Getting a home inspection is simply not an option anymore–there are too many potential defects, safety hazards, and undisclosed conditions in homes (including brand new homes) and you don’t want to be stuck with major repairs & repair bills after buying what seemed be a “perfect” house. The thoroughness and quality of the Inspector and their inspection is entirely up to you. You can pay for a “token” inspection, which often isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, or you can get a quality, thorough home inspection. The whole point of getting a home inspection is to give you more information. Since buying a home may be the most expensive single investment you’ll ever make, you want to make sure you hire a thorough, professional & unbiased home inspector.
So here are some questions to ask yourself while shopping for a home inspector:
- Do you want a professional, comprehensive inspection of the home, or a “feel-good” home inspection to give you a false sense of security?
- Do you want a Certified Home Inspector with extensive experience & training or an unqualified part-time inspector?
- Do you want an unbiased home inspector, or one who might “go easy” on defects in the home to protect his relationship with the real estate agent or their commission check (yes, conflicts of interest abound–Buyer beware!)
- Do you want a thorough inspection (3-4 hours) to make sure the home is safe for your family, or a quick “once-over” by an “inspector” who simply walks through & looks around for an hour or so in order to give you a clean “bill of health?”
Buying a home (and having to make major repairs) can be the most expensive decision you’ll ever make, so now is not the time to cut corners or use the “cheapest guy in town.” A good home inspector is worth every penny because a thorough inspection usually finds more defects (and gives you more bargaining power) than a quick, cheap inspector. You get what you pay for, and the small difference in price between a “cheap” inspector & a thorough, unbiased home inspector is insignificant compared to the cost of a service call to make an average home repair as explained in details on e-Architect blog.
A thorough home inspection includes descriptions of safety hazards and potential safety conditions as well, where a biased or less thorough home inspector may miss these entirely or not report on some of these items. So when it comes to getting the right information to make an informed buying decision, and when it comes down to your family’s safety, you owe it to yourself to make sure your home inspector is working for you and you alone. So take your time, ask inspectors lots of questions.