Buying a home is likely the largest financial investment you’ll make throughout your lifetime. And since each property is different, it’s important to ensure you hire a professional home inspector to confirm your investment decision is sound before finalizing your purchase.
Among other things, your inspector will evaluate major systems, including the interior, heating/cooling, electrical, plumbing, exterior and roofing. All findings will be delivered in a comprehensive report that becomes the property’s operations manual, which details deficiencies, safety concerns, system shut-off locations as well as maintenance suggestions.
There are a number of ways for you to dig deeper to be certain you can trust that your home inspector is offering you the very best expertise before you buy a home.
Key ways to hire the best inspector
- Ensure your inspector is well trained. Did you know that the only jurisdictions in Canada that mandate home inspector licensing are British Columbia and Alberta? And many US states have state licensing but not all. That’s why it’s important to find an inspector who works under a company that operates as if licensing is already required regardless of jurisdiction to ensure you’re hiring someone with the highest training in the industry. This includes a rigorous training regimen comprised of technical training, in-field live inspections, business operations and ethics.
- Find someone familiar with your type of home and specific issues you need to inspect. This is especially important if you’re buying a home requiring specialized attention to areas such as wood-burning systems, for instance. Wood-burning systems should be inspected by a WETT certified expert.
- Ask questions. In addition to professional training, relevant experience and/or length of time in the business, find out if the inspector is a member of a professional association, such as InterNACHI, follows industry-leading Standards of Practice and is fully insured. Professional association membership offers added assurance of an inspector’s qualifications and training.
- Inquire about value-added services. There are a number of value-added services that can enhance your home inspection experience and provided extra protection, such as a property warranty and client protection program to guard against surprises that show up after you take possession of your new home that weren’t evident at the time of inspection.