Buying a home is a big investment. To protect that investment, it’s vital you have the home inspected. Hiring the right inspector is key.
A reputable professional home inspector ensures you have the knowledge you need when buying a home. What questions should you ask when hiring a home inspector?
A home inspector will evaluate hundreds of home components during the inspection ranging from the roof to the basement and everything in between. Knowing exactly what will be inspected will give you a clear idea of what to expect.
Home inspectors are limited to a visual inspection. The inspector you hire isn’t able, for example, to cut holes in walls, dig up lawns, tear off roofing or peel back flooring.
While a visual inspection might flag potential problems, a true understanding of the extent of an issue may require an outside professional – an electrician, plumber, roofer or HVAC expert. It’s important to understand that an inspection is the opinion of the inspector as to the condition of the home at the time of the inspection.
A professional home inspector will subscribe to the American Society of Home Inspectors’ Code of Ethics.
The ASHI code requires a high degree of professionalism and integrity, ensuring inspectors act fairly and impartially toward their clients.
Conflict of interests must be avoided to assure a completely objective inspection.
In Illinois, inspectors must successfully complete an approved pre-licensing course through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and pass an Illinois Home Inspector License Exam.
A professional home inspector may also hold additional certifications, such as those offered by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors.
A good home inspector wants clients to accompany them on an inspection.
Viewing the home with an inspector allows you to ask questions. In addition to discovering potential issues or concerns, a home inspection is about education.
Accompanying an inspector gives buyers a chance to learn the ins-and-outs of the property.
Following an inspection, you will receive a home inspection report indicating major deficiencies and expenditures the buyer may encounter during the initial years of ownership.
The report will enable property owners to develop a proper maintenance/replacement schedule for all the systems and components pertaining to the home.
The report will give you a written document detailing and rating aspects of the property.
Understanding how you will receive the report – many inspectors will e-mail the report – and what time frame following an inspection you can expect the report is key.