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Old 07-27-2009, 12:50 PM  
JustMe2
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Default What are the qualities of a good home inspector?

I'm needing a home inspection for a house I'm wanting to purchase and I'm not sure what makes a good home inspector. From what I've seen available in my area, there is a wide range of education, experience, and certification. From the low end, one inspector has a BA in math and has been certified through a 2 month training course with 5 years experience. On the opposite end, there are inspectors with 15 years of experience and a MA in structural engineering while affiliated with several organizations. The reports are in varying computer generated forms to a standard checklist. Some include termite inspection while others ask an additional $90


It seems as though everyone is charging the same price @$300 to $385 for 1700 sq ft house built 3 years ago.

Any suggestions on what to look for in a home inspector?



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Old 07-27-2009, 04:10 PM  
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Are either certified home inspectors and members of a good national association (ASHI, and not just a on-line test). If so, what is there memberships status and how many actual inspections have they performed. Some associations require a certain number of inspections for their certification. Most good associations frown on contractors and contractors are not allowed to work on properties they have inspected.

A home inspections is not like a code inspection. It is a very general inspection of ALL systems (electrical, plumbing, mechanical/HVAC, structural and roofing). It addresses safety, operation, condition and potential future cost areas. If there are specific specialties he can address those of recommend a more specialized he will, and if not, point it out to you to obtain a more detailed evaluation. - That is one reason that he cannot preform any contracting work and let you chose a subcontractor that is probably qualified, but is interested in maximizing the profit from his efforts.

The prices you listed are all in the ballpark.

Dick



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Old 07-27-2009, 06:12 PM  
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From the low end, one inspector has a BA in math and has been certified through a 2 month training course with 5 years experience. On the opposite end, there are inspectors with 15 years of experience and a MA in structural engineering
Back when I graduated, math was considered a Science as was Engineering. Someone with a Bachelor of Arts in Math or a Master of Arts in Structural Engineering might seem to be a prime candidate for a Nobel Prize in Plumbing.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:57 PM  
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Thank you for the replies.

How do you check membership status? I've been reviewing their websites and noticed some of them are also experienced in code inspection. One of them I talked to was a member of ISHI while others are members with ASHI. Is it true, the lower the membership number could mean the longer experienced? Is it important that they are insured and who by? My realtor didn't think so because the report is so general and written in a way that it doesn't hold the inspector liable for any issues.

The main reason I'm needing the report is for a FHA loan and I understand the house still holds some warrenty from the builder.

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Old 07-28-2009, 05:54 AM  
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Of course I am biased..I have been an ASHI member for over 10 years, however my background is in construction. But that does not mean I am the best inspector on the block.
Sticking with a good organization like ASHI is a good start. All inspectors in Texas have to be licenced, and your laws are tough to become an inspector.
Check your local ASHI for on of it's board members, we don't just vote any ol inspector in, they need to run a good business and have very good working knowledge of how buildings work. After all, they are representing our non profit organization.

Another trick is to ask any realtor (besides yours) who they would have inspect thier own home. They know who is the best around. They hardly ever recommend them because they do to much. hehe

Try www.ashi.org

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Old 07-30-2009, 11:14 AM  
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I used the realtors recommendation - I never will again. It is too much in the interest of the realtor for you to buy the house. The inspector who has a relationship with the realtor therefore has an interest too.

Make sure you find an inspector who is willing to defend your interest.

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Old 07-30-2009, 11:37 AM  
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You do not have use your realtors suggestion for a home inspector. Contact a different realtor from a different firm to get an independent opinion.

All home inspectors develop a relationship with an agent, the firm and eventually with the entire staff. If they can respond to meet the closing schedule, they are preferred because they make things work in a timely manner.

This should give you some comfort is you selection of an inspector. Beware of the less costly inspectors because there must be a reason to be cheaper. Many sellers now have pre-listing inspections and find the meanest, strictest, most qualified home inspectors to prepare a home so there will be no snags at the end. - They do not look at the cost of an inspection.

Just make sure they are certified and have sufficient experience and not just an out-of-work tradesman.

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:16 PM  
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I agree...never use your realtors suggestion for any inspectors.

And just because I am an ASHI member does not mean they are the best.
ASK around, and the cream will rise to the top, and take notes.

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:38 PM  
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InspectorD, does the prospective buyer have any standing to order a home inspection? I guess, does a buyer have the ability to grant an inspection? How is that handled? We are planning to move in the near future and will have a home inspector of our choosing do the inspection. When a home inspection is done what liability does the inspector have to the new owners if problems are discovered. What does a home inspection really entail.

Not trying to high jack the thread , but I think this gets back to the OP's original question.

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Old 07-30-2009, 05:59 PM  
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It depends on how the seller wants to sell the house. I have been on a job when the owner can not take someone looking at everything and says...get out...and that is what you do. The buyer then say's goodbye to the deal.
It is all about what is agreed upon in your contract. The usual thing is to have an inspection done after the price is agreed upon. If you are in the market for a home, get a lawyer first, then a realtor. The lawyer will tell you what to look for in a realtor, and not that I trust lawyers, but I trust "most" realtors less. They are there to sell a home, that is thier job.
As far as what a home inspection entails..American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI has already covered all the questions you may have in the FAQ's page. That is what a professional organization is all about....educating the client.



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