When buying a home, you probably already know the importance of getting an inspection. A home inspection lets you know if the property that you’re about to buy has any major defects or potential problems that could result in costly repairs later on. It’s an important process that you should not skip when buying a home. However, you should be aware that inspectors could sometimes fail to detect major damages. As an inexperienced homebuyer, there are actions you can take to ensure that the inspector you’re hiring comes up with the right results.
Home inspectors could fail with their jobs
A couple in Central Florida discovered that the home they recently bought has severe fire damage. Charred wood, melted plumbing, and scorched wiring were found in the crawl space. The couple reportedly hired an inspector to find any damages from the home that they were about to buy. They notified the inspection company about their discovery and after the company re-inspected the couple’s home, they were offered a $500 refund after saying “dirt had covered up the fire damage”.
Although home inspectors are required to secure a license in Florida, there were reports of inspection complaints where inspectors failed to find serious property damages. According to consumer experts, homebuyers should not assume that their insurance can cover them if inspectors miss a serious home damage. The couple, who’s now expecting to spend tens of thousands of dollars in repairs, had already filed a negligence lawsuit against the home inspection company, the sellers, and the realtors.
These 5 tips could help you avoid a botched home inspection
Having an inspection is an invaluable step in the homebuying process simply because you’re making a large investment. However, inspection failures could happen in other states, not just in Florida.
Inspections should cover the mechanical, structural, electrical, and plumbing of a property. If done right, an inspector can give you all the information you need to help you decide if you’re going to buy your dream home or not. If you want to make sure you’re getting a proper home inspection, here are the helpful tips you may consider when choosing a home inspector as a homebuyer:
- Hire inspectors who encourage you to be around when they do their work. Inspectors who are comfortable with your presence during inspections can give you an idea that they can answer your questions as they do their work. Think twice about hiring an inspector who doesn’t want you to be around and insists that you wait for the results instead.
- Find out state-specific regulations regarding home inspectors. It’s often advisable that you understand state regulations about home inspectors so you would know what documents to ask from an inspector. You should know that inspector licensing is not required in all states. In some states, inspectors are also required to have insurance, so, you may want to verify it as well.
- Be cautious with inspectors who have lots of positive online reviews. Asking recommendations from friends or relatives is still the best recourse when looking for an inspector. If you have to go through online reviews, there are other reliable business review websites that you can check if you don’t want to use Yelp. Moreover, you may want to contact some of the inspector’s past clients to verify their reviews.
- Consider hiring an inspector who’s affiliated with professional groups. American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) are two of the professional organizations any inspector could have an affiliation with. Although being a part of such organizations could not guarantee quality work, you at least have some sort of assurance that an inspector with such affiliations underwent proper training and they work professionally.
- Find out which parts of the home are included in the inspection. In some situations, inspectors may intentionally not inspect exterior parts of the home especially if there are obstructions. Make sure that you are aware of the condition or functionality of those parts that are not going to be inspected. There could be times that you will need to pay extra fees if you will require additional services like a septic inspection or any problems that are common in the neighborhood.
Make sure home inspections work for you
Home inspections can help you decide if you’re investing your hard-earned money on a property that someday you can call home. While not all home inspectors can deliver a good job, there are actions you can take to ensure that you get the results you need before you go to the closing table. The tips mentioned here could help you find a reliable home inspector.