A home inspection is a process during the home buying process to give the buyer more information about the property. The home inspection process takes place during the option period. The option period is a period of time after offer is proposed and accepted. The home inspection is not required but is a useful tool for the buyer to use. The home buyer is responsible for hiring a home inspector.
Use Your Agent
If you are using a real estate agent to purchase the house, ask the agent if they have a recommended home inspector. Usually an experienced agent will have a professional home inspection company, or a home inspector they use regularly.
In the state of Texas, home inspectors have four different license levels, the highest being Professional Real Estate Inspector. Home inspectors that are not licensed cannot provide inspection reports in the state. Other states do not require licenses.
In addition to licensing the state can also control the inspection report format that the home inspectors write. Having a consistent format for reports ensures that the home inspections will be consistent.
The state of Texas also requires home inspectors to be insured to a minimum amount. By doing so the states ensures the license holders are financially responsible.
Home Inspectors Groups
Some home inspection trade groups are ASHI or InterNACHI. Being a member of a trade organization like this is another qualification a home buyer should look for. Certified home inspectors from InterNACHI are required to inspect to the minimum standards of practice, set by the organization, sometimes using the groups’ home inspection checklist.
Hiring a home inspector that is a member of one of these trade groups ensures the home buyer will have a professional home inspection.
Even today some home inspectors only use a notepad and pencil to provide a written report. To ensure a thorough inspection report a home inspector should be using the latest technology.
Thermal imaging provides the home inspector the ability to see missing insulation from inside the wall. Thermal imaging can also provide the home inspector with the ability to see breakers that are overheating or a HVAC system that is not working properly.
A foundation level tool, like a zip level, will provide an elevation survey of the house to evaluate the foundation. The foundation level is not a cheap tool and provides an accurate reading of the elevation changers in the house.
The home inspector should also be qualified to use this technology. Trade groups can provide such training.
Inspection Report Software
Many companies create a smart home inspection report. Allowing the home buyer to have an easy to read report. Some reports will have attached images, diagrams and hyperlinks. A picture with arrows pointing at the problem can help explain a complex problem.
Home inspection software like Spectora will provide these user friendly reports. Your real estate agent may also have a preferred home inspection report software.
Home Inspection Reviews
Just as you do when looking for a restaurant, reviews are important to find a home inspector. Look for inspectors that have several good reviews. Read the bad reviews, sometimes bad reviews can be just as helpful in finding a good home inspector as a good review. The manner in which an inspector responds to a review is also very helpful in learning about the person. To see some home inspection reviews click here.
Home Inspection Prices
The average home inspection cost can be between $350-$600 and many variables can affect the price. Age of the home, square footage of the house, pools, sprinkler systems, foundation types can all play a factor in the pricing of home inspections.
The older the home, the more problems are usually found. For example, knob and tube wiring was used in houses when electrical systems were first installed. However, currently knob and tube wiring is no longer safe to use in homes. An inspection report on a house with knob and tube wiring will have a litany of issues on the report from having an outdated unsafe system in use.
A pier and beam foundation creates a crawl space that the home inspector will need to go into to inspect. Some inspectors will charge more for providing that service.
Using all these points can help identify a qualified home inspector or home inspection company to use during the home buying process.