Home Buying in 02382>Question Details

James Vera, Home Buyer in Whitman, MA

Could you recommend an honest home inspector in my area?

Asked by James Vera, Whitman, MA Thu Sep 11, 2008

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9
You can find a list of Licensed Home Inspectors at this state run website. http://license.reg.state.ma.us/public/hi_biz/v_list_hi.asp
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 16, 2012
There are many ways to find an honest home inspector. One way is to check with local realtors and ask them for names of inspectors. Cross off the names of those you gather from a master list of inspectors you get from your state. Why? Realtors only get paid when a deal closes. If inspectors find problems with homes that cause the transaction not to close they do not get paid for all the time and effort they put into that deal. Look at http://www.independentinspectors.org/ and see what makes their members different. Also look for inspectors who advertise being honest and independent. Those who post of how many realtors are their friends should be thought of as playing both sides of the fence. There is only one kind of inspector you want and that is the one who works for you and only you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 23, 2009
I must jump in and disagree with "stay away from ASHI and NACHI inspectors". As with any profession there are good and bad contractors, home inspectors, Realtors, doctors, etc. Most of the associations are there to continually educate the inspectors(or profession) and the inspectors join for a benefit "what is in it for me?". I can only speak for our Wisconsin chapter of NACHI, we have a speaker every month on a different but relevant topic to try to bring the inspectors, that are part of our group, to a higher level of education. Sure NACHI does some marketing (you can't survive as a business without marketing) but this Association, and others, are based on educating their members so that we can all do a better job for our clients. As for your daughter passing the test, I suggest she becomes a home inspector. She must be a natural!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 15, 2009
6. Be cautious of the Inspector who is throwing in services "For Free" with the inspection. Some popular "For Free" services are Wood Destroying Insect inspections, Infrared Thermal Imaging, etc. We are paid for our time and expertise. How many non-discount Brokers reduce their fees? How many Attorneys reduce their fees? Why would a good Inspector, and businessman, reduce their fees by throwing in free services? Generally you will be paying for these "Free Services" in one way or another. Usually it is in the form of less time spent inspecting what they should, or it is factored into the price they quote you or they know full well they will be reducing time on site by intentionally disclaiming parts of an inspection such as not walking the roof (to name one item).

7. Watch out for the Inspector who tries hard to sell you additional services. Ask them why you need those services. Ask them what their qualifications are in those additional services. One service in particular is becoming very popular with Inspectors now and it is being run as a marketing tool for many who do not even know how to perform it. The service is Infrared Thermal Imaging. There are a lot of Inspectors out there who have gone out and purchased thermal imagers (cameras is the common term), taken an online or other non-recognized course and are now offering the service. Some even have fancy logos next to their names and claims to go with it. They will make all types of claims and offerings and much of it is hype. They’ll push the service as extra cost or “Free” and you will not be receiving what you paid for. I am a professional Thermographer and can tell you that performing thermography on a home takes time, generally as much time to perform properly as the actual inspection does.

8. A good, reputable and honest Inspector will take the time to discuss your inspection needs with you when you call them. One hint of an honest Inspector is one that, after speaking with you, determines they can offer you the services you need and not a lot of fluff services to go with it. If the Inspector gathers their information properly on that call they will tell you what, if any, parts of your home you should have inspected by other professionals or if there are potential areas they can not inspect. For example, very few Inspectors will perform an actual full “Inspection” on a septic system. I perform inspections only on the parts that are readily accessible and only in an attempt to determine if an issue can be found. I always advise my clients to have the tanks uncovered and a full pump, clean and inspection performed by a licensed septic professional. There can be a gaping crack in a septic tank that is leaching waste into the ground but only seen by a pump, clean and inspect activity.
9. Be careful of all the titles used after an Inspector’s name. Check them out and know what they mean, how they got them and if they apply to your situation. Check out my signature line below. I can easily add a dozen more titles after it but the extra dozen titles mean little to my clients’ situation. But they sure would look impressive!!
10. Asking for references is a shot in the dark. I have ten friends now who would be happy to provide glowing references for me. Let’s be honest, a businessman would not provide you a reference for someone they know that disliked their services! It happens to even the best of us from time to time, through no real fault of our own. If you’re going to ask for references also ask for a copy of the actual inspection report for that reference. Before you call the reference, and you should if you’re asking for them, then review and compare the reports. How are you going to know truthfully if you are speaking with a happy client?

There are many, many other points I can provide but these will get you started. Honesty is in the eye of the beholder and what one person considers honest may be below your own standards of honesty. Use your instincts, trust your feelings and check the Inspector out. If I can be of help please let me know.

Good luck!

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
http://www.psinspection.com
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
Web Reference: http://www.psinspection.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 15, 2009
Hello James,

Apparently my answer is too long for Trulia so I will break it into two parts.

Hello James,

Times are a changing as of late and honesty is, unfortunately, taking a back seat to paying bills. This current economic situation is going to make good people bad and bad people worse. For the consumer that means you must be exceptionally cautious no matter who the service provider is.

There are good words below in all posts. I do not know Inspectors in your area but can help you look for one with the following suggestions.

1. Associations are there first to service the members and NOT the consumers. After all they make their money, and survive, from the membership and not consumers. Any reference to one association being better than another is just marketing hype. There are good Inspectors in all associations but do not use an association as your only means of selecting an Inspector.

2. If you choose an Inspector that does belong to an association(s) then contact the association and request their history with the association including any and all complaints against them whether the complaint was validated or not. Ask for their history with the association, have they met all requirements for their level in the association, what were those requirements and how many times they had to apply for that level. If they have had to apply multiple times then why did they not make it? How many times did they have to take the various tests to enter the association and what was their final entry passing scores.

3. The various associations have additional titles that they hand out to their members when they reach certain levels, meet certain requirements or simply pay additional money to have the rights for the title. Most of these titles are there only for marketing and they work well on a consumer who is not aware of how they are handed out. Some titles only require the member to pay "X" dollars and maybe take some simple course to obtain it. As a general rule to save yourself time then do not look at the titles until you have narrowed your list down. If the title means something to you then ask the association what the requirements were to obtain the title, how many times the Inspector had to apply and what was their final passing evaluation to obtain the title.

4. Your state does maintain an online search function for licensed Inspectors. It can be found at http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocasubtopic&L=4&L0=Home&… The search function also provides information regarding enforcement actions against Inspectors and explanations of your rights and how to file a complaint against an Inspector if needed. Use this site religiously to check your Inspector choice.

5. When you are calling Inspectors keep in mind that not all inspection prices are equal. Pricing is relevant to what is to be inspected along with other factors. Make sure you give the Inspector all information about the home so that they can quote you an accurate price. You will be surprised at the price differences. Keep in mind that Inspectors have costs of doing business and must pay their bills as well. Good Inspectors know what they are worth, charge accordingly and are not lowering their fees. After all, other than discount Brokers, how many RE Agents lower their commission fees? An Inspector who is quoting you a low price most likely is performing a minimalist inspection which means the very real possibility of missing significant issues. We call these types the $99 Inspector. They generally do not walk roofs (binoculars from the ground) or walk attics, perform only "Representative Sampling" of items, try to find reasons not to perform specific parts of an inspection and disclaim them, etc.


(TO BE CONTINUED)

Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
http://www.psinspection.com
214-418-4366 (cell)
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor

Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
Web Reference: http://www.psinspection.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 15, 2009
Stay away from ASHI , NACHI, and all inspectors who join these marketing groups. My ten year old daughter took the certification test and passed. Stay away from the franchises and big companies. These groups market to real estate brokers and are controled by the brokers. Look for an independant inspector who has your interest at hand..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 15, 2009
Hi James,

Mark Nardone with Bridge Home & Septic is someone that I have had good success with in the past, and is someone that I would use myself. He's very personable and thorough. His office number is 508-580-0465.

Don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

Good luck!

Jon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 17, 2008
You can also look at NACHI.org. Type in your zip code and a list of inspectors will be at your fingertips. This is the website for the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, now international . These inspectors must test into the Association. Most home inspector association only require payment.
Web Reference: http://nachi.org
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 14, 2008
Hi James
You can use this site to research Inpectors and learn more about the process http://www.ashi.org/

Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 11, 2008
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