How to Choose a Home Inspector

Finding a reliable, reputable home inspector with all the proper credentials to perform your home inspection is a critical step in the home-buying process. Use our guide to find the right person.

How to Choose a Home Inspector

Getting a professional home inspection before you buy a house is a must — it can save you from investing in a home that needs significant repairs or discovering an unexpected issue after closing. To get a reliable inspection report, you need a good home inspector. Use our guide to find the best one.

What Does a Typical Home Inspection Include?

A typical home inspection includes a top-to-bottom look at the house to uncover potential problems. The inspector evaluates the home’s foundation and structural elements, roof, electrical systems, plumbing, heating and cooling system, insulation, ventilation and more. They do not test for pests, indoor air quality or lead paint.

What Makes a Good Inspector?

A good inspector should be licensed by a recognized national or statewide organization. They should have passed the National Home Inspector Exam and completed the requisite 100 home inspections. They should belong to a nationally recognized nonprofit group of home inspectors, such as the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

Inspectors in PA must carry errors and omissions and general liability insurance. They should also use advanced technology, such as infrared, to identify air leaks or a water pressure gauge to identify hard or soft water.

Do You Need Two Home Inspectors?

Most of the time, one is plenty. Consider hiring a second inspector in certain instances, though. For example, suppose you buy a very old house. In that case, you may need an inspector specializing in foundations to investigate further after your general inspection turns up a problem beneath the home.

Ways To Find a Home Inspector

Most people ask their real estate agent for recommendations. Other ways to find a home inspector include:

  • Requesting names from family and friends.
  • Using social media to find recommendations.
  • Looking at reviews of home inspectors on sites like Yelp or Home Advisor.
Questions to Ask a Home Inspector Before Hiring Them

Here are a few things to discuss before you sign a contract:

  • Can you show proof of bonding, licensing and insurance?
  • Have you completed any recent continuing education?
  • How long will it take to turn in your inspection report?
  • Do you perform specialized inspections for radon, mold or septic systems? If so, do you charge an additional fee for those?
  • How many inspections have you performed?
  • Can I see a sample of a home inspection report you have completed?
  • Can you share some references I can contact?

Are you in the market for a new home? Before you schedule an inspection, see how much house you can afford using our mortgage qualifier calculator. Then apply for a mortgage with us.

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