Profile picture for MR. BEAN

Home inspection

I'm buying a new house, would you recommend me getting my own inspector instead of the seller's inspector? If yes, where i can get an inspector

 and how much is their average rate? can you send me checklist of what to inspect, im just a first-time homebuyer. How can i include in the purchase contract that i will use my inspector. Thanks

  • August 23 2008 - US
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (18)

Since you don't seem to beusing a realtor, get an attorney to draft the contract to include your home inspection preference. Home inspectors pretty much operate with similar checklists. Ask a friend or family member for help in finding a competent one.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for OnePawUp

It depends on where you are located but you are looking at $300-$400 for your inspection.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Webster3

Make sure they are ASHI ceertified.

Look on ASHI's website (American Society of Home inspectors)  www.ashi.org

Usually your realtor could recommend a couple names.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Webster3

*certified. no coffee yet.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs

Yes, you should definitely have your own inspector.

 

Checklist?  go to the other tab at the top of the screen with info for buyers.  I believe there is an inspection list there. 

 

Cost:  $300 to $500 for a good inspector with written report.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for guitar590

Make sure you are there during the inspection.  Make sure to video tape it as well, so if anything does ever come up you have a means to fall back onto.  When making an offer or accepting an offer be sure to include that you will be present during ALL inspections and you will be video taping it.  Those four little letters behind a inspector's name is only as good the paper it's written on.  Trust me there are some really BAD inspectors.  An inspector saying he won't allow video taped should be a HUGE red flag.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for ZVending

Yep, like webster said, get an ASHI inspector and never ever use the realtor or the sellers recommended inspector. I made that mistake the first time around and paid for it dearly. The inspectors know what to look for and you don't need to tell them what to do, however, you should be there with the inspector so he/she can explain things they find to you in person.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for WoodyWW

Trust me there are some really BAD inspectors

 

The last inspector I used in Mass. was AWFUL. He was recommended by my  "buyers agent". He had a paper checklist that he just scribbled notes on if he noted a problem. No pics.

 

The previous inspector I used (in Maine) was also recommended by my (a different)  "buyers agent".He was FANTASTIC. Lengthy, typed report, with little pic inserts of many of the (few) problem areas.

 

A huge part of the problem was that the agent in Mass. (with the awful inspector)  was "just a salesman", altho  I was snowed by  his reputation & how many people he knew there. The agent in Maine was extremely concientious, & probably would have alerted me to  many of the problems of the Mass. house even before I saw it.

 

I'm almost wondering if it's part of a cultural difference between the 2 states/areas, & how people do business there........

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

My opinion: (had to break this into several parts to get zilllow to process the post...)

 

It's very difficult to establish an inspectors competence based on "credentials" or time in the business. For example in almost every community you will find inspector who's built a durable career as an "agents pet" by soft-pedaling problems, and in fact the reality of an inspector's life is that they will constantly be receiving pressure from real estate agents, sellars, builders, and developers to go easy on properties as the price of receiving work by referral. It's also the case that there are some old-timers who will just not changed along with the profession, and are doing things the way they've always done them without take advantage of the enormous educational potential of the Internet or the great improvements in technology available to inspectors. And then there are the avid self promoters, in the next town over a novice inspector (who eventually by the way, became a very competent inspector) had "XXXXXX's Most Trusted Home Inspector" painted on his truck from day one.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

(continued) So what's a consumer to do?

Here are a few things that I think really matter:

- Try to locate an inspector based on consumer rather than agent recommendations. Ask your friends and co-workers who they've used for inspections, and how they felt about them. A good review is not an absolute endorsement - an inspector can miss significant defects that the clients not aware of either - but an inspector who regularly impresses clients with their thoroughness and knowledge is unlikely to be a bad inspector.

- Look for an inspector who is spending a realistic amount of time at the property. It takes me an average of 3-1/2 to 4 hours to inspect a typical new construction single-family residence, and it can take longer (for example there are multiple heating and cooling systems or complicated construction with multiple attics or basements and crawl spaces to inspect). And that does not include the time to write the report. I'm aware of inspectors - even experienced inspectors - who claim that they can do such an inspection in a shorter period of time, and even that they can not only do the inspection but also write the report on-site within that time frame. However the inspectors I'm aware of who I would want inspecting house for my family all seem to feel the three to four hours is about the minimum needed to perform a reasonably thorough inspection.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

(continued)

 

- Look for an inspector who takes advantage of modern technology. Fancy equipment won't make an inexperienced or careless inspector good, but it can make a careful and experienced inspector better. The inspection I perform today will likely catch a number of significant problems that would not that have been discovered at the inspection of five years ago. For example today I have meters that can detect voltage drops due to marginal materials or incorrect insulation and infrared cameras that can detect water leakage not visible to the naked eye. This technology cannot substitute for experience - it can't tell you where to look or how to understand what you see - but it can help you discover and understand problems when experience and understanding of how buildings work has taught you look for them. (This is one reason, by the way, why inspections are getting longer and longer - increasingly we have learned how to look for more things, and we have better ways of looking for them).

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

(continued)

 

- Determine in advance what kind of report you will receive. Will it be a 4-5 page checklist, with a few handwritten comments? Or will it be a 15 or 20 page written report explaining for each defect what the inspector saw, what it means, and what you need to do about? Will it include pictures (in my experience extremely useful illustrating exactly what sort of problem was observed)? Will the inspector produce it on-site, or that will they produce it in the office when they have a chance to reflect on what they've seen and to perform any necessary research? There is some inspectors with a very strong technical abilities who insist that it's possible to write a report and 35 or 40 minutes. However I strongly believe based on my experience that I produce a better report what I'm not under the gun to finish one inspection, write the report on-site, and rush off to the next inspection. It's also been my experience that it's not uncommon for me to change my opinion of the importance of something, or the best way of explaining it, when I've had a chance to think about it. And that I've never been able to produce a report in 30 minutes or anything like it. And there's also this: what happens when the inspector who scheduled 30 minutes to write that report encounters a building with many problems which really require more reporting time? Does he or she pick up the cell phone and reschedule the next inspection to devote the required time to report you problems properly ? I doubt it - I think what usually happens in that situation is that the inspector hits the major liability issues, let's the chips fall where they may for the rest of them, and moves on to the next inspection.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

(continued)

- Determine in advance what level of service you can expect after the inspection. There are some inspectors in my area - including some who have excellent technical abilities and running successful businesses - who expect that their responsibility to the client ends the moment they hand over the report. There are others who provide various levels of post-inspection service. I'm always willing to pick up the phone and explain to a client, attorney or contractor why someting was reported the way it way, and it's not unusual for me to write a memo doing the same. Of course there has to be a limit to the amount of post-inspection service provided without additional charge, but I try and set the limit pretty liberally - to me it just makes business sense to do it this way as this is the kind of service that creates referrals.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

- Require - and expect to pay - for the inspection provided by a inspector who takes the time to educate themselves on todays constantly changing building technology and who takes the time to inspect your property properly and write a really useful report. You won't regret it, and you will almost always "make money" on the inspection - even a poor inspector will usually save you more than the cost of their inspection, and a good inspector or frequently save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, and every once in a while will save you from the kind of construction disaster that can bankrupt people. I can't tell you what that price will be in your market, but I do know it will be toward the upper end. In my market - Chicago - I charge between $475 and $525 for a basic single-family residential inspection, which compares to an average price of around $350 for the majority of my competitors and pricing as low as $99-$225 from inspectors try to break into the business or desperate trying to hold on in today's depressed real estate market. Interestingly, the handful of inspectors to whom I refer business when I'm unable to take it are all also at the high end of the range - but in most cases I decided that these were inspectors to whom I refer business on the basis of their technical competence, honesty, candor and ability to communicate clearly *before* I knew exactly what they charged - it just costs more to provide superior service, but in my experience the vast majority of clients have no difficulty perceiving the difference or understanding that it's worth an extra $150-$200 on a half-million dollar transaction to receive it (witness the poster above to whom the difference between the checklist report of the first inspection and the well illustrated narrative report at the second was very apparent).


That's my $.02 worth, anyway.

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

WOW. What a royal pain in the neck just to post a comment!

  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for mina36
Michael! Good to see you again!!
  • August 23 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for juneaudrey

hello all the normal in home inspection contracts:

 

Opinions, standard of pratice document doesn't hold person liable for any of his opinons.

  • August 24 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for maryanne72856

Home Inspection thursday august 28th 2008 11am it's an old house 1935 and we didn't have an inspection 3 years ago when we bought it. husband went under home checked for leaks 

suppose to get report from buyer to  realtor friday they said. if not with holiday tuesday.  I have mixed feelings  don't really have to sell  but husband travels all over US  and I would like to join him. not sitting home alone  right now my house  I"m just getting what I bought it for. realtor gets the rest. so breaking even is ok.  but, in a way  I'm hoping they find a few things. small but enough to break the deal.  already told my realtor  I"m not coming down on price. but she can.  she didn't really care for my little joke.   it's ok for me to lose money  but not her.  realtors   used car salesmen  begining to hate them both. haha

anyway, we'll write back friday or weekend  and let you good people know.

how it came out

  • August 27 2008
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.