PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Buying a new home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make, so it makes sense to have that home inspected before you sign on the dotted line.

A home inspector is hired to look for problems with the house and to also show the potential buyer the ins and outs of how things work in the home. A proper inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process. But, not all inspections or inspectors are without flaws.

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Just ask Chris Hodgen. He paid $600 for a home inspection that he thought was thoroughly done. After he bought the home and moved in, he realized there were major issues that should have been discovered by the inspector, but weren’t.

“I don’t wish this on anybody,” Hodgen said.

As a new homeowner, he relied on his inspector to give him the truth about a foreclosed home being sold “as is.”

“I took this individual for his word,” he said. “I trusted his professional opinion when he came into my home and told me this would be a good home for me.”

But, Hogden says after buying the home, he discovered major problems.

“It seems he missed on every major component of my home. The roof, the furnace, the hot water tank were all things that were deficient and for a long time. And as a result, we are looking at $28,000 in repairs on a home we’ve owned less than six months,” he said.

A bad home inspection is bad news for consumers.

“In Pennsylvania, the only person in the whole real estate deal who is not licensed and regulated closely is the home inspector,” said Dan Howard, a professional home inspector with more than 30 years of experience. “The real estate person is, the appraiser is, the banker is, the mortgage person is, but when you get to the home inspector, nobody’s looking.”

Howard, a member of the Pittsburgh Regional Organization of the American Society of Home Inspectors (PRO-ASHI), says home buyers need to inspect their inspectors before they hire someone.

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“Make sure he’s insured. You want to make sure he has the education and training that is required,” Howard said.

Under the law in Pennsylvania, a home inspector must be a member in good standing with a national, not-for-profit home inspection association.

An inspector must attend continuing professional education classes, and he must have insurance against errors and omissions and general liability coverage.

Just picking a name out of phone book is not good enough, according to Howard.

One place to start your search for a home inspector is to look at professional organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors.

For more information on home inspection, visit: www.homeinspectionsbydanhoward.com.

The article “Judging the Validity of Consumer Complaints” can help sort out what an inspector should do.

More articles about home inspection can be found here: http://www.homeinspectionsbydanhoward.com/Our_Published_Articles.

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