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So many people are scrambling to seize the phenomenal buying opportunities out there right now –they are buying a home, and it’s often a first-time purchase.  One of the most important things to be done before signing a contract is to have a complete home inspection performed on the property.

Home inspection © Fredy Sujono - Fotolia.com

This goes beyond just a quick look at the structure to make sure there won’t be any major losses in the next few years and it’s also more than a lender formality as a part of purchase process. A home inspection will be the one thing that will expose most major issues, allowing you ample freedom before you sign anything to decide if it’s worth it, whether to build in the issues during negotiations or forego the property altogether.

There is often a potential for major concerns lurking behind the walls.  The last thing you want to do is to miss those red flags by hiring a less-than-qualified home inspector.  Here are some resources for finding the right inspector plus what a good home inspector should be doing:


First, ask your Realtor if they have a preferred vendors list.  Many Realtors have a group of inspectors they work with that have worked extensively with them.

Be sure to choose a qualified, reputable home inspector © Jake Hellbach - Fotolia.com

The American Society of Home Inspectors has a comprehensive directory of its members – the perfect place to find qualified, reputable inspectors.

Many states have their own local home inspector organizations.  These are ideal places to find certified home inspectors or master home inspectors; both have more experience and training than many in the profession.


Your inspector should be able to find the problems, identify major concerns, prioritize which ones are important, offer suggestions about estimated costs for repairs, and possibly provide some leads for quality contractors to perform the work needed to be done.

After an inspection (typically lasting 1-4 hours depending on the home), they should also provide a comprehensive report with time frames and needed fixes to bring the home to code. Whether evaluating the home’s foundation, the condition of the roof, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, safety, heating/cooling, fireplaces, or other areas – a good home inspector is trained to recognize problems in all aspects of the home. Your home inspector will then recommend repairs such as air conditioning repair, plumbing, electrical, and so on.

Be sure to find out exactly what is checked in your home inspection © Olivier - Fotolia.com

Since there is limited or no regulation on the home inspection industry it is better to opt for someone with a reference you can count on or choose an inspector that is a member of a relevant professional association.  One thing holds true; you get what you pay for and as often heard on the popular show Holmes Inspection, buyers that are too cheap to spend a few hundred extra dollars on getting a good inspection will definitely pay the price later on down the road.

For more information about the typical items that are included in a home inspection plus things that require inspections through independent specialists click here.

Fareen Effendi

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