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Health Evaluations When You’re Buying a Home

Home Safety Tip: Choosing a Home Inspector

To maximize your home safety, don’t put your faith in a home inspector just because you found their listing in the Yellow Pages. Surprising as it may seem, not every state regulates the home inspection industry, though more than 30 states do. For information about your state, you can visit the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) web pages, which maintain information about licensing requirements by state.

Regardless of where you live, how should you select a home inspector?

“Most people go through their real estate agents, but they aren’t always the best source of information as far as finding a reputable home inspector,” says David Kolesari, president of the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI).

Although it’s fine to consider your Realtor’s recommendation, Kolesari recommends making sure that any home inspector you choose is involved in a national organization, such as NAHI. Membership in these organizations often requires more continuing education and more stringent certification standards than state licensing agencies. If you aren’t working with a Realtor, you might consider using the tools on the ASHI and NAHI Web sites to find a professional home inspector near you. Or, ask friends or family in your area who have recently purchased a home about their home inspection experience.

Once you have a recommendation for a certified home inspector, it’s time to gather a bit more information. Experts recommend interviewing your potential home inspector before making a final decision. Some questions you might ask include:

  • On average, how many homes do you inspect each year?
  • May I see a sample report?
  • May I contact past clients to discuss their experiences with your work?
  • Are you insured?
  • How long will the home inspection take?
  • How much will the home inspection cost?

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