When you buy a home, even if it’s almost brand new, get a home inspection! It’s amazing how many people purchase a home without ever having it properly inspected. The main things that a home inspector looks at are the main things a potential buyer needs to know – that the structural, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems are safe and free of major defects. The main question that home buyers should be asking is “How qualified is our home inspector?”. Just because a home is clean, in a nice neighborhood, and you don’t see anything out of the ordinary doesn’t mean the home is free of problems. Most buyers are not familiar with the intimate details and construction techniques that comprise a home. For this reason it is imperative to have a Certified Professional Home Inspector on your side. There are many home inspectors and their individual qualifications will vary greatly. Unfortunately, there are people with no formal training or qualifications that walk around calling themselves home inspectors. Due to this fact it is important to research the experience, certifications, and qualifications of a home inspector prior to hiring them. A great practice is to ask around for a referral from friends, family, or someone you trust. Most people know that a home inspection is a visual, non-invasive inspection of the home’s major systems and that a home inspector will not be able to look behind walls or within floors to verify installations. What many people don’t know is that a good home inspector will know what to look for and the inspection techniques to use to identify the tell-tale signs of potential problems or improper installations. A good home inspector will have a keen eye and document unsafe conditions that require further evaluation and correction by a qualified professional. Above all, remember that like most professions, you will find unqualified and qualified people calling themselves a professional. Thankfully the state of Florida has established regulation and licensing of home inspection industry but don’t stop there. This only establishes the minimum requirements and having a license does not translate to proper qualifications. Ask questions about the qualifications of potential home inspectors. Another good practice is to request a sample home inspection report or inquire about the length of time the home inspection will take. A professional, thorough, home inspection should take at least three hours for an average size home here in Florida. Ask friends for referrals. Ask your real estate agent for a recommendation, and then double-check that inspector’s qualifications. Some inexperienced agents recommend inferior inspectors because they don’t want a full-blown inspection that could blow their deal. Reputable agents demand qualified inspectors because they want their buyer informed. This article summarizes the importance of researching and hiring a Certified Professional Home Inspector with the experience and qualifications needed to perform a professional in-depth home inspection.
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