No all Georgia Home inspectors are not created equal! As with any profession or trade such as medical, mechanics, teaching, parenting, you name it some practitioners inevitably outshine others. In Georgia there is no licensing and regulation is minimal for Georgia Home Inspectors. Georgia home inspectors can range from a newbie just starting out this week because he was let go from a desk job – to a former builder/contractor who’s been inspecting homes for 20 years with top credentials.
With that said, let’s look at some must items to consider before retaining a Georgia Home Inspector to inspect your Georgia home.
1. Professional Affiliation: In Georgia the only home inspector standards are those enacted by professional associations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Membership requires adherence to strict standards of practice and participation in continuing education. Beware of those who claim adherence to these standards BUT who are not actually a member (check membership at www.ashi.org ).
2. Inspection Experience: Home inspectors are often perceived as general contractors who happen to inspect homes or even an real estate appraiser. Hiring an experienced Georgia Home Inspector is vital. Asking questions such as how long they’ve been inspecting homes or how many home inspections they average per year is a must. An full time inspector should should average 200-400 inspections per year.
3.Knowledge of Building Codes: While the primary focus of a home inspection is not code compliance, many property defects often have their basis in code-related standards. This is where a General Contractor background can be extremely beneficial to a home inspector. Also home inspectors who are also IRC residential code certified are a plus.
4. Sample Inspection Report: Make sure you ask or see a sample report. The best format should be not only detailed and comprehensive, but easily interpreted. Some reports are so encumbered with maintenance recommendations and liability disclaimers, that pertinent information about the property is obscured. A quality report lets defect disclosure stand out distinctly, in contrast with less pertinent data.
5. Avoid Price Shopping a home inspection: Georgia Home Inspection fees vary widely. The price of a quality inspection is typically between $300 and $600 for an average size home. Lower fees should be regarded with suspicion, as they often identify those who are new to the business or who spend insufficient time performing the inspection. This can not be emphasized enough! A home is the most expensive purchase you are going to make in a lifetime. One defect missed by your inspector could cost 100 times what you save with a bargain home inspection. The best method of price shopping is to shop for quality. There is often truth in the statement “You get what you pay for.”
In review if you ask for these few credentials you’ll be on the right track to hiring a qualified Georgia home inspector. Also be sure to ask the home inspector if they carry general liability insurance (protects against accidents) and errors & omissions insurance (protects the consumer again gross negligence).
We are full members of ASHI, are full time Atlanta Home Inspectors, with 1000′s of home inspections under our belt, and have general liability and error & omissions insurance. Call us to schedule your Georgia home inspection right now!