Choosing a home inspector can be a daunting task. Typically, a good realtor can guide you the right direction of choosing, however, you should still always do your own research as each inspector is not the same. Home inspectors ultimately tell you if your investment is worth it, so you should definitely do your due diligence before hiring.
We have built out a guide on how to choose a home inspector using different aspects of their jobs such as, licensing, experience, industry organizations, and most importantly reviews.
Let’s dive into the first one. Licensing.
Home inspectors are required to take a 120-credit hour course, take a state approved home inspector exam, and follow-up with continuing education courses every year.
You can check if a home inspector is licensed by going to the Florida DBPR.
Once we check that a home inspector is licensed, we want to see how experienced they are. Florida DBPR gives us a hint to how experienced they are by telling us how long they have been inspecting for.
However, the number of years licensed, does not tell us how many homes they have inspected.
So how can you tell if a home inspector is experienced? Here are a few ways to see how experienced a home inspector is:
- Years licensed – found on Florida DBPR
- Number of reviews online
- Check their website to find information to see how long they have been in business and if they supply any experience numbers
- Industry organization standings – more on this later…
Using those different research tools, you can have a better idea on which inspector is more experienced than the other.
Looking into the last option to find an experienced inspector we must look at their industry affiliations.
Typically, their industry affiliations are located on their website. You can see ours on the about us page.
In Florida, there are two leading organizations, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and the Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI).
FABI, supplies a find a home inspector function to which you can see their online profile, as well as, their “standing”. Most organizations use a standing to tell you how qualified you are.
At FABI, the standings are ranked here: (1 least – 5 most experienced).
- Aspiring Inspector
- Associate Inspector
- Registered Professional Inspector
- Master Professional Inspector
Finally, after finding a licensed, experienced home inspector you can check our their quality.
There are multiple sources to find reviews. Google can easily be tricked or have fake reviews, but gives a general consensus. On the other hand, Yelp has a lower review count, but typically can be the place where consumers “trash” businesses online. It would be recommended to use both places to compare home inspection companies, not just Google or Yelp.
Once you can compare your licensed and experienced home inspectors online reviews, you can find the perfect home inspectors in your area.
The next step would be to call their offices to find out how their inspections differ, what is covered, what is not covered, and ultimately what their price point is.
Remember, never choose a home inspector solely on price. For the most part, a higher price point, means a better inspector. Be sure to do your research beforehand as this is a big investment, you want to know where your money is going.