Shopping for a home inspection is different from most of the other shopping you’ll have done. Shopping by price is common mistake, and here’s why:
Saving or Losing Money
An experienced, qualified inspector can save you a lot of money. An inexperienced, unqualified inspector can cost you a lot of money. Compared to the cost of a home, the cost of an inspection is very small. The cost difference between the services of a good inspector and those of a bad inspector are smaller still. That difference is tiny, compared to what you risk in buying a home without knowing its true condition.
You’ll be paying a lot of money for a home. It’s the biggest investment most people make during their lifetime. Your inspector’s job is to protect your financial interest by identifying any major, expensive-to-fix defects in the home before you sign the Offer to Purchase. You’ll need time to gather estimates for repair and to negotiate with the seller for the cost of repairs or for a reduction in home price. There are no perfect homes, just as there are no perfect contractors, employees or materials.
Homes are Complicated Systems
Homes of different ages, styles and quality are built with different materials, each with different aging characteristics and expected lifespans. These materials will be combined in different ways. Some materials are compatible and some are not. Those that are not compatible will fail prematurely. Home inspectors are trained to know where to look for failure according to the factors and variables they see.
As if that’s not complicated enough, home are built with a number of systems, such as the structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling and exterior and interior systems. Each of these systems, and their major components, can vary with the home location, its age, quality and and the quality of component installation. Learning the ways in which these different systems and components fail takes dedication, education, discipline, and time.
Establishing Inspection Prices
Without the desire to excel, the access to quality training, the self-discipline to complete that training, and the time to learn, both off the job and on, inspectors will not have the skills to adequately protect themselves or their clients.
Home inspectors who have done the work and spent the time are proud of their hard-won abilities. They enter the home inspection field serious about what they do, they intend to make a living and they charge accordingly. They are able to command fees that allow them to make a living because those for whom they have performed inspections appreciate their capabilities, professionalism and responsible attitudes.
Those who have not had access to high-quality training, or put in the work and time, and who as a result are not well qualified have only one option if they wish to compete. They offer low-cost inspections. The cost of a home inspection is a direct reflection of the skill and experience of the home inspector. Shopping for low price is always a mistake.