Hire The Best Possible Home Inspector

Folks, for over 50 years I have been asked questions about how the home works. I have to say it works the same way it did when I first entered the industry – with the homesaura of some new technologies.

One thing that has changed for the better is in the area of buying and selling homes. No matter what type or style of house you are buying or selling today, there should be a requirement for a home inspection.

I’m suggesting that all homes sold should have an inspection unless they are being torn down. (Or to use the new term, “recycled.”)

Let’s have a look at the requirements in B.C. and the qualifications an inspector should have.

Check the inspector’s credentials. A “certified inspector” with the designation CPI or CHI signifies he or she is certified under a government act and is recognized by the courts and other professional bodies.

There are two bodies that regulate home inspectors in B.C.: Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (B.C.) and Applied Sciences Technologists and Technicians of B.C. As of March 31, 2009, all inspectors in the province need to be licensed under Consumer Protection B.C.

A qualified inspector is required to have a good working knowledge of building envelopes, structural components, plumbing, heating and electrical systems, roofing, ventilation and hazardous materials (i.e., asbestos-related items such as Zonolite insulation).

The inspector needs to understand how all the components listed above function and how they work together. The ability to communicate this information to the client is also important.

An experienced, perceptive inspector should notice design defects and signs of structural or component deficiencies (including unprofessional workmanship). Follow up information from the inspector should include the “how to” or “who to” make the necessary corrections.

Today, I get phone calls asking how much a home inspection should cost. My answer is: “You cannot afford to not have one.” My advice is to call one of the home inspection associations and ask what the average cost should be.

Bottom line: The purchase of your home is one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever make.

Make sure you do your homework. Ask the right questions as you are the one that is going to pay for it in the end. Also, do not base your selection of a property inspector on price alone. Ensure he or she is a certified professional capable of doing the job properly.

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