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what to look for in a home inspection service

What To Look For in a Home Inspection Service

A Home Inspector Should be Experienced and Thorough.

So you’ve found the house of your dreams, applied for the home mortgage loan and now only have a few more things left to do until the keys to your new home are firmly in hand. At this point in the home buying process you should feel pretty good about things.

But before you go scheduling your move in date just yet, remember that you still have one major hill to climb: Finding a home inspection service to ensure that the house you’re about to buy is in tip-top shape. This may be one of the most important things you do throughout the home buying process. A home inspector, much like a doctor, is in charge of giving your potential new home a check up, searching for everything from cracks in the foundation to faulty chimneys.

What you ultimately end up finding during the inspection could change your mind on what you’re willing to pay for the home. And believe it or not, a bad home inspection conducted by the wrong home inspector can lead to even more headaches, and in some cases has been known to jeopardize a sale altogether.

This is why the key to navigating through the inspection process is heavily dependent upon the home inspection service you select to do the work. Finding the right home inspector can make all the difference. The following are a few questions to ask when searching for a home inspection service:

1. Are they licensed?

39 states require a license to become a home inspector. In New Hampshire for example, home inspectors are licensed and regulated by the New Hampshire Board of Home Inspectors. In order to be licensed in NH, a home inspector must complete the following requirements:

  • Application for licensure form supplied by the NH Board of Home Inspectors
  • Criminal record information
  • Proof of Liability insurance coverage
  • Successful completion of the National Home Inspectors exam
  • Successful completion of 80 hours of board approved education
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must possess a high school education or equivalent
  • Must be of good moral and professional character

The National Association of Home Inspectors has created an interactive map to tell you the requirements a home inspection service professional must follow in each state.

2. Are they experienced?

Do yourself a favor and conduct some research on the home inspection service you’re looking at. In addition to the oversight authority in each state, a good resource can be the Better Business Bureau. Online review sites like Yelp are also helpful.

Also check with the American Society of Home Inspectors for further information on prospective home inspection services.

If the home inspector you’re looking at is an architect or licensed engineer, chances are you’re in good hands.

3. Does your realtor recommend them?

Your realtor is likely the best person to talk to about home inspection services—as they are the ones who know the businesses better than anybody. If your realtor is unfamiliar with the home inspection service you’re looking at, ask them to ask around for you to see what other realtors have to say.

Selecting the right home inspection service can end up saving you thousands of dollars, so choose carefully. Jeffrey Charloff, an engineer and the author of Practical Guide to Home Inspection, recommends the inspector you choose have several years of inspector homes under his belt. A good home inspector, according to Charloff, will be “inquisitive, thorough, and experienced.”

At Blue Water Mortgage Corporation, we recognize the importance of finding an experienced home inspection service during the home buying process. We believe building a home buying team is not complete without finding a good home inspector. Contact us for even more insight on he home buying process.

Roger Odoardi

Roger is an owner and licensed Loan Officer at Blue Water Mortgage. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and has been a leader in the mortgage industry for over 20 years. Roger has personally originated over 2500 residential loans and is considered to be in the top 1% of NH Loan Officers by leading national lender United Wholesale Mortgage.