Inspecting Your Home Inspector

Home Ownership
Posted at 5:45 AM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 11:53:46-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- If you're buying a house, you'll also need a home inspector. But how do you know the good from the bad?  And what do you do if your inspector misses something major, like mold or a cracking?  We find out in this Angie's List report.

Smart home buyers know they need a good inspection before they sign off on a new home. But there's more to it than paying the $400 or $500 for a standard job.

"Your home inspection will include checking your foundation as well as the mechanics of the house such as the HVAC system, the plumbing, electrical, even the roofing system. On the interior, they're going to check your appliances, and they'll also, for an extra charge, check your water quality, check for radon as well as termites," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

You'll end up with a detailed report, but you should see things for yourself.

"One of the most important things for a new homeowner is to make sure you attend the inspection. A lot of times people think, oh, they'll just check everything, but it's a great time to learn about your house, ask questions and really get to know your new house," said Hicks.

Home inspector Rich Able agrees: "It's good to have them there because it's easier for me to explain things directly in person rather than for them to just get a report."

Even if your inspector does a good job, some things can get overlooked - especially if the house is still occupied and certain places are hard to access.

"I don't move furniture because I'm afraid if I move something, I might break it. But when it comes to moving things under a sink, I'm going to see what I need to see," said Able.

Able recommends contacting your inspector right away if you find an issue that you think should have been caught.

"Most contracts with a home inspector says that they should be notified if there's a problem. Some people will say 'this is wrong, fix it' and then call the home inspector, and he can't tell what was fixed and what was there originally," said Able.

Florida requires home inspectors to be licensed, but Georgia does not.  Either way, experts recommend finding one who is licensed and certified by a national agency.

Be sure to line up up your inspector as soon as you start looking at homes. That way you don't have to rush the inspection.  

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.