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Are you purchasing a home? Are you planning your home inspection?

An inspection can give you reassurance before you purchase your home. A professional will look to see that everything is functioning properly. They can also find needed repairs and make recommendations. 

Believe it or not, not all home inspection companies are alike. You won’t want to hire just any local outfit you find.

Here’s what to look for in a home inspection company.

1. Licensing

States have different requirements when it comes to home inspectors.

Ohio, for example, now requires all home inspectors to have a state license. Anyone who wishes to become a home inspector must complete at least eighty hours of training and have at least forty hours of field experience. They’ll also need to pass a home inspector exam.

Before you decide to hire a home inspector, ask for their license number. If you want to be thorough, call the licensing department and make sure it checks out. 

2. Recommendations and Reviews

You probably have friends and family members who’ve bought homes in the past. Ask them for recommendations and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Was the inspection company respectful and professional? Did they show up on time? Did they give an accurate assessment of the condition of the house?

Your real estate agent may also recommend someone, but there may be a conflict of interest there. Make sure you do a little research before making your final decision.

You’ll want to take a look at online reviews and see what former clients are saying. Did they discover new problems after their inspection was fine? Or were they confident in the professionalism of the company?

If you can’t get any personal recommendations, call up prospective companies, and ask for at least three references that you can speak to. Personal narratives can give you a lot of confidence in the ability of your professional to get the job done right.

3. Insurance

Your area may not require home inspectors to carry coverage. It helps, however, for home inspectors to have general liability coverage. This will cover any injuries that happen during normal business operations.

If your home inspector doesn’t have insurance, they could try to hold you as a homeowner liable for any injuries that happen during home inspections. 

Remember that your inspector will be examining areas that could have risks, such as crawl spaces or basements. You won’t want to be responsible for anything that goes wrong during the inspection.

Ask for your home inspector’s insurance before you hire them, and make sure you verify the policy number with the company.

4. Find Out What They’ll Be Doing

A thorough list of what your home inspector will be checking out on the big day can give you the reassurance that you’re hiring a thorough professional.

A normal home inspection should include an examination of your plumbing and electrical systems. They should take a look at the general structural condition of your home, as well as the functionality of your heating and cooling systems.

If there are is any water damage or grading issues, your home inspector should let you know. You should also get made aware of any environmental concerns such as mold, asbestos, or lead paint.

Appliances should get inspected. Your professional should also let you know if they see any evidence of pest damage.

Make sure that your home inspector can give you a complete list of what they’ll be inspecting before you hire them. The inspection itself could take between two or three hours to complete, so you’ll want to plan your time accordingly. 

A good inspector should also be able to give you a sample home report. You’ll want to make sure the format will fit with the type of home you’re buying.

5. Experience

You can ask a prospective home inspector how many inspections they’ve performed on the type of home you’re buying. 

If, for example, you’re purchasing an older home, an inspector with experience looking at older buildings may be able to notice things that the average inspector would miss. Or an inspector with experience in new constructions may be familiar with the latest materials and techniques.

You’ll want to be confident that your home inspector can give you the best inspection possible for your money.

The Benefits of a Home Inspection

A home inspection can cost anywhere from $400 to $600. The price, however, can end up saving you a great deal of money if your home inspection is done properly.

A home inspector can give you an unbiased assessment of the home you’re going to buy, including its structural issues and defects. If there are any serious problems, you’ll want to know about them before you go through with the sale.

A home inspector can also let you know about any problems with the house that could help you in negotiations on the sale price. You may also be able to ask the seller to fix it themselves before you reach an agreement.

You can also carefully plan ahead for any work you’ll need to do in your home. The right home inspector can give you confidence that you’re going into the purchase with an accurate assessment of what you’ll end up spending. 

The Best Home Inspection Companies

The best home inspection companies will offer a thorough inspection at a reasonable price. With a little research, you can find a reliable, experienced home inspector in your area. It can give you the confidence you need as you make one of the biggest purchases of your life.

Don’t stop getting smart about inspections now. For more quality inspections in your area, contact us today.