Buying a home is probably one of the most significant financial decisions you will ever make in your life unless you are a millionaire, a celebrity, or a real estate mogul. It is not something that you do every day, and neither is it a decision that you take on a whim.
And not just that, but it is one that is not easy to back out of. You cannot just withdraw or change your mind, and neither can you walk away unscathed. You are likely to be stuck for a while, and lost time is lost money.
Before you sign the dotted line, or agree to the price being offered, hire a home inspector to evaluate your property. The inspection will offer you insights and provide you with information that can help you negotiate on the price and save on costs of repairs and improvements.
But how do you choose the right home inspector? Keep these tips in mind:
A trusted and licensed home inspector is required by NY State Law to disclose their license information on their website and marketing materials. All home inspectors are required to carry insurance, but more importantly, ask the home inspector if they carry Errors & Omissions Liability to protect the homeowner for things the home inspector may have missed. Other important factors when choosing a home inspector is to see what other services they provide such as radon gas detection, termite inspections, sewer scope inspections, indoor air quality testing, and if they use state of the art technology like infrared thermal imaging.
What are their customers saying about their services? Does the inspector have any online reviews? Satisfied customers will talk about the details of their experiences and what they went through.
Home inspectors, like other types of contractors, are also required to pass certain exams and get specific qualifications that allow them to offer the services that they do. Your inspector's qualifications should include a license, the minimum number of paid home inspections, a portfolio, and other qualifiers. Experience is not always a telling factor, which is why it is okay to work with newcomers, so long as they check off other criteria.
Home inspections can start somewhere in the hundreds, and go up to the thousands, depending on factors like the size of the home, for instance. This is why it is important to discuss pricing, estimates, and other cost factors before you hire them. Request a pricing breakdown and estimate before you proceed with the inspection. This will prepare and protect you against hidden costs and charges that they might spring on you.
This is a big tell. Although your inspector is being hired to look for structural issues, problems with appliances, check heating, cooling, electrical and wiring problems, the tell of an honest contractor is that they want you around. Work with an inspector who asks you to be present for the duration of the inspection, and whose work you can observe firsthand because it allows you to get more out of the experience too.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to find an experienced, reliable home inspection company for your needs. If you’re in Staten Island, NY, you can get in touch with us. Find out about our services and learn more about our work and pricing.