Property Inspector

6 Replies

Hello BP!

I'm looking for advice on getting a good property inspector here in Buffalo. I'm in the middle of getting my first home and investment property. So I am relatively new to the scene. 

What are some tips or questions to ask a property inspector? Can I ask for references from past clients and see reports of what someone has done? 

A few quick things I thought up would be if he/she has inspected multifamily homes and familiar with the area I'm buying from.

@James J.  - I don't know Buffalo but check Yelp or Angie's List

As far as questions I would ask if they have done Multifamily, hoe many years they have been licensed, and ask for a referral or two 

@James J.  Here are some things to ask: 

  • What type of insurance coverage do you have?
  • What do you see your role being in the buying process?
  • What type of report will you prepare?
  • Will it just be verbal or is it a written, detailed report?
  • When you do give me the report, are you going to include suggestions resolving any problems as well as approximate costs for necessary repairs?
  • What kind of training have you had?
  • Are you licensed, bonded or certified by any independent agencies?
  • What kind of going training do you receive?
  • What, if any, experience do you have in finding any attempts made by the seller to conceal defects with the property? 
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In addition to the previous, consider what you want an inspector to actually do. For example, if you're looking at an "as-is" property, a missing water heater won't make any difference, whereas it might be a negotiable price point otherwise. Perhaps you only need a structural inspection (price adjusted, of course!), with no consideration of cosmetic problems. The inspector I use has a business partner who is a structural engineer - a perfect tie-in, especially if you're looking at larger buildings or commercial structures. If you're going to gut the property, cosmetic problems are irrelevant, so don't pay to have them detailed. Just make sure the place isn't going to fall apart - a good inspector is worth every penny!

Thanks so much for all the great responses and promptness! There were a few responses that I had questions on. Anyone can answer of course, they're all general questions.

@Joe Fairless 

  • What type of insurance coverage do you have? -- I don't understand what this actually is. Who is this protecting? I didn't know property inspectors would have insurance coverage of any sort. What's a good example of insurance coverage?
  • What do you see your role being in the buying process? -- What should I expect them to have or say in response to this?
  • What kind of going training do you receive? -- What do you mean by "going" training?

@Kathleen Leary 

How often do buyers and sellers negotiate on the original price offer? I definitely see a reason to if there are some serious things that come out in the inspection. Can you go as far as to negotiate on neglected maintenance? It seems like it could be under handed but I guess the price needs to be right for both sides. 

@Paul Timmins 

I just tried out and none of the inspectors I was gunning for come up in the searches. Should I be worried? I know there's a lot of inspectors out there and each one with a variety of experience.