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. If you’re struggling with how to choose a home inspector, we’re here to guide you.
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, 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 to Look for in a Home 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 required 100 home inspections. They should belong to a 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 if your general inspection turns up a problem beneath the home.
How to Choose a Home Inspector
Most people ask their real estate agent for recommendations. When dealing with how to find a good home inspector, we recommend:
- 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?