HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT HOME INSPECTOR
How do you choose a good home inspector? You have thousands of dollars invested in your home that will ride on the quality of your home inspection. The following suggestions are a must do during your search:
Ask, “What is your Tennessee Home Inspector license number” !
This is very important protection! After July 1, 2006 all home inspectors in Tennessee must have a current license issued by the Tennessee Home Inspector Licensing Program. NO EXCEPTIONS! State regulations require every inspector to carry a wallet sized card from the State of Tennessee showing proof of licensure. A few home inspectors in the Knoxville Metropolitan Area are still operating without a license! Some Real Estate Agents may not have checked the inspectors they recommend for current proof of their license. You can search for licensed home inspectors at the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance website www.tennessee.gov/commerce/boards/hic/index.html . Just click on “License Search” in the left side of the website, select “home inspector” and enter your city and state.
Ask your prospective home inspector the following questions about his qualifications. A capable home inspection company will not be offended:
- What is your background in the residential construction industry?
Five years building or remodeling homes as a General Contractor, Project Manager, or licensed Remodeling Contractor is a good minimum. On-the-job experience is the best initial training a home inspector can have for his occupation.
- Have you passed the “National Home Inspector Examination”?
This is a national examination required in Tennessee for Home Inspectors starting their business after July 1, 2006. It is also required by most legitimate professional home inspector associations.Your inspector should be proud to show you a copy of his examination certificate.
- Are you a certified member of a strict professional association?
This is important because many professional home inspector associations require the home inspector to pass the National Home Inspector’s Examination, adhere to a written Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and require 16 or more hours of continuing education per year from all its members. In Tennessee the top Associations making these requirements are: Home Inspectors of Tennessee Association (HITA), International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI),
- Being accepted as a professional Member of the Better Business Bureau gives you assurance the inspection company will settle complaints amicably and you can also check its past business history.
- How many home inspections have you done in your career?
Performing at least several hundred home inspections gives an inspector the experience needed in catching the important details that a novice inspector can miss. Inspection experience is also is a tremendous advantage in writing clear, easily understood reports.
Ask, “What kind of inspection report do you provide”?
An inspection report is your permanent record of what the home inspector finds during the inspection. We use the number one report software in the world, Homegauge®. It is updated regularly to give you the most accurate information about your house. Missed deficiencies are rare due to our double checklist. Our reports are very organized, easy to read, and chock full of color photos with arrows and text pointing out the problem areas. You will know more about your house than its current owner! That’s the kind of home inspection report you need.
Ask, “Do You Have Referrals or Written Testimonials”?
A written list of several clients the company performed inspections for are usually sufficient. If the inspector seems aggravated by this request, beware. A good home inspector is proud of his work.