Anyone want to attack this one as it is in the States.
How To Not Suck… At Home Inspections
You’ve finally found that perfect home. A white picket fence. A pretty flower garden. That’s what it looks like to the untrained eye. But that perfect home could be filled with all kinds of trouble — poorly installed insulation, [foundation problems
http://contentcache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png](http://consumerist.com/2013/11/19/how-to-not-suck-at-home-inspections/#), sub-par electrical work, infestations of termites and mice. Even a savvy home-shopper can miss hidden problems in homes. Put away your macho. No matter how handy you may be, a home inspection isn’t something that fits in the DIY category. Spending a few hundred bucks now on a qualified home inspector can save you tens of thousands later. FINDING A HOME INSPECTOR
Start by hiring someone who is really qualified to do the job.
32 states require home inspectors to have some kind of license or registration. But even having a state license isn’t a guarantee you’ll find a qualified inspector because not every license requires education and training.
You can read more about the requirements for each state on the American Society of Home Inspectors’ website.
Because each state is different, and some states have no requirements at all, it’s hard for consumers to know if a potential inspector is qualified.
Narrow down your search by looking for a pro who is associated with a respected industry group. Check to see the requirement for membership because some groups will be happy to “certify” anyone willing to write a check.
Some related groups to consider:
The American Society of Home Inspectors is the nation’s oldest industry group. Members must pass two exams, and must complete more than 250 inspections before they can call themselves “certified.”
The National Association of Home Inspectors members must also pass a test and complete 250 verifiable inspections.
The National Institute of Building Inspectors requires continuing education for annual recertification.
Also be suspicious if your real estate agent is pushing one particular inspector. You’d be better served if the agent can give you a handful of names to consider.
Before you call the inspector, check out his or her reputation with your state to see if there are any complaints against the inspector. If your state offers licensing, make sure the inspector’s license is current.
If the inspector is a member of an industry association, give it a shout and ask if the member is in good standing.
While it’s no guarantee of quality, look up the inspector with the [Better Business Bureau
http://contentcache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png](http://consumerist.com/2013/11/19/how-to-not-suck-at-home-inspections/#) and do a simple Google search to see if the name comes up on any consumer complaint boards or in local newspaper articles.
When you finally call the inspector, ask:
What are your credentials? Training background?
Do you belong to any associations?
Are you licensed?
Do you carry [insurance
http://contentcache-a.akamaihd.net/items/it/img/arrow-10x10.png](http://consumerist.com/2013/11/19/how-to-not-suck-at-home-inspections/#)? (Not all states require this, but if the inspector has a policy, ask for a copy.)
Do you offer a guarantee?
What can you do, and what can’t you do, in an inspection?
What will you offer in writing when the inspection is complete?
How long will the inspection take? (Most inspections should take at least three hours.)
Can I be there? (During an inspection, the inspector should teach you about the home and point out what he sees. If he doesn’t want you there, beware.)
Remember that no home inspector has X-ray vision, and no one is going to see every flaw in a home. Still, a qualified inspector will check all the usual suspects and point out areas that you need to know about, or ask more about. You can always negotiate with the home seller to correct items before you take possession of the home, or you negotiate a better price for the home.