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Important Questions to Ask before You Hire a Home Inspector
Maine does not have state licensure for home inspectors. This amazes me. Licensure is needed for hair salons, electricians, plumbers, physical therapists but not home inspectors. Because of this home buyers have little or no recourse if the home they purchase needs costly repairs that were not identified in the report. Home inspectors that do substandard inspections are not held accountable by the state and have no worries about losing their license or being listed on an Attorney General website for providing deficient inspections. With this in mind I highly recommend that you ask the following questions of potential inspectors:
- Have you ever been found negligible in a lawsuit due to the quality of your report
- Show me a sample report of your work
- Are you licensed by the state to do heating system digital evaluations
- Do you use an ultrasound machine to test the thickness of the fuel oil storage tank
- Do you use infrared cameras as part of the inspection
- Do you use a continuous radon monitor for radon air tests
- Do you have energy analysis certification
- Have you had a claim filed against you in the last three years
Here are two questions to ask your broker if you are buying a home:
- Can you gaurantee that the home inspector that you are referring has not had a claim filed against him/her in the last 3 years
- Has a client called to complain about your inspector referral after the purchase of the home in the last 3 years
The first question’s answer will come in handy if your inspector does an unsatisfactory job and you are pursuing retribution legally. The second question will give you a baseline for comparing inspector’s reports so that you can make an educated choice. The radon air question is important. The open vial or charcoal dish radon tests are legally able to be 25% of off true accuracy while the continuous radon monitors have a variability of 10%. With heating fuel prices increasing it is important to hire an inspector that is specifically trained in energy analysis.
Do your homework so that you can lessen the risk of having costly unforeseen repairs after you purchase the home.