Moving to a new city, state or country can be exhilarating. Many people view relocation as an opportunity to start over and get a new beginning. Despite the benefits, relocating is often considered one of life’s most stressful events!
One of the most dreaded aspects of the moving process is the home inspection and the task of finding someone to complete it. Where do you start? Who can you trust? Ask potential home inspectors these questions before making your final hiring decision.
1. What Are Your Experiences and Certifications?
Every state has different requirements for their licensed home inspectors. For example, to be licensed in Washington, applicants must have completed:
- At least 120 hours of board-approved classroom instruction
- 40 hours of field training while being supervised by a state-licensed inspector
- The written state exam
In New York, in addition to training time requirements and passing the written state exam, applicants must have performed at least 100 home inspections.
There are several certifying organizations which offer further assurance that your state-licensed home inspector knows what they’re doing. One of these organizations is the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). To become an InterNACHI-Certified Home Inspector, applicants must:
- Pass the Online Inspector Examination
- Join InterNACHI
- Complete the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Practice Courses
- Submit four simulated inspection reports to InterNACHI
- Sign the enrollment agreement
Home inspectors certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) are also a good choice. The standards to become an ASHI member are universal no matter where an inspector is seeking licensure. While the levels of membership vary, to become an official ASHI Certified Inspector, applicants must have:
- Completed 250 inspections
- Completed 20 hours annually of continuing education through online or in-person courses
- Had inspection reports successfully verified in compliance with ASHI’s Standard of Practice
- Passed the National Home Inspector Examination and ASHI’s Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics
2. May I See a Sample Inspection Report?
Home inspectors often offer this without homeowners having to ask, but if a sample inspection report is not readily available to you, send the inspector an email to request one.
Sample reports are more than just photos and illustrations – they are filled with information about specific recommendations the inspector makes and thorough explanations for those recommendations.
Inspection reports with unexplained jargon about potential issues and follow-ups should be avoided as you could end up receiving a report with suggestions for unnecessary additional inspections.
3. What Does Your Inspection Include?
When comparing inspectors, you want to find someone who is willing to scour every nook and cranny of your new home to ensure they catch any potential problems. Many inspectors don’t check appliances in addition to the traditional points of inspection (foundation, windows, ceiling), so it’s important to know ahead of time what you’re paying for. Here are some of the most important areas that should be covered during inspection:
- Electrical system
- HVAC system
- Overall health of interior and exterior
4. Do You Perform Repair Work?
Inspection companies that offer repairs raise a huge red flag. It’s a major conflict of interest for the company assessing possible damage to a house to sell repairs for what they’ve told you is broken. In fact, ASHI Certified Inspectors are forbidden to offer repairs or maintenance of a property they inspect.
Other conflicts of interest to look out for include paying or accepting commissions for inspection work or making referrals for home repair companies.
5. Read Online Reviews
In addition to asking well-thought-out questions, you want to perform some internet research. Reading reviews online is the modern-day version of asking your neighbor for a recommendation. There are dozens of websites and apps dedicated to allowing people to share their experiences with companies so people can get a better idea of who they’re hiring. These online tools include:
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
- And many more
No Matter Where You Move, Move With Continental Van Lines
After ensuring your new home passes inspection, let us handle the rest. Our talented staff of professional movers has been helping people move since 1952. Whether you’re relocating to a new city, state or country, trust Continental Van Lines to get your items there safely.