Hiring a specialist home inspector can protect your investment. Call a specialist home inspector if you need help beyond the services that a generalist provides.
A homebuyer has one of the most difficult jobs to undertake in determining whether a home is suitable for purchase. Finding the right home inspector to investigate potential problems is the best way to get an accurate estimate for repairs. If the problems involve specific systems, such as the heating or cooling, it is a good idea to hire a specialist home inspector.
Hiring a home inspector can help to provide leverage during negotiations. However, the real value of hiring a home inspector comes from the fact that a home inspector can warn you about potential problems that could change your decision about whether to buy the property.
Most homes, even new construction, have at least minor repair issues that need to be addressed. Before you invest in a property, you should consider hiring a home inspector to review potential issues. However, general home inspectors cannot address every potential issue with a home. If there are problems with certain systems in your home, a specialist home inspector will likely be required.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to hire a specialist inspector to review your home in addition to a general home inspector.
What to Expect From a Home Inspector
“What a home inspector does is provide an independent review of the property, not influenced by any of the other professions in the transaction,” says Mike Casey, an inspector based in Haymarket, Virginia, and president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. A home inspector can warn you about potential problems with a home. In addition, since the home inspector is not paid based on the outcome of the sale of the home, the home inspector’s advice can be assumed to be reliable and objective.
However, it is important to understand exactly what home inspector does and doesn’t do. Home inspectors are typically focused on assessing the following features of a home:
- exterior features of the home, such as the roof, drainage, exterior walls, deck
- interior features of the home, such as the windows, doors, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures
- the attic and crawl spaces of a home to check for adequate ventilation and insulation
Home inspectors deal in the general aspects of your home. If you have concerns about the condition of a swimming pool, septic system, or appliances, you will need to call a specialist. You will also need a specialist to get involved in the electrical or plumbing systems are likely in need of major repairs.
If Your Concerns Are Outside of What an Inspector Does
If a general home inspector has made you aware that there a problem that affects a specific system in your home, it is a good idea to call a specialist home inspector. The general home inspector will not diagnose problems with the electrical, plumbing, heating or cooling systems. Instead, the home inspector will advise you to find a specialist and may even recommend someone. It is up to you to do your own research to figure out if the referred specialist home inspector is a good match or if you want to hire someone else on your own.
When You Know That There Is a Specific Problem
Getting an accurate assessment of the costs of repairs on a home before you buy can ensure that you don’t buy a home that will cost you a fortune to upgrade. In addition, certain structural and electrical issues can render a home unlivable. If you plan is to move in right away or to start renovations so that you can sell or rent, buying a home in this condition may delay your plans indefinitely. By hiring a specialist home inspector, you can ensure that you aren’t walking into problems that you can’t readily fix.
Finding Some That Is Qualified
Some locations don’t have licensing requirements when it comes to home inspectors, which is why you may find a variation with regards to the costs and expertise of available home inspectors. A real estate agent may be able to recommend someone to inspect your home. However, you should also make sure that you interview any potential candidates yourself.
“Specifically, ask how many years has the inspector been doing home inspections full time,” says Lance Luke of Construction Management Inspection in Hawaii. “Many inspectors say they have been in the construction or contracting field for 30 years. But they may not have been a true home inspector for the same amount of time. Thirty years in the building or engineering business does not automatically make for a good home inspector.”
Make sure that the home inspector has the proper insurance required to perform such work so that you do not become liable for any damages. In addition, you should also accompany the home inspector on the job so that you can see the issues that the home inspector finds with your own eyes. This can help you to give a more thorough explanation of the problems with the home when it is time to request quotes for repair work.
By hiring a general and specialist home inspector you can obtain a thorough report on the condition of a home that you are interested in buying. Having a clear understanding of condition of a home before you buy can help you to decide whether the home is a good investment or not. In some cases, you may simply want to walk away from the purchase deal after you learn about the condition of a home from a specialist home inspector.