How to Shop for a Home Inspection
Even after our many years in the home inspection business, we’re still amazed at the number of home buyers who choose a home inspector based on his or her fee alone. A new home is probably the biggest single investment most people will make, often representing several years of income. However, many people will call a few different companies and pick an inspector based solely on the fee he or she charges. These same people will only bring their car to a mechanic that specializes in that brand of auto, or will only visit a physician after checking their reputation with friends or co-workers. If their fees are higher, the customer feels its justified for the better expertise.
All Home Inspectors are not created equal. While the three states in our immediate area, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts all require competency testing before licensure, the educational requirements are surprisingly low. Connecticut only requires one approved course (most of which last one to two weeks), plus 10 inspections under direct supervision, and 100 under “indirect” supervision. That inspection you’re getting at a bargain basement price may be performed by an inspector that’s inspected just eleven houses!
To help guide you through choosing a good inspector, we’ve compiled a list of criteria to check. We’re confident that you won’t find a better inspection than Res-I-Tec, Inc. provides:
- Check Credentials.
Anyone who performs home inspections in Connecticut, New York, or Massachusetts
must be licensed by the individual state. Licenses can be verified
by calling the State Department of Consumer Protection, or visiting
their website. All Res-I-Tec inspectors are licensed by the State
of Connecticut, and some also have licenses in New York and Massachusetts.
- Check Experience.
Ask your potential inspector how long he or she has been in business
and how many homes they’ve inspected. Have they done enough
inspections to make you feel comfortable? Have they been
in business long enough that you know they’ll still be there in a
year or five years when you have questions or problems? Our inspectors
average 20 years experience and together have inspected nearly 30,000
homes. Our firm celebrated 30 years in business in 2006.
- Check Professional Affiliations.
All Res-I-Tec inspectors are members of The American Society of Home
Inspectors (ASHI), the recognized international professional association
for the home inspection industry, and our President was the founder.
ASHI membership requires documented continuing education and competency
testing. It also provides educational opportunities on evolving
issues in home construction, safety, and environmental issues.
- Check with friends or your
Realtor. Ask friends and co-workers who have recently purchased
a home if they were happy with their inspector. Ask your realtor
for recommendations as well (most are obligated to suggest three companies).
We’ve found that nearly 95 percent of our business comes from past
customer and realtor recommendations. That’s a lot of happy
- Ask for a Sample Report.
Is it concise, readable, and in layman’s terms, or is it a vague checklist
that’s not really tailored to your home?
- Ask about other services.
At Res-I-Tec, we perform radon testing in-house to avoid the wait associated
with sending the kits to an out of state lab. Our water testing
is done by a State licensed environmental lab. We can also provide comprehensive
septic system evaluations, oil tank testing, lead paint testing, and
specialized environmental tests though our affiliates.