2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many home inspections in Orange County have you completed?
Home Inspection General Answer: "I have been inspecting homes in Orange County and the surrounding counties since 2001. Over that time I have conducted over 500 inspections."
HUD Guidance: The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.
3. Are you specifically experienced in home inspections in Orange County?
Home Inspection General Answer: "Of my inspections, the great majority have been home inspections. So yes, I do have specific experience in home inspections. However, I also have considerable experience inspecting commercial properties in the 4-8 unit range. In addition, I believe that having experience as a plumber - and still holding a plumber's license in the State of California - gives me additional training and experience that allows me to provide top quality home inspections in Orange County and surrounding counties.”
HUD Guidance: Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.
4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?
Home Inspection General Answer: "The state of California has eliminated that potential conflict of interest by prohibiting home inspectors from providing any repairs after a home inspection in Orange County or in any California county."
HUD Guidance: Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.
5. How long will the home inspection take?
Home Inspection General Answer: “The length of time needed to complete a thorough home inspection varies based on the size, age, physical condition and other factors unique to the home being inspected. In addition, some home buyers and home sellers might want certain systems in the home added to the standard inspection. However, I generally will budget at least 3-4 hours for a home inspection in Orange County.”
HUD Guidance: The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.
6. How much will it cost for a Home Inspection in Orange County?
Home Inspection General Answer: "That's usually the first question asked and of course I can’t answer that question based on one phone call. Just like the amount of time needed to complete a home inspection in Orange County varies, so will the cost. But I think the guidance given by HUD is pretty good. And remember, I provide a free no-obligation estimate."
HUD Guidance: Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.
7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?
Home Inspection General Answer: “Each of our clients receives a 40-50 page inspection report. It is very thorough and includes photographs of areas of the home that we want to make sure are visible to the parties that will use the inspection report. We will provide the inspection report within 24 hours and often the same day. This link will take you to sample report for a home inspection in Orange County.”
HUD Guidance: Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.
8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?
Home Inspection General Answer: "Of course you can accompany the Home Inspection General! I encourage attendance on all my home inspections."
HUD Guidance: This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.
9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?
Home Inspection General Answer: I am a true believer in the benefits of being an active member of industry associations. I am Certified with the California Real Estate Inspection Association and Gold Certified with the American Society of Home Inspectors. I a member of the Orange County CREIA Chapter and rarely miss the monthly meeting. I am also am a member of the Orange County Association of Realtors.
HUD Guidance: There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.
10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?
Home Inspection General Answer: “I pride myself on staying on top of current trends and the newest technology that relates to home inspections. I have satisfied the ASHI continuing education requirements and completed over 32 hours of study in 2011. I have also satisfied the CREIA continuing education requirements and competed over 30 hours of study in 2011. I also get a lot of good information at the monthly meetings of the Orange County CEIA Chapter and I read the ASHI Reporter, the monthly trade magazine for home inspectors, cover to cover. You can say I am kind of a Home Inspection Nerd...but if you use my services...it will be to your benefit!”
HUD Guidance: One can never know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.
PLEASE CALL THE HOME INSPECTION GENERAL AT 949 413-4499 FOR A HOME INSPECTION IN ORANGE COUNTY