The Value of a Good Home Inspection
For homebuyers, the goal of a home inspection is to help you make an informed choice about your home purchase by identifying any defects in the home that will cost you money to repair. A home inspection completed by a competent inspector will meet that goal. An inspection by an inexperienced or poorly trained inspector will cost you far more than the fee you paid.
Home Inspections Are Not Required
Unlike a home appraisal, which is required if you intend to finance your home, an inspection isn't a requirement. As a result, some homebuyers put less emphasis on obtaining an inspection. Different inspectors charge different fees, but shopping for the lowest fee often leads to high unplanned repair costs after you've closed on the sale.
What to Look for in a Home Inspector
The first thing to keep in mind is that the State of California has no licensing requirements for home inspectors. Virtually anyone can call themselves a home inspector, but you wouldn't want one of those individuals to inspect your home.
When you look for a home inspector, evaluate the person's experience and credentials. An inspector who has trained and worked in the construction industry will have a better understanding of issues related to all the components of a home. Look for an inspector who has solid years of experience in both construction and home inspection.
In addition, look for an inspector who is active in professional organizations, like the California Real Estate Inspection Association or the National Association of Home Inspectors. The methods and materials used in the construction industry change over time. The inspector who is dedicated to keeping their skills current will take advantage of the continuing education offered by professional organizations.
What Is the Value of a Good Home Inspection?
Buying a new home is an exciting project. What would happen to your excitement if you closed on your home and then discovered that the roof needed to be replaced, or that your foundation has partially washed away?
If the inspector you hired doesn't get on the roof (when accessible) to check its condition or doesn't check your entire foundation for flaws, you're facing large repair bills. Not only that, but since you've already closed on the house, you have no opportunity to negotiate with the seller to make repairs.
The value of a good home inspection is that it gives you peace of mind. Paying a bit more for an inspection by an experienced professional will let you sleep soundly at night, and will potentially save you the time, frustration and money required to make your home all that you thought it was.
Rick is a second generation licensed California contractor. He grew up on construction sites building custom homes and apartment buildings. Rick started Building Specs, Home Inspection Service in 1998 to help home buyers make better buying decisions.
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