5 THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT HIRING A HOME INSPECTOR

So you just signed off on your conditional sale on a new home! Congratulations! And now you have 7-10 days to get an inspection done!!  Better get on the phone and find yourself a home inspector.

This is a fairly common process for home buyers, but do you just pick an inspector blindly and hire the first guy in on google or do you do a bit more research. 

1.  An inspector is an inspector, right?   
Oh boy, no, not even close.  The difference in knowledge between home inspectors is staggering.  If you can believe some inspectors have never really had hands on construction and home building experience (yikes).  In Alberta it is mandatory to be licensed as an inspector, but what you learn in a textbook vs physical hands on experience are two totally different things. The real knowledge for home inspectors comes from experiences in construction, trades and physically inspecting houses.

2.  Stay away from the cheap guy.   
At first it will seem like a good idea to call around , find the guy who gives you the cheapest price, and hire that inspector.  That’s not a good idea.  In fact, it’s a really bad one, for a couple of reasons.  1.  Typically, the cheap guy is the new guy or 2.  Most cheap inspectors are volume inspectors.  They charge less, but do as many as 3-4-even 5 houses in a day.  How much time and care do you really think they’ll be spending on your new home when the clock is ticking to get to the next job?  A home is one of the biggest investments of your life, saving $50 which you probably spend elsewhere without thinking is a big mistake.

3.  Avoid the Minimalist.
Some inspectors like to do just the basics.  They keep to the letter of the law, and do as little as possible for you.  No roof walking, getting in attics, or crawlspace crawling.  No infrared scanning…These bare minimum guys are the kind of inspectors who really do you no good at all.

4.  Be cautious of who recommending you an inspector.  
Everyone loves to refer someone, if your friend or family recently purchased a home they may recommend their inspector. When you’re only experiencing the inspection from a buyer perspective and not witnessing other inspectors skills, it probably seems good, that may or may not be true.  The thing is Realtors, work day in day out with professionals and if you are working with a fantastic Realtors they want you to have a thorough inspection and ensure they provide you great contacts to any professional help you need along the way. Remember that at the end of the day, your home purchase is a huge investment for you.

Note: Be cautious about taking a blind recommendation on an inspector.  Do your own research.

5.  You should be asking questions about more than just the cost of the inspection.

There are lots of questions you can ask to weed out the bad eggs when it comes to inspectors.  Ask things such as, “How long will the inspection take?”  “How many houses do you inspect a day?”  “Will you crawl through the attic?” “Do you use infrared/ thermal scanning “How about walking on the roof?”  “Do you actually go into the  crawlspace?”

I get 15 or so calls a week where the first thing that comes from the caller’s mouth is “How much?”  That is the wrong question to ask. What you really want to know is how knowledgeable and intelligent this person is, not how cheap.  Don’t fall into the price trap.  The truth is, the difference in price between the best and worst inspectors is comparable to the cost of a dinner out.
You are about to purchase a $200,000 house.  Where would you rather spend that $50 bucks?

There is a direct correlation between what an inspector will do and what he charges. I’ve looked at tons of homes that would have cost the buyers tens of thousands of dollars had they not hired me to actually crawl around and get dirty for them.   The big problems are almost always hidden, and your inspector must be willing to go where the others won’t in order to find them.

 

So you just signed off on your conditional sale on a new home! Congratulations! And now you have 7-10 days to get an inspection done!!  Better get on the phone and find yourself a home inspector.

This is a fairly common process for home buyers, but do you just pick an inspector blindly and hire the first guy in on google or do you do a bit more research. 

1.  An inspector is an inspector, right?   
Oh boy, no, not even close.  The difference in knowledge between home inspectors is staggering.  If you can believe some inspectors have never really had hands on construction and home building experience (yikes).  In Alberta it is mandatory to be licensed as an inspector, but what you learn in a textbook vs physical hands on experience are two totally different things. The real knowledge for home inspectors comes from experiences in construction, trades and physically inspecting houses.

2.  Stay away from the cheap guy.   
At first it will seem like a good idea to call around , find the guy who gives you the cheapest price, and hire that inspector.  That’s not a good idea.  In fact, it’s a really bad one, for a couple of reasons.  1.  Typically, the cheap guy is the new guy or 2.  Most cheap inspectors are volume inspectors.  They charge less, but do as many as 3-4-even 5 houses in a day.  How much time and care do you really think they’ll be spending on your new home when the clock is ticking to get to the next job?  A home is one of the biggest investments of your life, saving $50 which you probably spend elsewhere without thinking is a big mistake.

3.  Avoid the Minimalist.
Some inspectors like to do just the basics.  They keep to the letter of the law, and do as little as possible for you.  No roof walking, getting in attics, or crawlspace crawling.  No infrared scanning…These bare minimum guys are the kind of inspectors who really do you no good at all.

4.  Be cautious of who recommending you an inspector.  
Everyone loves to refer someone, if your friend or family recently purchased a home they may recommend their inspector. When you’re only experiencing the inspection from a buyer perspective and not witnessing other inspectors skills, it probably seems good, that may or may not be true.  The thing is Realtors, work day in day out with professionals and if you are working with a fantastic Realtors they want you to have a thorough inspection and ensure they provide you great contacts to any professional help you need along the way. Remember that at the end of the day, your home purchase is a huge investment for you.

Note: Be cautious about taking a blind recommendation on an inspector.  Do your own research.

5.  You should be asking questions about more than just the cost of the inspection.

There are lots of questions you can ask to weed out the bad eggs when it comes to inspectors.  Ask things such as, “How long will the inspection take?”  “How many houses do you inspect a day?”  “Will you crawl through the attic?” “Do you use infrared/ thermal scanning “How about walking on the roof?”  “Do you actually go into the  crawlspace?”

I get 15 or so calls a week where the first thing that comes from the caller’s mouth is “How much?”  That is the wrong question to ask. What you really want to know is how knowledgeable and intelligent this person is, not how cheap.  Don’t fall into the price trap.  The truth is, the difference in price between the best and worst inspectors is comparable to the cost of a dinner out.
You are about to purchase a $200,000 house.  Where would you rather spend that $50 bucks?

There is a direct correlation between what an inspector will do and what he charges. I’ve looked at tons of homes that would have cost the buyers tens of thousands of dollars had they not hired me to actually crawl around and get dirty for them.   The big problems are almost always hidden, and your inspector must be willing to go where the others won’t in order to find them.

For piece of mind, some inspectors including House to Home Inspections include value adds such as the items below:
-Recall Chek
This service provides clients with appliance checks to ensure there hasn't been any recalls to their appliances in the home.

Residential Warranty Services which include:
Roof Protection Plan: This service covers repairs and leaks for upto 5 years from the date of inspection with payment of deductible.

90 Day Warranty: This service is provided if there are any issues in the listed items with Residential Warranty Services they will be covered.

Mold Safe: IF mold is found in your home that was not present at time of inspection you are covered for up to $2000 in remediation

Note: All of these services are subject to approval and guidelines provided by Residential Warranty Services.

Ryan Davidson