A Home Inspector's Role
A home inspector's role is that of an impartial party qualified to describe property conditions that will influence a buyer's purchasing decision. Most people take a large percentage of their life savings to purchase a home. Regardless of the size and cost of the the home, this is someone's attempt to realize the biggest part of the American Dream.
The inspector should be licensed and insured in the state and/or county where he conducts business.
The vast majority of home inspectors come from other careers or business pursuits. Someone that does not have a construction or engineering background is a poor choice. Unfortunately very few licensing bodies concern themselves with a candidate's work history during the licensing process. The inspection business is a constantly changing industry. New technologies have been brought to the trade in recent years, and this trend is likely to continue. Be sure to engage an inspector who is equipped with, and well-trained in, up-to-date tools and technologies. Any inspector "worth his salt" will offer infrared imagery (thermography) as part of any inspection. If an inspector does not offer at least an infrared scan of interior walls, ceilings, doors, windows and electrical panel, you should look for inspector who does. Remember - having the equipment is one thing, being able to interpret the imagery is quite something else. Some inspectors who have been in the business for many years resist purchasing this valuable technology or they may purchase and use it without proper training because training can take up to a week of billable time. Nonetheless, infrared gives an inspector a view of the home and its various systems in much greater detail than what is possible with the naked eye. If you find an inspector who uses infrared imagery, be sure to ask questions on his/her training and experience in interpreting results. Check back with Gate House Watch from time to time, as we will give some updates in the uses of infrared imagery in real estate inspections.