Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Your home is probably your most valuable asset and it is essential that you choose a qualified home inspector. The following questions are the ones that you should ask any home inspector that would potentially inspect your home.
Are Home Inspectors In Your State Regulated?
Before proceeding, it is important to know whether home inspections in your state are regulated by the State government. For a list of states that regulate home inspectors, follow this URL: http://www.ashi.org/customers/state.asp
If you are a resident of Washington or Oregon, continue reading from here. If you are not, skip the next two sections and proceed to the questions.
[Inspectors Not Regulated in Washington State
Before getting to those questions, it is important for you to know that, at the present time, your hair dresser may be more "qualified" than your home inspector. Sound silly? Perhaps. But this is not a laughing matter. Home Inspectors In Washington State are Not Regulated.
The only part of a home inspection that the State minimally gets involved with concerning the inspection of real estate are issues pertaining to "wood destroying organisms" or "pest and dry rot", as it is commonly called. Wood decay, termites, carpenter ants, etc. and the things that are "conducive to" the formation of such problems are some what regulated by the State of Washington. If an inspector comments on any of these items in a report, they must be licensed with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The cost of this is $45 and to "pass the test", you are required to get a C-. To put it simply: these are not very high standards.
The rest of your home, from foundation to roof, including your plumbing, electrical, furnace, air conditioner, and more are not regulated at all.
Further, home inspectors are not required to hold a claims made Errors and Omissions Insurance policy-a standard in all other States which presently regulate the practices of home inspectors.
Hence, it is extremely important that you interview your potential home inspector to assure that they have taken it upon themselves to vastly exceed the "standards" currently in place in the State of Washington.
Oregon laws which regulate home inspectors are desirable. The State of Oregon mandates that all companies performing home inspections in the State of Oregon must be licensed with the Oregon Construction Contractors Board, which requires testing and financial involvement by the inspection firm. Further, you must also pass a test, and pay associated fee, that is for home inspections in particular. Further, the State of Oregon requires an acceptable amount of continuing education by their home inspectors per year, and all must have a Bond and Errors and Omissions Insurance.]
Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector Before Committing to Them
1. How Long Have you Been Performing Inspections, How Many Inspections Have you Performed?
Typically, nothing replaces experience. There are many good home inspectors out there that haven't done many home inspections, and there are experienced home inspectors that are not very good at what they do. Nonetheless, experience and exposure to experience are important items.
2. Do You Have a Bond AND Errors and Omissions Insurance?
No matter what they tell you about why they don't need EandO Insurance, do not hire them if they do not have it because you are not protected. A Bond is good to have, but it only covers a few thousand dollars. What if your home inspector misses something that costs $50,000? If you go after them, they will probably file for bankruptcy and will be protected by the Law. All you need to know is that you will be in a very difficult and unfortunate position.
3. What is Your Education and Are you a Member of a Nationally Recognized Home Inspection Association, such as The American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors?
While having background experience as a contractor is nice, "construction" and "home forensics" are two different fields of work and they should not be confused. Since the State of Washington does not force home inspectors to learn much about the homes they are inspecting, it is important that your home inspector belong to a nationally recognized home inspection association which does require their members to maintain continuing education throughout the year.
The three standard inspection associations are (in order): ASHI - The American Society of Home Inspectors; NAHI - The National Association of Home Inspectors; and NACHI - The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors.
4. Do You Perform Construction/Carpentry Work on Homes that You Inspect?
THIS IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
They should be "inspecting" your house honestly, not looking for extra work that may lead them to "find problems" that may not actually exist.
5. Do You Pay Realtors and Real Estate Professionals for Referrals?
Believe it or not, but some home inspectors pay for the referrals of the Realtors and other Real Estate Professionals that you are putting your trust in.
THIS IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST!
If you find out that your home inspector or your Realtor are paid for referrals, you should find another home inspector and Realtor soon.
Good real estate professionals that are serving your best interests will point you in the direction of a few solid home inspectors that will help you make an educated decision about your investment, and these real estate professionals know that a good home inspector will reflect well upon them if you are pleased with the inspector's services.
6. Do You Provide a Computer Generated Report That is Delivered On Site With Digital Pictures?
Some home inspectors may subtly (or not-so-subtly) boast of doing things the "old fashioned way" with hand written reports, or with reports that may be computer generated but are delivered 24-72 hours after the inspection.
You want your inspection report at the end of the inspection... while you are still at the house, so you are able to have it fresh in your mind, ask the inspector questions, and, perhaps, have the inspector show you what he or she is talking about.
7. Are You Licensed to Perform Structural Pest Inspections?
One advantage that Washington State has over all other States (including Oregon) is that they have some training for their inspectors with regard to Structural Pests and Wood Destroying Organisms.
While home inspectors in most other States will reduce insect damage to "termites", your home inspector should be able to tell you what kind of termite it is, or if it isn't termite damage and, rather, damage caused by other structural wood destroying insects, such as carpenter ants, moisture ants, or powderpost beetles, to give but a few examples.
8. How Long to Your Home Inspections Take?
You will find home inspectors who boast of taking 4 hours to complete a home inspection and then 4 more hours preparing the inspection report. They boast of "taking more time" and giving you a "better product".
What they are really telling you is this: I AM INEXPERIENCED AND SLOW-I DON'T DO THAT MANY INSPECTIONS.
Like many other things in life, the more you do something, the better AND faster you become at it. Would somebody question whether a secretary was less attentive to her typing skills if she typed two times as fast as another applicant? Of course not.
Likewise, would you hire somebody to build your home if they told you it was going to take two years when it would take another contractor, with a lot of experience building homes, three months (the typical time it takes to build a home)? No.
9. What are Your Prices?
This question is saved for last for a reason: people are often more willing to dump a few hundred, or a few thousand dollars into diagnostics and repairs for their car-a care that may have cost only thousands of dollars. However, when it comes to their house they often want the "cheapest inspection"-an inspection on a home that could cost anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000 or more.
What is more important than prices is what you are paying for. If you are hiring a cheap inspector, somebody that is cheaper than everyone else, there are a few things at play:
They do so little work that they are desperate for inspections. Hence, they are not very experienced.
They do not have the overhead costs of Errors and Omissions Insurance or Bonds, hence they can charge less.
They do not belong to any nationally recognized home inspection association and they do not have the time and financial commitments of belonging to one, hence they can charge less for inspections.
If you have any questions concerning this, please ask!
If you or anyone you know is in need of professional home inspection services and structural pest inspection/pest and dry rot inspection services in NW Oregon or SW Washington, please consider referring them to us. We cover the Gorge to the Coast, and Salem to Olympia, including Vancouver and Portland and much more.
Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC is proud to be performing home inspections in all of the Clark County Washington and the Greater Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA metro areas. We specialize in offering a complete inspection process, from the inspection to the report, on site and in an expedient yet thorough manner. Prior to taking on the form of Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC in 2005, Inspection Consulting was one of the original home inspection companies in Clark County. We have collectively performed over 10,000 home inspections in the last 12 years, and we put all of this experience to work for you.
If you need a home inspector in Vancouver WA, or anywhere in SW Washington and NW Oregon, Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC will offer you the most experience, the best service, and we guarantee it!
Toll Free: 1.866.284.3151
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.