Choosing a Home Inspector

Posted on April 21 By Francine Huff

Don't skimp when choosing a home inspector. Getting a thorough property inspection when buying a house can keep you from having your own personal "Money Pit."

Home inspectors examine a property to look for any potential problems. Among the services they may provide are testing foundations, structures, wells, septic systems, electrical wiring, plumbing, and exteriors such as roofs and siding. You also can get testing for lead, asbestos, pests, and radon, among other things.

Use the following guide to find a reputable inspector:

  1. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Be cautious about using an inspector recommended by your realtor to avoid any conflict of interest.
  2. Check out an inspector's credentials. Is he or she licensed in your state? Not all states require licensing, but if yours does write down the license number and check to make sure it is current.
  3. Does that person belong to an organization like the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). The NAHI requires inspectors to pass written tests, receive continuing education, and to have completed at least 250 inspections before getting membership.
  4. Make sure the inspector you hire has proof of a current Errors and Omission or liability insurance policy. Insurance may not be required in your state.
  5. Get an inspector who can do all the tests you need. Not all inspectors offer certain specialized services.
  6. Get someone with experience. The NAHI recommends hiring someone who has done at least 200 inspections.
Once the inspection is complete you should receive a detailed written report. Find out how soon after the inspection you can expect the report and in what form, such as by mail or email.

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