Elite Home Inspections: Tips on Hiring a Professional Inspector

Elite home inspections are called as such because they are conducted by trained and certified inspectors, not just by your local handyman or carpenter. Their knowledge surpasses that of assessing the conditions the different parts of the home, but also extends to knowledge of certain laws and regulations pertaining to building codes. Their overall inspection will help you as a homeowner decide whether you should buy the property or not. Even though there really is no house that can be deemed perfect, any buyer would definitely want one that has the least repair needs.

If you or any of your friends are in the process of buying a house, you may want to make use of the following tips when looking for a certified inspector.

Experience

No one becomes an expert on elite home inspections overnight. It takes years of experience and highly specialized training. Therefore, the first thing you should check is the how many years the inspector has been inspecting homes. The inspector assigned to your property should have experience with your type of home. Are you buying a single family residence or is it a condominium? Perhaps you are looking at a mobile home or manufactured property. Ask the inspector to provide you with a sample report of the same type of home that they have inspected in the past.

Certifications, Credentials, and Licenses

When speaking with a home inspection company, always ask for copies of their certifications and licenses. Anyone can claim that they are a certified inspector, but if there are no documents to back that up, then be wary. You can also check if they belong to a local home inspection association. These associations require inspectors to maintain a working knowledge of the latest building code. By testing their members regularly on industry standards homeowners are more likely to receive an inspector who knows what they are talking about and what to look for when inspecting properties of all types.

Sample of Report and Inspection Checklist

The reports made after elite home inspections often consist of 40 or more pages. This is because inspectors make sure that every detail is recorded for the future homeowner’s benefit. If the sample given to you has less than ten pages in it, then consider that as a red flag. Chances are, their inspectors do their jobs in a hurry and are not very detailed in their observations. To probe further, ask for a copy of the inspection checklist. It should include structural and mechanical components of the home. The plumbing system and electrical wirings should be there. Make sure they will be providing a mold inspection and termite inspection as part of their elite home inspection services.

Length of Inspection

When the inspector comes to your home, ask how long it would take him to do the job. This will vary depending on the size of the home, but it should at least take about three to four hours. If the inspector is done after an hour then you should be concerned because he may have done it in haste and has likely overlooked some defects. We have even heard of some companies doing “drive-by” inspections. Ideally you will want to be present at the inspection to avoid this scenario.

Communication

During the hiring process, select an inspector that communicates well. After all you are going to have many questions so you will want someone who responds professionally and knows how to articulate your homes issues. If it takes them several days to answer a simple query, then they may be as slow in providing you with the results later on or with accommodating your complaints, if you ever have one. Efficient property inspectors can often provide a report the day of the inspection.

Warranty

Finally, a good home inspection service must offer a warranty to the client. This warranty can be valid for 30, 60, or 90 days and, obviously, the lengthier the better. This will ensure that the inspector did his job seriously or he will be liable for any repairs that will transpire due to damages that he failed to report. These inspectors usually have an error and omission insurance that will cover this, although some will ask the client to sign a waiver to limit their liability. For your protection and to ensure that you are getting good value for the service that you hired, go with the inspection company that offers the best warranty.

Use these tips when you are looking for companies that will provide elite home inspections for you or for the people you know. This guide is a surefire way to ensure that you get the best professional out there.

4 Home Inspection Tips for a Buyer’s Peace of Mind

Buying a home is a major event for most people. Since we do it so infrequently, there are many facets of the process which are not familiar to the average buyer. One very important aspect of the home buying process is getting a professional home inspection.

Home inspections can uncover hidden flaws an untrained person would not notice. Sometimes the inspectors discover defects that could cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to correct. Even when they discover minor flaws, you can add to your contract that the seller will correct them. Alternatively, you will have some ammunition to possibly negotiate a lower price. Here are a few inspection tips:

Home Inspection Tip No. 1

Be sure to select an inspector who has had training and a lot of experience in inspection. An experienced inspector will be familiar with good construction methods, and will recognize any visible defects in the structure, or in the installation of ancillary systems such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. He or she will likely be aware of current recalls of various appliances and what options are available to owners.

Home Inspection Tip No. 2

Choose an inspector from the local area. An inspector from the area will be familiar with local building codes. He or she will also be familiar with common problems associated with the neighborhood, and with individual home builders in the area.

Home Inspection Tip No. 3

Be sure you are present and tag along with the inspector while he or she inspects your potential purchase. Most inspectors prefer you to be there so they can point out specific defects, as well as the good features of your prospective purchase. This will give you a much better understanding of the items in his or her report. Ask questions about anything you see or don’t understand.

Home Inspection Tip No. 4

Don’t plan on doing your own inspection. There are hundreds of items that need to be inspected. Without formal training or years in the home construction trades, the average person will not be able to recognize many potential defects. A professional home inspection only costs a few hundred dollars to protect your investment of more than 500 times as much. This is no time to be penny wise and pound foolish.

You will get an unbiased evaluation from your inspector. You should expect to get a detailed report, with a description of both good and bad findings, along with appropriate diagrams and photos as necessary to document those findings.

Following the tips above will make you aware of any potential problems, and allow you to proceed with your transaction with the confidence that you are buying a sound property, or will be once any potential defects are addressed. A thorough inspection takes the emotion out of the equation, and gives you peace of mind knowing you are making your decision based on the facts.

Home Inspection Tip 2 – Checking the Interior of A Home

You should know the basics of screening out the wrong houses. Some inspectors are not as meticulous as you would like them to be. So here are some pointers in checking the structure of the interior of a house that you want to purchase so you will get the best deal at house closing:

– Having entrance foyer in a home is desirable as it helps in conserving heat in winter and coolness in summer days. Having a large closet near the doorway is great.

– The kitchen should be located near the dining area, living room and the garage. Also, see to it that there are lots of storage space and area for a dining nook. The counter length should be at least two feet. The exhaust fan should be placed above the stove. The stove, refrigerator, and sink should be near one another so it will be easier for you to move if you will prepare food in the kitchen.

– A bathroom should be on the same floor as the kitchen, and there should be one and a half bathrooms for every two bedrooms. Ideally, a bathroom will be off the main bedroom.

– Flush all toilets to check them, and lift the cover off the tank to inspect whether the workings inside are working properly. Visit the highest bathroom in the house, turn all the faucets, and flush the toilet, to see if the water flows very slowly. Interior baths are better than those that have an outside wall, but they should have exhaust fans. Moreover, do not forget to check the ceilings below bathrooms for water stains.

– The fireplace should have an ash box, for ease of cleaning. Fireplace flooring should extend 18 inches in front, then one foot beyond each side of the fireplace. Check whether the damper is in good condition.

– The garage should slant down toward the outside, and it should have a window, along with a door besides the main door. An electrical outlet should also be available.

– Check the walls of the basement for cracks. Any crack one-third of an inch wide is not a good indication that the house is structurally well-built. A horizontal crack is worse than a vertical crack; it may signify that the wall is buckling.

– Look at the nails in the floorboards of the basement to see if they are rusty that can be a possible sign of flooding. And see whether the floor tiles have white stains at the joints, another sign of water damage. Freshly painted baseboard or basement walls could be a sign that the seller is trying to hide a water problem. Poke wood with a screwdriver; if it is soft, there may be termite damage.

– You should not have to walk through one bedroom to get to another. Any bedroom should have windows on two different walls for cross ventilation. Closets should have four feet of rod space per family member.

– In the attic, look for watermarks on the ceiling. A window or louvers should give ventilation. Six inches of insulation are desirable in the attic.