It is often said that buying a home is one of the most expensive investments you will ever make. The best way to protect your investment is to have a professional home inspection before you buy. When you buy, own, or sell a home, you have literally hundreds of choices when it comes to selecting a home inspector. You may have your realtor or Relocation Company choose your home inspector. Or you may shop around and choose an inspector based on cost or availability. You may even try to inspect the home yourself to save money. This is not a job you should try yourself. Leave this one to the professionals. An investment in a quality home inspection is an investment in your future.
Home inspectors vary widely with respect to the quality of the inspection and dedication to the home buyer. By researching your options, you will realize that there are basically three types of home inspectors available:
1. Full-time serious professional home inspectors
2. Semi-retired individuals that are looking for occasional work
3. Part-time home inspectors that work other jobs and are looking to supplement their income.
Many home inspectors rely on realtors to serve as their primary source of business and referrals. If you choose the home inspector your realtor recommends, you may wind up with what is commonly referred to as an “easy inspector” or a “drive-by inspector” that is “realtor friendly.” These home inspectors rarely risk reporting something that might “kill the deal.” Their loyalty lies with the realtor, not the home buyer or seller.
If your home inspector does not encourage you to attend the inspection and follow them around the home, ask yourself why. Detail-oriented, thorough home inspectors are proud of their work. They typically encourage buyers to attend and follow them around the home. For many clients, their home inspection can be one of the most informative half days they have ever spent. Buying a home is such an enormous investment; it is certainly worth a few hours to view the home through the inspector’s eyes.
Dedicated home inspectors join credible home inspection associations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). They may also form smaller local associations to train and learn from other tenured colleagues, like the Arizona Chapter of ASHI. Mature home inspectors spend numerous hours reviewing new construction techniques and new products, while staying abreast of situations with respect to product recalls. Professional home inspectors spend many hours and thousands of dollars every year taking continuing education courses to constantly improve their knowledge base and keep themselves at the top of their profession.