Are Home Inspectors Necessary and How Do You Choose One?

Are Home Inspectors Necessary?

This is a "no brainer" to me and to most anyone that I have dealt with who knows anything about real estate.  Unless you


yourself feel that you are an incredibly knowledgeable person about all the ins and outs of a home, then I would recommend a home inspector.  Even if you are personally this capable, it would be smart to have a second pair of eye balls looking at one of (if not the biggest) the largest investments you will ever make.

How Do You Choose an Inspector?

When researching information on whom to choose to do a home inspection for the home you are in escrow with, here are some helpful tips.

  1. Referrals.  Ask any of your friends who have personally done a home inspection in the last 2 years.  Besides your friends, your real estate agent is most likely the best resource.
  2. Take a good look at the inspectors website.  This should have a list of testimonials on their service they have provided as well as all credentials, history etc.  These testimonials should also be from satisfied clients and realtors.
  3. Find out how long they have been in business, especially in your area.  Often there are unique items within certain towns such as potential mold concerns etc.
  4. Take a look at a past sample report and see if this is the kind of information you are hoping to find out about your potential new home.  Besides just the pictures, see how detailed the report is and whether it contains a lot of default answers such as "need further evaluation" etc. that covers the inspector...but does not give you the right information.

From a realtor's point of view, I personally am looking for:

  • An inspector that does their job well.
  • An inspector that explains the issues and concerns to the client at the end of the inspection.  This means they know how to talk with people and give proper information, but not in an alarming way.  One of the best ways to explain a home inspection report to me is when an inspector says something along these lines. .."Here are the 10 items of concern.  Numbers 1-7, don't worry about too much.  Most every home of this age will have these issues and so you just need to stay on top of them.  Items 8 and 9 are more of a concern and I would for sure get some other licensed person to look at this (electrician, plumber, roofer etc.).  Item 10 is for sure a concern and you need to get more answers from the seller etc., and look into this."  A good inspector states the problem, explains it and then gives a recommended course of action all in a non alarming way.
  • An inspector that provides a clear report in a timely manner.

With regards to costs for an inspector, here in Santa Barbara this should be the least concern.  When you are talking about an average home of $750,000, I would personally not be too worried about trying to save $50-150 by going with someone who might have less credentials. 

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For information on Real Estate here in Santa Barbara, Montecito and/or our surrounding areas, as well as any other aspects of life in our area, please don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Schmidtchen at Berkshire Hathaway.

Thank you for reading.  I hope you find Santa Barbara Real Estate Voice informative.  Please feel free to contact me or comment below with any thoughts.

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