Here are some important and considerations and questions to ask when hiring an inspector.
You should not only know if they are properly licensed and Certified in Oregon, but also what their hands-on building experience is. Some have little or none. It is important that their experience includes building in this coastal environment. Without an understanding of the harsh conditions on the coast the inspector will be at a distinct disadvantage to protect your investment. I have over 20 years of building experience on the Oregon coast. Please see my resume.
In my opinion, if a home inspector is actively promoting themselves as an expert in everything and offering to do multiple specialty inspections, it could be motivated more by increasing their bottom line than protecting yours.
Seriously consider it before you hire a general home inspector to be an all inclusive specialist. Being a knowledgeable, competent generalist is a specialty unto its’ self.
Here are some things to consider when interviewing an inspector:
1: Qualifications: What kind of training and experience do you have?
Many inspectors have a long list of letters & designations after their names. Among these are: Certified Master Inspector, or Certified Senior Inspector, and others. How did they “earn” these titles? There are many web sites, including inspection associations, where these “titles” can be acquired with very little effort. Often it takes no more than spending some time taking on-line courses and self directed, “open book” tests. Some of these designations are not particularly meaningful. I am an Oregon Certified Inspector. Oregon has some of the most stringent certification standards in the nation; far exceeding most other states. Continued education is required. Not all inspectors are state certified. Ask about construction background. Not all certified inspectors have equal building experience. Some have Little or none. It is critical to have hands-on experience building in the harsh coastal environment. With over 35 years in the building and inspection fields, 20 in Coos County, I have the experience that will benefit you. My first construction job was in 1966 and I started inspecting and estimating buildings in 1973.
2: Are you a member of any inspector’s trade associations?
I am a Certified Master Inspector of the American Institute of Inspectors and a member of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Continued training and education are required by both. I have served on the Executive Board of Directors of AII.
3: Can you make repairs if they are needed?
If they say “yes” — BEWARE! They may have a vested interest in the outcome of their report. Oregon law does not allow inspectors to work on a building they have inspected. I don’t do repairs and I don’t make estimates. I abide by a strict Code of Ethics which forbids any actions that could be a conflict of interest.
4: How long does your inspection take?
My inspection takes 3 to 6 hours on site to complete. I meet and exceed the Standards of Practice outlined by the State of Oregon and A.I.I. This extra investment of time assures you a high quality, thorough inspection.
5: Do you have a written guarantee that your report is accurate?
I have a service agreement that clearly outlines my responsibilities. I perform a visual inspection and evaluate the condition of the components of the home based upon the criteria of durability and serviceability. The high standards that I am responsible for reporting to are set by the Oregon Standards of Practice and the professional associations I belong to. This is the best guarantee you can get.
6: What happens if you honestly miss something?
I strive to do my very best, yet realize that occasionally situations may occur and conditions may not be observed. If notified, I will amend your report to reflect conditions as they exist. No inspection will find everything.
7: Do you go over the report in person with the buyer?
I recommend that the client be at the property for a walk through after the inspection is completed. This will be the most efficient use of your time and give you the best information. You are welcome to be there for the entire inspection if you prefer. For out of area clients, It can be discussed over the phone after you have reviewed the report.
8: What kind of report do you use?
I have a state-of-the-art computer generated report delivered by email within a few hours after the inspection is completed. Labled photographs are also posted to the web and a link is included with your emailed report. This produces a report that is easy to understand and is very comprehensive. I identify the homes positive features as well as its weaknesses.
9: When do I get the report?
I email the report the next day.
10: How much will the home inspection cost?
This is often the first question asked and yet it tells the least about the quality of the inspection. I believe that my clients deserve the highest value for their investment dollar. Fees are set according to the size, age and location. You are making a purchase that will affect your family’s health and lives in many ways. Do you want to base your decision on the cheapest inspection you can find?
Experience isn’t expensive: It’s priceless.
SEE FEES on the home page.
Choosing the wrong inspector could cost you a lot. The health and lives of your family, as well as your financial health could depend on it.
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