A home inspection is usually done by a certified home inspector. An inspection should extend beyond the visual to the operational and an inspector should look at the house in depth to be able to identify what is wrong with it and what can go wrong with it. Make sure that your home inspection includes, at the very least, an examination of the roof, attic, heating and central air conditioning systems, visible insulation, ceilings, walls, windows, floors, foundations, interior plumbing, electrical systems, basements, appliances and outdoor plumbing.
To find a “good” one, contact several inspectors from your area and check their qualifications. They should have experience in the building trades, as well as having completed of a professional home inspection training program (such as ITA), and have a current membership in a professional inspection association such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors).
Do a research by using the internet to find directories of trusted home inspectors. There are lot website where you can find unbiased information. Inspectors that have completed ITA’s training course (one of those considered by industry professionals as the most thorough home inspection training program available) are designated with a special logo in the directories. These websites also provide some helpful information about choosing a good home inspector and general information about the inspection process.
Your real estate agent can also recommend some home inspectors, and they are listed in the yellow pages of the phone book. But, don’t hire an inspector without checking references and backgrounds. Ask friends who purchased recently for recommendations. An inspector who is recommended by both your agent and by a friend is probably a good one.
Interview the inspectors before you select. Find out how long the inspector has been inspecting homes in the area of your desired home since there may be some local conditions that they need to be familiar with.
Find out how active the inspector is. A good and active inspector will go through at least two hundred homes in a year. Also, to avoid conflicts of interests, make sure that they work full-time as home inspectors and that they are not also into the business of contracting to fix homes.
Make sure you are, at the very least, comfortable with the credentials and experience of your home inspector when you finally choose one.