Hiring a home inspector is a lot like buying organic food. You need to look behind the label to see exactly what you’re getting. Not every `organic’ apple comes from the Garden of Eden, and not all `certified’ home inspectors are the kind of people you should trust when laying out hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home purchase.
As it turns out, Canada produces some of the best home inspectors in the world. The trouble is not everyone in the business measures up, even if they might seem to. That’s why you need to be careful in very specific ways as you select a home inspector. The best are trained to help you choose a resale home wisely, but that’s not all. Careful homebuyers also have new homes professionally inspected before they sign off on their purchase. The construction errors you’ll occasionally find in brand new houses are astonishing.
The most common home inspection designation you can trust is RHI. The letters stand for Registered Home Inspector, and it’s a distinction that not just anyone can claim. Only inspectors who’ve fulfilled specific requirements can legally call themselves an RHI. These include completion of a series of baseline courses, technical background in the building field and successful completion of hundreds of actual home inspections and reports that have been examined and verified by an independent committee of experts. The Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI; 888-748-2244) acts as a clearinghouse of information for locating RHIs. You can find registered inspectors working in areas across Canada by visiting cahpi.ca.
By comparison, how much faith should you put in a home inspector with a “certification” they received through self-administered tests taken on the Internet and optional courses taken if and when they like? That’s the reality behind some professionals in the home inspection business these days. Watch out. Ask questions. Who has actually verified these people?[…]