- How long have you been in business? The more experience, the better. I would not hire anyone with less than 200 inspections under their belt.
- How long are your inspection reports? While normal people don't want to read a 75 page report, I don't recommend any inspector that writes ten page reports. My reports typically range from 20 to 35 pages and include many photos.
- How does the state of Indiana define what is a "defect"? Surprisingly, the exam the state makes home inspectors take does not include this question. The response all home inspectors should give is, "items that do not function (for instance plumbing leaks), unsafe conditions (fire hazards, electrocution hazards, etc), and items near the end of their useful life." If he or she cannot answer this question correctly, then how are you going to know what is or is not a "defect".
- How long do you expect the inspection to take? My inspections usually take between 3 to 4 hours, but can be shorter. However, I have never done a 30 minute inspection on any house. The exterior typically takes me 30 minutes.
- I offer the InterNACHI "Buy Your House Back Guarantee", Free Termite Inspection with a home inspection, and I use thermal imaging to help me find leaks. Ask the other guys how they are different or better than that?
- Do you have E and O insurance? The state does not require it, but I carry it because I feel that it is the responsible thing to do.
All inspectors are not created equal, yet many homebuyers assume that when they go searching for a home inspector. That's why the first question I almost always get from a homebuyer is, "what's your price?" This is a BIG mistake. I have spoken to many home sellers that said they wish they had hired me on their first inspection. I recommend asking inspectors the following questions:
So you negotiated a bunch of repairs and feeling good about yourself. But, were these repairs completed and completed correctly? Sometimes yes, but sometimes no. It's scary to think someone would agree to make repairs, then not complete them. You could end up with safety hazards and not know it.
How do you protect yourself? First, since repairs should be completed by contractors like electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, and so on, ask for receipts. Sometimes the sellers will try to fix electrical issues themselves, but the odds are pretty good that they will do it wrong. Moreover, there is a reason electricians go to school and require a test to become an electrician. You wouldn't ask an electrician to make a gourmet meal or fly a commercial airliner. Why would you be ok with a seller making electrical repairs?
If they cannot come up with invoices, then pay me to have a repairs inspection. Cost is minimal and I have seen repairs that make me shake my head. For instance, one time the repairs to the electrical panel which disconnected power to one bedroom. That's right no power to the receptacles, light fixture, or ceiling fan. Good thing my client hired me.
Call me when you are ready for an Excellent Home Inspection.
Mold is a word that strikes fear in many people. There are stories of people becoming very sick because of mold, but I think it is important to be armed with the best information available. Here is a list of facts about mold in homes.
For more information see www.epa.gov/mold and www.cdc.gov/mold. Note: I am not a mold remediation contractor and my inspections exclude mold detection and identification.
Why do you spend the money for an inspection? Because you don't want to buy the money pit, but what if your home inspector isn't very good? You could still be stuck with the money pit, which is why most inspectors don't offer this service.
Call me today to schedule an Excellent Home Inspection.
Owning a home means you are responsible for maintenance. Maintenance keeps the house functioning and safe. Here is a list of common maintenance items.
At some point you are going to need to hire a contractor (plumber, electrician, HVAC technician, etc). All contractors do not preform to the same level. Here are a couple of suggestions for finding the right contractor for your project.
Next, make sure permits are ordered on bigger projects so that you know the job is completed correctly. Furthermore, some bigger projects need to have contracts spelling out exactly what is to be done. Finally, don't pay the full amount until the project is completed.
There is a common misconception about home inspection cost. I hear from buyers that feel like a $300 or $400 inspection fee is too expensive, but truthfully that is cheap in comparison to the cost a home buyer incurs when they don't get a good home inspection. Think about the damage that an electrical fire can cause or the cost to replace a furnace, roof shingles, air conditioner, or water heater. Below are some items that I have uncovered during inspections and their cost to repair or replace.
You hire a home inspector to provide you with information about your new home. We tell you what is not working, what is unsafe, and what you should do about it. Unfortunately, clients don't always follow my directions.
For instance, my reports instruct them to have the repairs done by licensed tradespeople before close, since tradespeople are more likely to complete the repairs to code and discover issues outside the scope of my home inspection. To my dismay, client's allow sellers, who are not licensed as electricians, HVAC technicians, or plumbers, to make repairs. These repairs could be substandard or just wrong.
I implore you, as my client, to read the report and follow my instructions.
Not preparing to sell your home is a costly mistake. I get that you don't want to spend the money or time to fix the house up for the buyer, but it's going to cost you more in lower sales price and time on the market. Below are some things you should do to help sell your house.