Personally, I like the home inspectors that either bring a computer along for the inspection or email the full report to the client later that day or the day following the inspection. Time being a factor on home inspection clauses, it's vital to get a thorough, legible report as soon as possible once the inspection is done. The computer generated or emailed format makes things much easier when it comes time for the report to get to the attorneys.
There are some nifty tools that home inspectors carry in their goodie bags. One that I like is the moisture meter, especially if you're buying a home that's been sitting vacant for awhile. I also like the idea of the digital camera so that the inspector can add a photo of items that are of concern. Problems sometimes arise after inspections when the attorneys (who were not there for the inspection) don't comprehend what the inspector was saying, and ask for repairs that have no relation to the actual issue. Photos often solve that problem.
You can verify that the home inspector holds a license in good standing by looking them up on this page.
Just select Home Inspector in the profession bar and enter last name. It will also tell you if the inspector's license has ever been disciplined by the State.
You can also check the BBB for any complaints against a particular home inspector. Google the inspector/inspection company name to see if there are any other consumer complaints.
Check in with friends and family who may have recently purchased to see if they felt their inspector did a good job.
I would also like to mention to you, Selina...that a home inspection isn't the time for you to invite family and friends to come see your new house. It's a time you should be focused on the inspector, and the property, and paying attention to what you're seeing and being told. Likewise - if you've got little ones, get a sitter rather than bring them along. Kids get reeeeeeeeeeeely bored at home inspections and that will distract you, too.
As a professional home inspector I suggest you call at least five to ten and ask them good questions.
If your first question is: How much do you charge?
That tells us you are not concerned about the quality of the inspection and only about the cost.
Do you want a CHEAP quick less informative inspection?
There are inspectors who will charge you $175.00 or LESS A quick CHECK LIST with no photos and very little to help you and very hard to follow. You get what you pay for.
Most inspectors are NOT going to spend 3.5 +hours to carefully go through the house. Look at it this way .. Home Inspections are the least expensive service in the Real Estate transaction process but have the MOST impact on your decision on whether to buy that place or not. By law, home inspectors cannot tell you whether to buy that house or not. You need that important quality inspection to make an informed decision.
How much are you willing to lose? 10, 20 100 Thousand??? Now is that $ 175 dollar inspection going to tell you about that issue that is not even covered in a 1.5 hour inspection?
Remember your spending large amounts of YOUR hard earn money on a house / home and you should get the best inspector and inspection available. For the 1 - 2 percent cost of the value of the investment in the house you can plan or at least prepare with the information you receive from a good inspection on those future "non-surprise" issues.
All inspectors have to be licensed and have to continual update, learn and improve.
ASHI is not the only association in this area and not the most demanding in terms of education requirements.
ASK the Inspector what are their credentials?
How long have you been an inspector? What is your background? Are you full time or part time?
What is your report format? What does your inspection COVER?
Are you available after the inspection to answer questions?
How many inspections do you perform in a day?
(If you get an answer of three or more then your not getting an attention to detail inspection! )
How long does it take for an inspection? Tell them the size of the house / condo and age of the property.
Has it been rehabbed or is it new construction. Do you have access to all the receipts of the work on the house accessible to you?
All this will help protect you and your investment.
Anyway, hopefully Selina got her home inspection professionally done in time, had no major problems, and recently celebrated her happy 1st year anniversary in her new home.
Try Mike Massart, he is with Speaker of the House property inspectors. I have both personally used him for years and recommended him to many clients. He is extremely thorough and very punctual. you can reach him at email@example.com or at (773)460-9578.
Baird & Warner
737 N. Michigan AVE
Chicago, IL 60611
Keep in mind that what you are actually purchasing is a home inspection report. How would you compare any other product you are thinking of buying? Wouldn't you look at samples of the product and then compare quality and price against others in the same business?
Go to the websites of the home inspectors whom you considering for the inspection of your targeted property. They should have samples of their reports posted on their website. Read the reports and see who is best at defect recognition and report writing.
The report is what you will use to re-negotiate the contract if you are presented with new information regarding the condition of the home. It is what your attorney, realtor, developer, etc. will use to hash out the after-inspection issues.
A good hard inspection with a well documented report will give you and your fiduciaries the ability to re-negotiate on your behalf. Good luck Selina!
By the way Marcus, Liam is out of commission with a bum hand from an accident with a table saw. Why would you be directing your clients to an inspector that uses 2 part carbonless reports and no photo documentation?
It takes time and proper evaluation, investigation skills to properly inspect a house. That means YOU the client gets your money's worth for a $400 dollar inspection by a skilled knowledgeable full time professional. Ask questions. No question is stupid. It's your investment.
How about telling the client how much they are paying in Realtor in commissions every hour the inspection is in progress instead of asking how much longer this is going to take when the inspection is 2 hours into the process. We have 400+ component swe have to inspect / get to / find. Realtor, understand this: Inspections are not just some necessary evil that you have to suffer through. It's not about YOUR deal. It's about the client interests. Why do SO many Realtors give us that I am in a hurry and your just another hurdle I have to deal with look? I see it all the time. Do us a favor. Stay out of our way and let us work, look out for your clients interest NOT yours. $$$
Coupons are a ploy to make you think your getting an " Inspection deal" Ridiculous! Look at their report. Some are totally useless. Glossed over 20 page shallow description of nothing useful. Home buyers rely too much on what agents say.. Wake up people, it's your huge investment! YOUR in control. Take control of your home purchase. DEMAND satisfaction! Don't let everyone take control of YOUR transaction.
What happen to "what matters to the client matters to me" approach?. Fiduciary duty.. does this apply here? Any agent that promotes one inspector is NOT looking out for YOUR interests. I see we have agents promoting one guy and other pushing at least two. Does this mean you work exclusively with that / those inspector(s)? Conflict of interest! Let your client choose for themselves. Home buyer lookout for this and don't pick any of the suggested inspectors. Your going to pay for it later.
Oh and another thing belonging to ASHI means NOTHING.. Pay a membership fee and your a member. No testing required. As a former member of ASHI, I left because their low standards did not meet my high standard for being a professional inspector.
Good inspectors are busy and don't usually answer the phone while they are on appointments. Leave a message with one of the inspectors I mentioned and they will probably get back to you this evening or first thing in the morning.
Not everyone is available to answer the phone every time it rings. Would you rather work with someone that is not working?
Best of luck!
Also, it never hurts to receive a second opinion regarding the structure of your acquisition financing. Click my picture for a complete profile. Best wishes.
Liam Henry, Emerald Home Inspection, 773-330-9833
Michelle Teague, All About Homes, 312-371-7414
Best of luck on your purchase!
Your Real Friend in Chicago Real Estate