There are lots of questions you should and could ask, and a lot of resources on the internet to guide you. However what I’ve been asked more than any other question is, How much do you Charge? Which really should be the least of your concerns. Find out about the inspector and how he/she approaches the inspection. What they are going to do for you. What services are they going to perform. Paying a little more for a better inspector is a GREAT investment in your future, and the fact that you’ve come to the NACHI site is a great place to start. Don’t go with the low bidder. You’ll get what you paid for.
As far as the inspection is concerned, you should be most concerned with what we at KiNG call the MAJORS. Majors are those items that effect the safety and habitability of the home. If your inspector is concerned about cosmetic defects then he’s really waisting your time. After all, you can see those yourself. Also, some inspectors, tend to get carried away with code. Don’t be so concerned with that word or if the home is up to code or not. Code is often different for different municipalities. It’s also the minimum legal work that needs to be done during construction. Once the home is built then as code changes there isn’t an automatic code upgrade for you to download and install into the house. Older homes by definition won’t meet many current code regulations and for the most part shouldn’t be expected to. Your concern should be safety, and that you’re not going to have a problem in the future with it. Sometimes things are built to code, but are still unsafe or need improvements. Sometimes things aren’t up to current code, and are perfectly fine.
You want to know that the house is structurally sound. You want to know the condition of the roof. You want to know that the plumbing doesn’t seem to be leaking. You want to know the condition and age of the HVAC system. You want to know that the electrical system is safe. You want to know that the house is dry, and if there is moisture somewhere, why it’s there or how to find out why its there.
What you shouldn’t be concerned with is the little stuff. There is no such thing as a perfect house. Even if it’s brand spakin’ new, there’s going to be little things that need to be dealt with. So don’t nit-pick the house. You love it already, otherwise you wouldn’t have made an offer on it in the first place. Continue loving it, and focus on the Majors, keeping the big picture in mind.
Lastly, don’t skip the ancillary services that home inspectors provide. At a minimum get a termite inspection and a radon inspection as well. If you want more info on those you can contact me directly through my web site at http://www.kingdominspections.com/inspection/office/6 and I can tell you more about it.
Other ancillary inspections might include: Household Drug Pollution testing to determine if any drug use or manufacturing has occurred in the home (potential health risk). Mold testing (I would get a recommendation from the HI to see if he/she thinks it’s necessary based on their findings.) Home Security System testing (If you’re interested in this and your HI doesn’t offer it, I can arrange to have it done for you.) If you have a well, have its Quality and Quantity tested. Have the Septic system evaluation.
Yes it is going to cost you some money to do these things. But look at it this way. You are going to be making what is probably going to be the single biggest investment you will ever make in your life. You absolutely need to know what you are buying. So don’t skimp. Go with an inspector who might charge a little more, but will also spend the time necessary to give you a thorough evaluation of the home.
I wish you the best, feel free to contact me directly if you have other questions.
Kingdom Inspection Network Group-Saint Louis