Hiring a Home Inspector 101

From home viewing to sight-seeing, and up until the final process of purchasing has been done, buying a home really requires a lot of work. Your ultimate goal is to buy a property that you need with the features that you want. Thus, your devotion is to make sure that you are buying the right home. An important factor that some home buyers may neglect doing is hiring a home inspector. As a result, they end up unsatisfied, disappointed, and frustrated after finding “hidden skeletons in the closet”. What do I mean by this? The home which you thought was the best choice may turn out to be the worst among all your options. How bad is that? It’s very bad!

On the sellers point of view having a home inspected prior to putting it on sale will give a better idea on how you can get a better return on your investment. If no home improvement is needed, you can make a more reasonable price tag on your property. While if you need to make necessary home repairs, you can be assured that after doing so, it would be easier to market your home because of its higher quality. There are a lot of qualified home inspector professionals in the real estate market but how can you hire one among the best? And how can you spot the worst among the rest? We just made that work a lot easier for you. Home inspectors would also safeguard your best interest among all others. They are there to check and examine every inch of the house to ensure safety, comfort and satisfaction. There’s no such thing as a perfect house but your objective is to get the best house among your choices. Listed below are the key points in hiring a home inspector.

-Check your home inspector’s professional qualifications such as licenses, education, training and experience. Many states require home inspectors to first get a license before performing an official job.

– Look for an inspector that participates with a particular trade or industry group such as the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors. This only means that the inspector should be a member of a certified association that has a certain code of conduct and which involves strict requirements for certification. Home inspectors with this qualification show they provide serious work and credibility. Furthermore, their years of experience and how long the home inspector has been in the business will also provide an idea of your inspector’s proficiency and reliability.

-Require a sample work report. Inspect how they inspect. Examine how they provide their written data. Is it delivered in a clear and understandable manner? Does it have pictures which manifest their findings? Does their report provide complete and detailed conclusions? Does the report come in a few pages or does it provide a comprehensive account of information? Is it simple but complete or would you need to set an appointment to understand how they deliver a report? They should also include repair estimates in their report. How fast is their turnaround time in providing a report after inspection? You need someone that can meet your deadline.

-There are home inspector offices that also offer pest control certification conducted by a certified pest control technician. A pest control certificate can be obtained separately but if you can get an excellent quality pest inspection from the same home inspection office, then that would be better and more economical.

-Ask if the inspector has insurance/s for errors and omissions. Get someone who does. This will provide security in case they make damage/s to properties or makes major mistakes or negligence in performing their work. In addition, ask if they offer service guarantee agreements. This will also give an assurance that they will provide excellent and reliable inspection.

Inspectors use hours and not minutes when they examine a house, a quick scan of the area should not be tolerated. Additionally, a good inspector will invite or allow you to be with them as they do their rounds and inspection. And when they do, be there! Realtors who recommend a specific home inspector may give a possible conflict of interest. It is better to follow your own judgments in hiring a home inspector. With these guidelines in mind, you can never go wrong.

Finding Contractors for Your Home Improvements

You have decided to pursue some home improvements and know you need professional help. Now you just need to figure out how to find quality contractors.

Finding Contractors for Your Home Improvements

A contractor is a construction professional or company that does…well, construction. There are different types of contractors. A general contractor is responsible for overseeing the entire project and bringing in sub-contractors that specialize in some particular area such as electrical installation, drywall, framing, pools and so on.

The general contractor acts as the coordinator and is essentially where the buck stops when you have question, comments or criticisms. The “GC” is specifically responsible for supervising all the work, hiring and paying subcontractors, buying materials and making sure everything meets the requirements of building codes. Any GC you use should be licensed by the state in which you live. If they are not, do no hire them.

When you start searching for a general contractor, the first thing you will discover is there are a lot of them. In fact, there are over a million licensed general contractors in the United States. So, how do you find the best of the best?

Words are cheap unless you are talking to a lawyer, psychiatrist or IRS agent. In relation to your project, this means you should not rely on the sales pitch of a contractor. Instead, the best method for finding a good general contractor is to ask friends, family and neighbors. Importantly, do not ask if they know someone. Instead, ask if they have ever had improvements done by a GC and how it went. You do not want a referral to someone who is a third cousin of somebody. You want a referral to a contractor that has proven they do good work and handle a project competently.

Once you have some referrals, you want to sit down and meet with each personally. You should ask them about their licensing, the types of projects they handle, references from other clients that have done projects for and their contractor’s license number. If they hesitate at all in responding to any of these questions, move on to the next referral.

Once you narrow down your field of potential candidates, show them what you want done. Ask them if they have every done this type of project before. Then get written estimates from all of them. Once you have the estimates, are any of them significantly higher or lower than the others? If so, find out why. Once you have a feel for the basis of the estimates, you can make your selection. Do not just pick the cheapest offer.

Finding a general contractor for your project should not be hard. Finding the right contractor, however, takes a little bit of work.