PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Most people wouldn’t dream of buying a home without first having it inspected, but how can you tell a good home inspector from a bad one?
And what do you do if your inspector misses something important?
Smart home buyers know they need a good inspection before they sign off on a new home, but too few know there’s more to it than paying the standard $400 or $500 to get a good one that will alert you to potential problems.
“Your home inspection will include checking your foundation as well as the mechanicals of the house, such as the HVAC system, the plumbing, electrical, even the roofing system,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “On the interior, they’re going to check your appliances, and they’ll also, for an extra charge, check your water quality, check for radon as well as termites.”
You’ll end up with a detailed report, but Angie says you should see things for yourself.
“One of the most important things for a new homeowner is to make sure you attend the inspection,” she said. “A lot of times people think, oh, they’ll just check everything, but it’s a great time to learn about your house, ask questions and really get to know your new house.”
“It’s good to have them there because it’s easier for me to explain things directly in person rather than for them to just get a report,” home inspector Rich Able said.
Even if your inspector does a good job, some things can get overlooked — especially if the house is still occupied and certain places are hard to access.
“I don’t move furniture because I’m afraid if I move something, I might break it,” Able said. “But when it comes to moving things under a sink, I’m going to see what I need to see.”
He recommends contacting your inspector right away if you find an issue that you think your inspector should have caught.
“Most contracts with a home inspector say that they should be notified if there’s a problem,” Able said. “Some people will say, ‘this is wrong, fix it,’ and then call the home inspector, and he can’t tell what was fixed and what was there originally.”
Angie recommends finding a home inspector who’s not only licensed, but also certified by one of the national agencies.