Choosing a New Jersey Home Inspector

The purpose of a NJ home inspection is to inform you of any visible defects and problems that exist in the home at the time of the home inspection. If problems or defects are found (and they usually are) you may have the opportunity to refuse purchase, ask for repairs, or request credit of funds toward the needed corrections. Having a home inspection performed by a qualified professional is a must. When you look for a NJ home inspector please keep the following things in mind:

Licensing and continuing education:
In New Jersey, home inspectors must be licensed and must successfully complete 40 credit hours every 2 years to maintain that license. Radon testing and wood-destroying insect credentials also require licensing and additional continuing education credits each year.

To earn my New Jersey home inspectors license I successfully completed a 300-hour state-approved course that included field work. Concurrently, I performed 63 apprentice home inspections with a highly experienced and thorough NJ home inspector. I passed the state licensing exam and went to work as an associate home inspector. I earned a NJ radon technician license and worked to become a credential wood-destroying insect inspector. To maintain the licenses, I attend well over 30 hours of continuing education per year, including credits in home inspection, wood-destroying insects, and radon testing.

Training:
Education requirements for New Jersey home inspectors have been loosened recently and not everyone has completed formal training to obtain a home inspection license. Be sure your home inspector has successfully completed formal training. In formal training, all areas and systems of the home are comprehensively reviewed, and a home inspector must show proficiency in understanding these areas. Many NJ home inspectors were once tradesmen or tradeswomen who have not received formal training. For example, would you trust a carpenter to provide a thorough inspection of a home, including a review of plumbing and electrical systems? Formal training gives you more assurance of a comprehensive home inspector. As noted under the licensing section, I have completed formal training as part of my licensing and continue to take formal continuing education classes annually.

Experience:
When you ask about experience, ask the home inspector on average how many New Jersey home inspections he/she performs each year and how many have been performed in total over the course of his/her career. Years of experience as a NJ home inspector may be misleading. Most of the home inspectors in New Jersey perform fewer than 100 home inspections per year. Thus, it would take 10 years for these inspectors to perform 1000 inspections. I have performed over 3,000 home inspections in 5 years—double the average for a NJ home inspector.

Association memberships:
New Jersey home inspectors who have made the commitment to join the major professional associations are generally more committed to providing high-quality home inspections. Not all professional societies are created equal. Some have rigorous professional requirements whereas others have very limited qualifications required for membership. Do your research on the professional societies that your home inspector belongs to. I am a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors, one of the most respected associations.

Duration of the inspection:
Thorough inspection of an average-sized home should take roughly 2 to 3 hours. If an inspector says to allocate 1 hour for the inspection time, you should beware. More times then not, this is an indicator that you will receive a rushed, sub-par home inspection.

Level of detail offered in the report:
Never settle for a checklist-style home inspection report. Such reports do not convey sufficient details about the problems in the home. Find a home inspector who provides a fully narrative, detailed inspection report. The more information you have, the better able you and your real estate attorney will be in making informed decisions and negotiations. I offer a fully detailed, narrative home inspection report complete with photographs of relevant issues.

Value:
Look for high quality at a reasonable price. I have priced my services very competitively to provide you with a top-notch NJ home inspection that is also a great value. The pricing is competitive, but you will receive the full benefit of my skills, communication style, and knowledge, which are on par with any high-priced NJ home inspector in the state. Sure, you can pay a lot more for a home inspection, but why would you?

LookSmart Home Inspections performs Licensed NJ home inspections in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren counties in New Jersey. LookSmart Home Inspections is a New Jersey Member of the Independent Home Inspectors of North America, an organization of home inspectors who are committed to providing honest and unbiased home inspections.