How to Hire the Best Property Inspector
If you’ve been a real estate investor for a year or more, you are probably already using one reliable property inspector to examine the properties that you are considering. If that’s not the case and you need to hire an inspector for the first time, here are some strategies to use.
- Avoid using a home inspector who is recommended by a real estate agent who is selling you a property. Although chances are that the inspector will be honest and unbiased, take the time to find your own inspector. You want someone who has not been influenced by the realtor to downplay problems that the property might have.
- Consider using a home inspector who is recommended by your attorney. Your lawyer is trying to protect your best interests, and will recommend an inspector who will do more than skim the surface when looking at properties that you are considering.
- Ask for referrals from other real estate investors and people you know who have bought properties. Ask whether the inspector(s) they used found everything that was wrong, or missed problems that surfaced later.
- Ask home inspectors about their backgrounds before you hire them. Ask specifically about their expertise in plumbing and electrical systems. Those are the two areas where “deal-killing” problems crop up most often. If you find an inspector who owned a construction company, that is a good sign.
- Ask whether the inspector can perform all inspections that are required by the state, the town, or your mortgage lender. Why hire additional inspectors to inspect for mold, radon, or other “extras” if you can find one inspector who does it all?
Should You Hire a Certified Home Inspector?
Several professional organizations certify home inspectors. Certified inspectors have taken the training courses that the organization provides, passed tests, and committed to operate according to the organization’s code of ethics. To check on certification or find a certified home inspector in your area, visit these sites:
- American Society of Home Inspectors – http://www.homeinspector.org/
- National Association of Certified Home Inspectors – http://www.nachi.org/
- National Association of Home Inspectors Inc. – http://www.nahi.org/
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Learn to be a certified home inspector
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