“Home Inspection is a specialized profession that can only be mastered through experience.”
For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest single investment they’ll ever make. Getting an independent, expert opinion on the condition of the structure and its multitude of mechanical systems is without doubt one of the most important things you can do to limit your risk. Although it is not possible for anybody to eliminate all such risk, it can be greatly reduced. An inspection by a dedicated home inspection professional will provide the information needed to make an informed decision.
But not all home inspectors have the same experience, training, or certifications – what’s more the requirement in New Jersey to become a fully licensed home inspector is very low -consisting of a mere 100 hours of classroom instruction and observing approximately a dozen home inspections performed in the field by another inspector. Other than a high school diploma or GED there is no other building experience or education required. In comparison, 1200 hours of schooling is required to obtain a beautician’s license in New Jersey.
So how do you make sure you’ve hired the right inspector for the job? First off, there are hundreds of good experienced home inspectors in New Jersey. However, when shopping for a home inspector, it’s vital that you do your homework and interview each individual inspector based mainly on his or her experience and credentials pertaining to home inspection.
First, Check the status of the individual home inspectors license. Home inspectors in New Jersey are required to be licensed and insured, however, since the initial licensing requirements are minimal the license should not be a deciding factor in selecting a home inspector. However, the fact that all licensed home inspectors are required to have and maintain a professional errors and omission insurance policy is a good thing. Without it they cannot obtain or renew their home inspectors license.
The other positive aspects of licensing is the fact that all home inspections performed must meet the New Jersey Standards of Practice, which was modeled on the standards of one of the country’s most prestigious home inspection organizations (ASHI). Licensed home inspectors must also obtain a minimum number of continuing education units each licensing period. Therefore it is important to verify the status of a home inspectors license by clicking the following link.
After verifying the status of the inspector’s license there are several important factors that you need to consider before deciding which inspector to choose.
What is the individual inspector’s background and home inspection experience? Having a strong background in the construction trades, engineering and architectural professions or code enforcement are all great precursors to becoming a good home inspector. However, having one single area of expertise is not what it takes to become a good home inspector. A good home inspector must have a thorough understanding of each of the building’s many individual structural and mechanical systems that must be inspected. In addition, they must also know how each system and component interacts with each other.
The more inspections performed on buildings of various ages and styles the better. Look for an inspector that has had at least a year of experience training with a seasoned home inspector and has performed an additional 200-250 individual home inspections. That should be adequate for someone with a background in the building trades or a profession degree.
Do not price shop! Hiring a home inspector is no different than hiring any other professional when you are about to make one of the most important and expensive decisions in your life. You look for someone that has a wealth of training, knowledge, and experience to work on your behalf. Someone, who will use his or her higher level of specialized expertise solely in your best interest. That means not shopping by price alone. As with any seasoned professional, their extensive skills and credentials take considerable time and expense to acquire and compensation for their special expertise can be expected to be higher. When it comes to home inspections – as with most services – you get what you pay for.
Ask to see a sample inspection report. After all is said and done the all-important end product of the home inspection is the inspection report. To reduce your risk and understand the implications of what was discovered during the inspection, you must fully understand the content in the inspection report. Otherwise, you will not be able to make an informed decision or effectively communicate your concerns to your agents regarding the purchase of the home. Further negotiation between you and the seller will be based upon your understanding of the findings that are detailed in the inspection report.