- Do home inspectors need a license to operate in Michigan?
No, there is no state license requirement for home inspectors in Michigan at the current time. There are only 2 professional societies that provide meaningful certification – ASHi and InterNACHI. Many inspectors that say they follow the ASHI standards of practice, but are not members or trying to achieve certification. Be wary of a home inspector that takes a training course and says he’s “certified” because it really means nothing. You can verify if an inspector is an ASHI member or is certified at homeinspector.org and for InterNACHI members go to nachi.org.
- Should I trust a referral from my real estate agent?
In most cases yes. Real estate agents see a variety of home inspectors in action and can assess their level of competence. If your realtor is trustworthy, they will refer a company that provides a thorough inspection. Be aware that some realtors are most interested in seeing their deals go through smoothly, and might prefer an inexperienced home inspector who may not be as thorough. This is why buyers should personally schedule the inspection and get all your questions answered.
- What credentials should a home inspector offer?
The very best qualifications and credentials consist of a Michigan Builder’s License and certification by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). In order to become a certified member of ASHI, an inspector must have completed 250 inspections that meet ASHI standards as well as passing a proctored National Home Inspector’s Exam and the ASHI Standards and Ethics Exam. Twenty hours of continuing education is also required. Make sure the inspector you get is a certified member, not just a candidate member. InterNACHI is another professional society that provides valid certification after 180 hours of online education.
- What is the most important qualification that differentiates one home inspector from another?
Experience….not just number of years but number of actual homes the inspector has inspected. Just like when you are choosing a surgeon, you’d want the one who has performed the most operations. Some inspectors are coming from a background in a trade such as carpentry or heating and cooling. If they say they’ve been “in the business” for 30 years, it may not have been the home inspection business.
- Why can't I have someone in my family who is a builder or contractor, inspect my new home?
This is the biggest mistake many potential new homeowners make when purchasing a home. Although the person you are considering may be very skilled, they are not trained in diagnosing defects in a home. Professional inspectors have an inspector’s instinct for problems. If there is a bowed wall, we know what is acceptable, or if there is fresh paint and new moldings, it may indicate a moisture problem. Also, we invest in the best tools for the job. For example, if there is an area on the roof that we can’t walk on, we have a 30 foot Eye Stick that enables us to take digital photos. If we can’t access a crawl space, we can roll in a device that enables us to photograph the inaccessible area. We have invested in a sewer scope that can take a video of the sewer runs if tree roots may be a concern.
- How long will the Inspection take?
The average ValueCheck inspection is two hours. For larger homes, expect to add an hour of inspection time for each additional 1000 square feet of house. We often send 2 inspectors on larger or older homes to keep inspections closer to two hours in length.
- Should I be present during the Inspection?
We recommend that you be present at the inspection, from start to finish. Being present during the inspection can provide valuable educational insights about your new home. At a minimum, coming at the end of the inspection will allow the inspector to review the report and point out issues.
- What if I have questions after the inspection?
You can call us and discuss all the aspects of your new home whenever you like. Consider us your building consultant for life.