Staying on top of regular home maintenance will save you big in the long run, but too many of us neglect our largest investment.
A home inspection is an important part in the home buying process, but it’s not for buyers alone. Homeowners who want an assessment of their home’s condition can hire a home inspector to pinpoint potential problems with a home maintenance inspection.
Home inspectors generally take a look at your plumbing, heating, electrical, structural and roofing. Often they will not include items that are not part of the house, for instance, a water softener. A home maintenance inspection can be beneficial as you plan your future home projects and budget for specific repairs.
Angie’s List, the nation’s premier provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated home inspectors about the common problems they see during inspections.
- Foundation issues
- DIY workmanship
Angie’s List Tips for hiring a home inspector:
- Do your homework: Angie’s List can provide you with experiences other members have had with local home inspectors, but also check:
- Credentials. Ask to see proof of state certification or proof of membership in the National Associations of Certified Home Inspectors, National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
- Licensing: Ask to see proof of licensing if your state requires home inspectors to be licensed. If yours hesitates or tells you that it’s not important, find another inspector.
- Insurance: Ask to see proof of general liability insurance.
- Experience: Both NAHI and ASHI require a minimum of 250 inspections, however most experienced professionals will say it’s better to find someone who’s performed at least 1,000 inspections and has at least three-to-five years of full-time experience.
- Get involved: While it’s not required that you attend the inspection, you should attend the inspection to discuss expectations and findings. Typically, a home inspection takes about two to four hours. Ask what items they will look at and what is NOT included in the home inspection.
- Expect to pay: A cost of a home inspection is often determined by the square footage of the house. A typical inspection costs between $200 and $400, depending on the type of inspection being done, the size of the home and other variables.
- Read the report: Many inspectors provide the report the same day as the inspection. The report should be thorough and easy to understand and should include narrative accounts of the inspector’s findings that are specific to your house, along with pictures and diagrams.