Author Topic: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed  (Read 1670 times)

mamabear18

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Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« on: January 13, 2020, 08:35:34 PM »
Hi! I am a first time homebuyer - I'm new to this state and don't know anyone. How do I go about finding a reputable home inspector?  How much do they usually charge?

rocketpj

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 09:04:03 PM »
First rule - don't hire the one recommended  by your realtor.  They can/often do have kickback arrangements which can compromise their impartiality.  (i.e. many realtors won't recommend an inspector that finds and tells you about potentially serious problems). 

What you want is a fairly experienced independent inspector who makes a big deal about his obligation to you, not the realtor.  In my experience word of mouth is best, but that can be hard if you are new in town.

affordablehousing

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 09:29:37 PM »
I am hoping someday to become one as a post-retirement project/hobby. On our first house we hired someone highly reviewed on Yelp and he did a fine job. It was an easy house, without much wrong with it, and he confirmed as much. He got paid, easy peazy. Our next house had a lot of things wrong with it, and in our market, the seller preemptively has a home inspection done, or in this case the probate executor. In general, I think inspectors are lazy, stupid, pointless and don't know how to communicate with clients constructively. This one, (that I didn't even order or pay for) the opposite! To my delight his report had a whole roadmap of what he'd prioritize and what was less important. Years in I still consult it to see if there are things I haven't addressed yet. Moreover, he was easy to get on the phone, took an interest in the particular house, and had a lot of "down to earth" comments about what was not a big deal.

Talk to the home inspector beforehand, see a sample of their reports, decide whether you need more pics or more text, and think about the point of this. Are you buying a junker where you really need to diligence the purchase or are you buying a newer (though possibly no less problematic) home where you are hoping to just have someone tell you its a "good home." Are you going to worry over small things being wrong, or are you DIY savvy and comfortable arriving with a long list of todos?

I can't stress enough, go on the same inspection with the inspector and look at what they look at. If they note signs of leaking learn to recognize them, learn what a termite tube looks like, learn what undersized headers and framing look like, learn what poor concrete condition look like, learn what wiring codes are broken, what's safe and what's not safe. Learn what you won't be able to discern until you open the walls.

We had a good idea of what needed to be done, and we also had a fairly good idea of what couldn't be known yet, but what the range of damage might be, look like, and what parts were critical and less critical.

You may just be getting a condo, and need someone to tell you if the faucet is leaking, or you might be buying a 5 bedroom Victorian with all sorts of craziness. Start with Yelp, talk to friends, call inspectors and see how much of a "roadmap" they're willing to give you and pay whatever they want if you're getting a house where there could be potential for you to need a report or to find useful items in it.

PS, I would pay more attention to a sample report than whatever credentials they have, I've found building methods to be highly localized, and a good, practiced local inspector would know more applicable stuff than could be learned in a national certification training.

ixtap

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 09:40:22 PM »
If you have a job, ask your colleagues.

Otherwise, use online reviews.

SwordGuy

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2020, 10:02:50 PM »
If you're in the NC/VA area, PM me.   I have a good one.

mamabear18

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 07:34:58 AM »
rocket pj - thank you for that wisdom :)

mamabear18

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 07:37:59 AM »
affordable housing - thank you! very helpful!

mamabear18

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 07:39:00 AM »
ixtap- I wish I could ask co workers but I am an outside sales rep and the only in Minnesota. Thank you - I will try online.

mamabear18

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 07:39:32 AM »
sword guy - I'm in Minneapolis :( thank you.

Sandi_k

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 08:54:17 PM »
There is a professional certification association:

The American Society of Home Inspectors: ASHI.

They have listings of certified inspectors on their site:

https://www.homeinspector.org/HomeInspectors/Find

norajean

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 04:18:14 AM »
Search in your area on biggerpockets.com. Otherwise, you are left with the likes of Yelp and Google reviews which are often misleading or fraudulent.

Omy

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Re: Need help finding a home inspector - tips needed
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 08:09:31 PM »
First rule - don't hire the one recommended  by your realtor.  They can/often do have kickback arrangements which can compromise their impartiality.  (i.e. many realtors won't recommend an inspector that finds and tells you about potentially serious problems). 

What you want is a fairly experienced independent inspector who makes a big deal about his obligation to you, not the realtor.  In my experience word of mouth is best, but that can be hard if you are new in town.

I disagree. If you are working with a realtor who has a fiduciary responsibility to you (a buyer's agent) they will be able to recommend good inspectors who will work hard for you. It would be crazy and short-sighted for a buyer's agent to recommend inspectors who don't find and tell their clients about issues with the home.