Unhurried, careful, thoughtful steps is what it takes to find the property that is right for you. Finding the right home. Making the offer to buy, after some negotiations, you and the seller have a meeting of the minds, the offer is accepted. A home inspection is ordered after the offer to buy has been accepted.
You knew the basics of your needs and wants in a home. The # of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage size, 1 story or 2, etc. Narrowing the available real estate to make a final selection you will call home. A similar process should be undertaken for selection of your home inspector.
So what are the steps? First of all realize that inspection experience is valuable to you. A new inspector cannot be as effective at identifying defects as an inspector with 5,10, or 20 years experience. Don't get me wrong, everyone has to start somewhere, that is why a lot of franchise inspection companies are flooded with novice inspectors trying to gain experience.
Training is key to gaining knowledge required to do any job. I believe prior experience, goes hand in hand with training. When a person has experience in home construction, or remodeling for example, where many home components' issues come into play. This type of experience is more likely to be a better fit to home inspection service than someone wanting to make a job change to become a home inspector because of "make money quick & easy" hype.
Referrals from your trusted attorney, realtor, friends, family, or co-workers are excellent resources to find an experienced, unbiased, & thorough home inspector. Another good source is national home inspection organizations such as American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).
Narrow your choices. Interview your potential inspector. Here are some basic questions to ask.
Ask how long & what is your experience? Are you insured? Do you perform property inspections part time or full time? Are you a member of any national organizations? Are you certified by any national home inspector organizations? Are you a member of any Chamber of Commerce? Do you provide a home maintenance manual? Are you available after the inspection for questions or consultation as long as I own my home? Is the inspection report a checklist type with hard to read carbon copies, or a concise computer aided written report with digital photos?
As with most services, competence, reputation, & experience all come into play. At this critical juncture, keep your eye on the ball. If after all your due diligence, your selection is experienced inspector that charges a little more. Are you willing to gamble you hard earned money on what may be the largest investment of a lifetime on a few dollars? You usually get what you pay for. What is your peace of mind worth to you?