Tips for Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

Whether a house is 5 years old or 50 years old, there are a ton of serious issues that could be hiding from a prospective buyer’s view.  Issues with the structure, the plumbing, the electrical work, and the foundation. And these issues may lead to health issues, fires, severe water damage, injuries, and thousands of dollars in repairs.

Photo of couple meeting a qualified home inspector
A few tips that will help you find a qualified home inspector will make your overall real estate transaction much better. | Image: Shutterstock

That is why hiring a qualified home inspector is so important.  A home inspection is a critical part of the home-buying process. If you don’t get a good one you may end up buying a property loaded with problems.

What Should Be Covered

Before you start looking for a qualified home inspector, here are the areas they will be covering during the inspection:

  • Heating and central air systems
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Roof and attic
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Visible insulation
  • Floors, windows, and doors
  • Foundation and basement

With a proper inspection of all of these areas, you’ll know if there is structural damage, water damage, mold, or radon, and which areas are in need of repair. (Every home should have both smoke detectors and a radon detector installed.) In the case of mold or radon, this inspection directly concerns the health of everyone living inside. To correct a radon problem, consider Radon Mitigation Louisville KY.

Proper Certification of Qualified Home Inspector

One way to help you find a qualified home inspector is to insist they have the correct licensing and certification.  Inspectors that aren’t licensed may not know about new materials and technologies and the inspection will likely be lacking.

Being certified and licensed doesn’t necessarily mean the home inspector is honest or punctual. Or if you’ll get along with him. But it will mean he is knowledgeable.

Make a List

Before you decide on an inspector, make a short list of 3 to 5 in your area that you know have the right credentials.  You can contact professional organizations in your area, ask your real estate agent or mortgage broker for a recommendation or look online.

Check Reviews and References

Online review sites are often valuable for seeing a wide range of opinions and information on how different home inspectors conduct themselves and run their businesses.  Look for recurring complaints or comments and don’t be afraid to ask any inspectors you’re considering for references.

Lots of Experience

As you whittle down your list, ask each inspector how long they have been operating. Then ask if they have inspected a home exactly like yours.  Certifications and affiliations are great, but there really is no substitute for experience.  More experience often means more equipment too. This will help them find those issues that just aren’t visible to inspectors that show up with only a flashlight.

Nothing to Hide

Finally, the best home inspectors will provide you with a detailed, written report and will happily sign it for you.  Some inspectors give you a weak-looking checklist with some stock comments, but that isn’t going to cut it. You want details. All of the details.