Home inspections are a critical part of the process in purchasing a home. However, in Minnesota, there are no specific licensing requirements in order to become a home inspector. Below are some helpful tips when it comes to hiring a trusted inspector in Minnesota to give your home the stamp of approval and avoid ending up in the Star Tribune’s annual home inspection photo compilation.
1. Make Sure the Inspector is Certified.
While there are no specific licensing requirements to become a home inspector in Minnesota, a reputable home inspector will be a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, or a similarly named, respected organization. Being a member of an association will, at a minimum, require the inspector to have a certification and follow certain procedural and ethical standards. If a prospective inspector isn’t a member of a reputable organization, it is best to move on and continue the search elsewhere.
2. Experience is Key.
A seasoned home inspector has seen it all. An untrained eye can miss an issue that can lead to major problems down the road. Inquire about any potential inspector’s experience and background. A home inspector that has extensive training regarding home inspections or experience in residential construction prior to becoming a full-time inspector is more likely to catch hard-to-spot defects or problems.
3. Attend the Inspection.
Attending the inspection is a great way to learn about your potential new home and get a full explanation as to what, if any, repairs may be necessary before closing. If an inspector is not willing to have attendees along for the inspection, that is a warning sign. An experienced, competent inspector will walk potential buyers through each step of the inspection in great detail.
4. Read the Report.
Inspectors can turn around a report in short order, often in one or two business days. If you attend the inspection, make sure the report is comprehensive regarding any potential issues that are spotted. Whether you attend the inspection or not, be sure to read the report thoroughly and ask the inspector any questions it may generate.
Buying a home is the biggest investment many individuals make in their lifetime. A comprehensive understanding of what’s inside your home, its history, and any potential issues before closing helps buyers feel they are getting what they pay for with no surprises.