How much do you charge for a basic home inspection? This is often the first question prospective First time home buyers ask me when they call. Most first time home buyers spend 3 to 6 months shopping for a new home and 3 to 6 min choosing a home inspector. Seems like as soon as a perspective client hears a price even $25 higher than the previous home inspector they just called, the conversation is over. The client then states " Well I'm just getting quotes right now" The answer is they are just price shopping . The focus should be on inspector shopping.
Be warned of so called good recommendations promising to save you money on the inspectors fee. A cheap inspection is just that, a cheap inspection.
Do you really want the cheapest, most inexperienced person to inspect one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make? Will the owner of the business conduct the inspection, or a employee making 30% of the inspection fee? What are the inspector's qualifications, educational levels, and experience? Is the inspector "part time" (as are many) or is this his full-time business? What kind of testing equipment will the inspector be using? What kind of report will they provide? Have you viewed a sample report? Does it include photo documentation? Does he have good references?
Many inspectors belong to associations, clubs or organizations. They are a dime a dozen. When looking for the best inspector find a Certified Master Inspector or CMI. Right now there is only 20 in the state of California. And only 6 in Los Angels County. Have you verified the inspectors credentials? ? Do they have any complaints on record with the Better Business Bureau?
Assuming you have thought through and inquired about all of the above, now the question about the home inspection fee can be asked. However, there are many factors involved when it comes to how an inspection firm calculates the fee. This includes the inspector's level of experience and qualifications. The type of report produced and the time taken to produce it must be considered. (Some inspection reports from some firms may be whipped out in pencil on site, while ours will be digital, include photographs, and might take 4 hours or more to complete.) The size, design, age and condition of the property are also factors that relate to the time it takes to perform a thorough inspection. (Some homes / condos might take 2 hours or less to inspect; older, larger homes might take 4 or more hours.) You can get a 3 page report or a 120 page report.
How much experience are you willing to pay for.
David Home Inspection Services
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David Salvato Father of Three, Blogger, Builder and Repairman of stuff my kids break! All round happy person.