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Smart Moves

Tips for Choosing a Home Inspector

April 26, 1998

The California Real Estate Inspection Assn. offers these tips when choosing a home inspector:

* Does the inspector have formal training as a home inspector? Experience in contracting or engineering is a good background, but it is not a substitute for graduation from an inspector training facility.

* Is the inspector a member of a professional association? Membership status indicates that the individual has passed a competency examination in the field of home inspection, requires that he or she follows the recognized standards of practice and code of ethics and requires each member to maintain a minimum level of continuing education each year.

* Is the inspector properly insured? Look for a cover or declaration page showing proof that the inspector is a named insured, not only for professional liability (errors and omissions) but for general liability as well.

* Will the home inspector provide you with a list of references? Ask for names and phone numbers of several past users, including real estate agents and consumers. Make sure the list includes recent and older inspections.

* Does the inspector offer to repair noted conditions? Performing repairs to inspected properties is a conflict of interest and a violation of Business and Professions Code 7197, which prohibits an inspector from performing repairs or improvements on inspected properties for one year from the date of inspection.

The inspection association is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1976 to provide education, training and support services to the real estate inspection industry and the public.

For a qualified inspector near you, call the association's referral line at (800) 388-8443, or visit its Web site at http://www.CREIA.com.

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