Should I perform my own home inspection?
This is a question often asked by perspective homeowners or current homeowners that are trying to assess where their home is in its current life cycle.
Of course there are probably some easy to spot visual issues like lack of attic insulation or drafty windows but what about the systems that are not so easily identified? If a homeowner has spent the majority of their life working with these systems they will have a lot better chance of spotting potential issues, if however you have been spending life in a cubicle or performing stand-up comedy it may be best to consider paying for a professional home inspection.
If this is something you insist on doing even though as a professional we recommend against it here is a checklist you can go by.
Remember a professional home inspector has spent the majority of their time performing inspections day in and day out. Most Home Inspection Companies are also certified by at least one or two nationally recognized home inspection certification authorities.
To perform a proper home inspection you will need
A printed checklist
Flashlight, Screwdrivers and maybe some other tools, infrared scanners, hygrometers, ladders etc.
Where will you be inspecting?
Heating, AC Systems….etc. etc.
You will also have to make sure that when the inspection is completed you provide a complete report based on what you have observed. This report will be your testament to the condition of the systems described above. If there is an issue after a new homeowner takes possession of the property and finds something wrong with an item in the inspection report you may be questioned or worse yet liable for fees incurred to correct the issue.
Her is a point on a Home Inspectors potential liability.
The real estate home inspector is liable if he misses any problems, whether major or minor, with any of the items on his checklist. Some might be minor, like a leaky faucet that a buyer would overlook and not pursue. A major problem would be a furnace that will need to be replaced before the next winter. The buyer would have asked the seller to install a new furnace, or give the buyer credit for the cost of a new furnace. The inspector's mistake will cause the buyer to have to purchase a new furnace. The buyer will look to the inspector for reimbursement.
These liability issues are why a home inspector should and probably does carry Errors and Omissions Insurance.
Errors and omissions insurance is available for home inspectors. A smart buyer asks an inspector if he has insurance. Inspectors can purchase up to $1 million in coverage with a deductible of $2,500 or $5,000. Rates depend upon the number of inspectors and revenue of the business. Insurance provides a legal defense against any lawsuit in addition to an adjuster to handle claims.
Having addressed all of these issues and concerns above are you really certain you want to attempt this on your own? It may be worth the few dollars to hire a local Home Inspection Company.
In Minneapolis Saint Paul contact Inspections Plus with over 25 years of experience in the construction industry Inspections Plus can save you the headache of trying to do it yourself.
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