Before making an offer on a house, most potential home buyers get a home inspection to find out the condition of the home. Most states, including Utah do not regulate home inspectors, and anyone can become a home inspector by taking a test.
The HGTV show Holmes on Homes is based on repairing major home issues that are consistently missed by home inspectors. And what a home inspector misses may cost you thousands of dollars after you purchase a home.
Before you schedule an appointment for a home inspection, ask to see the checklist that will be conducted on your home…this checklist is different the long, final report you will receive. This is what the home inspector looks for while in the home. Many list this checklist on their website.
A good home inspector will allow you to walk through the home with them during the entire inspection and in a sense show you the home with a new set of eyes, they may mention any potential problems or maintenance issues you might face after the purchase. So it is important that you take the time to be there for the entire inspection.
Brent Hugarth, a home inspector in Salt Lake City makes a point of walking through the home with the potential home buyer during the entire inspection. He is thorough and mentions both good things about the house (new appliances or hot water heaters that may not need to be replaced for many years, etc.), and bad things about the house (a cracked foundation, potential water problems, safety issues, etc.)
Jeremy Anderson, the owner of Alpine Home Inspections said when scheduling a home inspection that the inspector would take the buyer through the home with them, but the person who appeared to do the actual inspection stated that they’ll just do their job and come find you later on. If this happens during your home inspection, ask the inspector to leave and find another one. It is expected
Home inspectors recommended in Utah by this Examiner and readers:
Brent Hugarth 801 274 0466
Home inspectors not recommended in Utah by this Examiner:
Alpine Home Inspections (addresses listed in Bluffdale and Sandy, Utah)
801-694-7790 and 801-562-0473
Jeremy Anderson, owner
A good, quality home inspection should last 3-4 hours to complete the entire home inspection walk through (this does not include the time it takes to complete any reports afterwards). A home inspection by Brent Hugarth takes 3-4 hours and is very helpful for potential buyers because he walks potential buyers through the home, and gives helpful information that the home buyer may need later on.
Alpine Home Inspection said their inspection would take 3-4 hours, but one potential homeowner reported it lasted less than 90 minutes. This same homeowner also had problems with the home that were not mentioned in Alpine Home Inspections report, which led to thousands of dollars in damages.
You can also find certified home inspectors on the American Society of Home Inspections (ASHI) website (among other sites that certify). To see a list of home inspectors in the Salt Lake City area certified by ASHI, click here.
You may also get referrals from friends and family.
It is important to ask questions during the inspection about the home and the inspector. The person who schedules the appointment for you is most likely not the person who shows up to do the inspection. Ask the home inspector why they feel they are qualified to be a home inspector. If you do not feel comfortable with their answers, then feel free to send them away before they begin the inspection.
The video to the left shows the problems that most good home inspections uncover. The number one thing discovered are plumbing issues which if left untreated can cost tens of thousands of dollars later on.
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Sources: The American Society of Home Inspections, About.com and personal interviews