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Know Your Home Inspector

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

In the typical home purchase, the buyer receives only one expert review of the residence prior to purchase — the home inspection. While economical and useful, these reports have limits that must be acknowledged. The scope of this report is sometimes overstated, leaving the buyer and seller exposed to unreasonable expectations, which can lead to disappointment, disagreements, and even lawsuits. There are several important considerations buyers and sellers should understand about their South Dakota home inspector.

1. Pick the Best, Not the Least Expensive

Home inspection prices vary and it can be tempting to hire the cheapest. There may be a reason a company’s price is low. Are they inexperienced? Are they thorough? Do they have a poor reputation? Do they utilize quality equipment such as thermal imaging cameras and state-of-the-art radon monitoring systems or are they skimping by with poor quality equipment? Is their report software cutting edge, full of useful information, easy to digest and user-friendly or is it clunky, bare-bones and difficult to read?

Home inspections are a minuscule cost relative to the total price of a home. I encourage you to consider more than price and hire the best inspector available. You are hiring expertise and presumably want the best inspector out there to minimize the risk to one of the largest investment decisions you may make. All American Inspection Company takes pride in leveraging the very best equipment on the market to ensure we do our very best work. Our prices are considered “middle-of-the-road”, but our equipment, training and service are the very best money can buy.

2. Your Inspector Should be Licensed & Insured

Some states, such as California, have no licensing or state certification for home inspectors. Others, such as Arizona, certify but do not license home inspectors. Many states, including South Dakota, require home inspectors to be licensed. South Dakota home inspectors are required to pass a state exam and continue to further their education. All American Inspection Company is licensed in the State of South Dakota.

There are a number of credentialing organizations, including the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). These organizations each have their own qualifications, exams, and code of ethics. You should look for an inspector certification by one of these major organizations. All American Inspection Company is a proud member of InterNACHI and you can find Kerry’s status as a Certified Professional Inspector here.

Unfortunately, an inspector may miss a significant item that was part of the industry Standards of Practice and could point toward a significant repair issue. In the event this occurs, you will be disappointed if the inspector is unable to pay for the repair of the neglected item. You should hire an inspector with current liability insurance.

3. It is a Visual Inspection and You May Need Specialized Expertise

The home inspection a visual, non-invasive inspection. The inspector cannot see inside walls to confirm that the framing is solid or that the plumbing or wiring was properly installed; typical home inspection contracts will alert you to these limitations. The risk of potential hidden problems remains, even after the best visual assessment of the property.

An inspector will, at times report on a significant item that requires particular expertise. For example, if a question is raised regarding soil stability, you may need advice from a soil engineer. If foundation walls are bowed or floors exhibit severe heaving, a structural engineer may be needed. A general contractor may be needed to determine how a basement that was finished without drawing the proper permits might be legitimized with the local Planning & Building Division. The home inspector is the first but not necessarily the last word on things. We recommend you bring in further expertise if the report indicates a problem.

Home inspections are a valuable tool for the home buyer and should be a routine part of the home buying process. The risk in purchasing a structure built by someone else can be reduced, but not completely eliminated. With a qualified and competent home inspector, you are doing what can reasonably be done to mitigate that risk. All American Inspection Company will ensure you are able to make informed and educated property investment decisions based off a thorough inspection of your home or commercial property. If you have questions or would like to schedule an inspection, click here.

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