Tips on Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

Believe all home inspectors are the same? Think again! In the State of California, home inspectors are not licensed. That means that virtually anyone can call themselves a home inspector. What this means for a home buyer or a seller needing an inspection is it is worth it to do your research when it comes to selecting a qualified inspector.

The following tips are a guide to help you in your search of finding a qualified inspector:

–        Credentials: What Credentials does the inspector have to prove he is qualified when it comes to being a home inspector? Since inspectors are not licensed in the State of California, it is important to hire a qualified inspector that has membership in an accredited and well recognized Home Inspector organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association). The inspector must participate in Continuing Education Credits to keep their membership active for these two organizations. Each of these organizations have a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that provide great information as to what a home inspector does and does not do and to what standard they are to inspect to.

–        Experience: Since home inspectors are not a commodity, and are not all created equal, their experience as it relates to home inspections is very crucial. What is your inspectors’ background? Did he previously have a career that relates at all to a house before he became an inspector, such as having his general contractor’s license or a trade like a plumber or electrician? How long has he been inspecting? Obviously an inspector who has been inspecting homes for 10 years has a lot more experience than someone who just started 3 months ago.  Does he do any other type of inspecting work that can add to his experience such as FHA Inspections or HUD Inspections?

–      Price: Because home inspectors are not created equal, there is going to be a range in pricing. Keep in mind that most highly qualified and experienced inspector’s base their price ranges on square footage and age (additional items cost extra such as crawlspaces, pools, Jacuzzis, etc.).  Homes that are 100 years old are a lot different than a home that is 5 years old. Some inspection companies will say that any home may be on special for $200. It is easy to see that a property that is 2000 sq. ft. more than another and 60 years older would require more time and energy to complete a thorough job; so a “one price fits all” scenario is where you will get what you pay for in the quality of an inspection. A home is usually the largest investment in one’s lifetime, so researching an inspector on more criteria than price alone is well worth it.

Keep in mind there are more bases to cover when searching for a qualified home inspector but most importantly, actually take the time to interview your inspector to feel comfortable that he is the right choice for you.