The inspector should be courteous and knowledgeable.
  • Verify if they are specialized inspectors for Radon, Asbestos, pest control, water quality, etc.
  • Ask if the inspector is bonded, licensed, and insured.
  • Ask if the inspector is a member of an association such as A.S.H.I., or another professional inspection association.
  • Ask for references, and then call them.
Once you've chosen your home inspector, have him or her come out before expiration of the right-to-inspection clause in your contract. You will usually have about five days from the time you sign the contract to have your inspection. Don't wait until the last day in case it's raining or the inspection needs to be re-scheduled.
At the end of the inspection, or perhaps the next day, the inspector will give you a report of what's wrong with the house. If you're smart, you'll go to the inspection and walk around with the inspector. Ask a lot of questions as you go along. The inspector should be happy to explain everything to you. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about the home you're buying and what to watch out for in the future.

This article made possible in part by: ILyce R. link - Veteran Reporter specializing in the real estate market.

Useful Resources for Home Buyers
  • Home Inspection Checklist
  • an important step in protecting yourself from buying a home with hidden faults that will require costly repairs.
  • Choosing a Home Inspector
  • Many new home buyers have the impression that all home inspectors are the same, in fact, many Canadian provinces and American States have no regulations for home inspectors so the experience level of inspectors vary.
  • Toxic Substance Inspection
  • You've already asked for the right to have a professional home inspector inspect your house. And you've asked for the right to have your home inspected for pests. Have you thought about having an inspector test for toxic substances?
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Home Inspection Checklist
Home Inspection Checklist
A proper home inspection from a professional home inspector is always highly recommended but that doesn't excuse you from looking carefully over the home before you get to the inspection stage. By keeping a sharp eye out, you may be able to spot some major problems and eliminate a potential property before paying for an inspector...