A few months ago you decided it was time to move. You saved up for a down payment and for moving expenses. You also sat down and figured out how much of a mortgage you could afford while getting pre-approved for that loan. You then went out with an agent looking at different houses until you found the one you could call home.
The title search has been completed and a closing date has been set. You have called and hired movers. The only other thing you need to do is find someone to do a home inspection. If you are not sure where to start, ask your agent for some names. You can also ask friends and/or family about who they used.
Once you have the names of some home inspectors, go online and check them out. Look through their website in order to find out about experience and certifications, and which professional organizations they are a part of. In addition, you may also be able to find a sample report and information on their licensing and insurance.
Another thing that you should do before calling anyone is to look for reviews. They may be on the inspector’s websites or they may be on Yelp or Facebook. Finally, go to the Better Business Bureau site and see how they stand there.
After you have narrowed down your list, give the few remaining companies a call. While it is important to ask about pricing, you should also ask if you can be in the house while the inspection is being done. You learn more by seeing the actual issues that are found rather than reading about them in a report.
You also need to enquire with the home inspectors you are considering what is and what is not included in the inspection. While a typical inspection usually includes looking at the foundation, roof, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, garage door and appliances, there are at least two additional tests you should ask about. The first is a termite inspection. Do not be dismayed if the inspector tells you to call a pest control service, as they are usually more qualified to do this type of examination.
The other assessment you should ask about is radon testing. Radon is a naturally occurring gas. When there are high levels of this gas found in a home, the result can be lung cancer. High levels of radon are the second leading cause of lung cancer. Furthermore, the EPA estimates that up to eight million homes have excessive radon levels. This has led to over 20,000 deaths a year. If your home inspector does not offer radon testing, there are several do-it-yourself kits on the market.
Whomever you choose to do your home inspection, be sure to get a written report once the examination is complete. If major issues are found, this can be used as a negotiation tool between you and the seller as some of the fixes can be expensive to implement.