If you have crossed the psychological threshold of accepting the fact that, yes, with perhaps the biggest impending purchase of your life looming you really should get professional help and opinions, then the next question will likely be: “how do I find a great home inspector?”.
A recent article by Reuben Saltzman in the star tribune highlighted the issues with conducting just such a search. He highlights several of the following methods for obtaining a qualified and competent home inspector.
His first suggestion is to read reviews. Many business services online provide review capabilities to their users and subscribers, and even Google listings can be reviewed. While it is not always possible to track down online reviews of the home inspector you are considering, looking for some is a good place to start. Remember though that disqualifying someone because a negative review exists is a bit of an unrealistic position to be taking these days. You can’t always make everyone happy and a good indicator of the type of business you are dealing with is not simply did the home inspector get a bad review now and then, but how did they respond to the review.
Also ask for and read some sample home reports, they should be easy to read, complete and concise and contain a lot of pictures outlining and showing the components of the house reviewed and illustrating any issues that the home inspector has found with the property.
Look for realistic recommendations. Some inspections go out of their way to defer liability by recommending further and further inspections for things like mould, asbestos, lead, electrical systems etc. A report should be realistic and focus on the needs of the buyer, not on the inspector trying to cover their you-know-what.
Finally, make sure that your home inspector has been certified by a reputable agency or association. While this is not always a guarantee that you will be dealing with a winner, it’s a good start. For one thing you know that at the bare minimum your home inspector has received industry leading training and that their reports will conform to industry standards. In Ontario the leading association of accreditation for home inspectors is the OAHI.
For more information, and to find out how you can put the experience of Home Owners Inspections services to work for you, call or email us anytime. Happy House Hunting!