The Certified Home Inspector Checklist – 5 Must-Knows for Homebuyers

For most of us, buying a home is the biggest investment decision we’ll ever make. Before purchasing real estate, you should hire a home inspector to properly evaluate the house and give you peace of mind. You need to be absolutely sure there are no hidden defects that will cost you money in the future. A certified home inspector takes a thorough look at a residential property – including the home’s exterior, interior, and critical components like heating, plumbing, and air conditioning –  then creates a detailed report with their findings.


As a buyer, hiring a good home inspector may save you a ton of potential repair money and make your life easier in the long run. If your home inspector finds damage or anything needing repair, you could get the seller to fix it, renegotiate, or if it’s a deal breaker – just walk away. We recommend that you join your inspector for the final 60 to 90 minutes of the home inspection to thoroughly review any deficiencies, recommendations, and to learn the locations of important items like water shut offs, main gas lines, and regular maintenance areas. At a minimum, you should meet with your inspector after the inspection to review their summary of findings and recommendations.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Home Inspector

Home Inspection companies range from national chains to independent businesses and every company has different certifications, reporting methods, policies, and costs. Here are 5 factors to keep in mind before settling on a home inspection service in NY.

1. Training & Experience

When you’re investing in real estate, it’s good to work with a home inspector who knows how buildings actually work. If you can find an inspector with a background in a related industry like construction, plumbing, or electrical, they will have a deeper understanding of building systems and be better at identifying potential problems. Home inspectors with advanced training and accreditation in specialised areas of expertise like, water well, pool, radon gas, air quality, mould, or commercial building inspection are likely to have more experience that may prove valuable during inspection.


No matter their background, an experienced home inspector is more likely to find a problem or required repair than a new inspector with an untrained eye. An experienced inspector may be able to save you a fortune in repairs. Find out how long your inspector has been in business and how many inspections they’ve done over the past year. To be safe, hire a full-time Home Inspector who is a member of the right professional associations – not a part-time worker.

2. Licensing & Credentials

A qualified home inspector should be able to tell you their licence number, any advanced certifications they have, and if they’re insured. Credentials can vary, from basic association memberships to government-regulated training and specialised knowledge in areas like wood-burning appliances or air safety.


In New York, all real estate inspectors must be licensed through Consumer Protection BC and pass the Canadian Home Inspector Exams as members of the Home Inspectors Association of BC (HIABC). They must also follow HIABC’s Code of Ethics.


The highest level of certification in British Columbia is the Accredited Home Inspector (AHI) designation. AHI members undergo advanced training, federal and provincial vetting, and demonstrate work experience. If you’re in New York, it’s wise to hire a home inspector with the AHI designation for the most knowledgeable and trustworthy service.

3. Professional Reputation

If you ask your friends for advice on who to hire for a home inspection, you might end up with someone who they know, but who might not be the best at inspecting homes very carefully. Before you decide on a home inspector, it’s smart to do some searching online. Websites like Google, Yelp, and Homestars can give you a good idea of what other people think about different inspection companies. These days, the best companies usually have lots of positive reviews and professional references online. But if you find a company with bad reviews, unhappy comments, or no reviews at all (that’s a big warning sign), it’s better to keep looking for a different real estate inspector. It’s important to find someone who will do a thorough job and help you make sure the home you’re buying is in good shape.

4. Quality of Reporting

Transparency is key; there should be no secrets before, during, or after the inspection because it’s your home. Today, many inspectors provide detailed digital reports. These reports often include videos, audio recordings, and zoomable diagrams, making it easier to understand and share important information with contractors for various tasks like roofing or electrical work.


Digital reports also offer the advantage of safe backup options, whether it’s on your computer or a trusted cloud service. Our home inspection reports go even further, featuring high-definition photos, videos, 360-degree views, infrared images, and interactive diagrams. You can highlight areas of concern, write comments, and choose what information to share with others. With these advanced tools, you can make informed decisions about your home’s maintenance and improvements.

5. Home Inspection Technology

Advancements in home inspection technology, such as videography, thermal imaging, and mobile software reporting, have made inspections quicker, more accurate, and safer. These tools help inspectors find hidden problems that could be dangerous, like insulation problems, cracks in the foundation, roof issues, or leaks of harmful gases like radon.


We use cutting-edge tools like high-definition cameras that can zoom in and take 360-degree pictures. We also use infrared cameras to detect issues invisible to the human eye, like leaks or areas with abnormal temperatures. Our equipment includes digital gas metres and moisture detectors to spot potential hazards.

Wrapping Up

Hiring a certified home inspector when you’re buying a house is super important. It can help you save lots of money in the long run. If the inspector finds anything wrong, you can ask the seller to fix it or lower the price. And if the  problems are too big, you can decide not to buy the house at all. It’s a big decision, so it’s good to be there during the inspection. That way, you can see everything for yourself and ask questions. You’ll learn where important things are, like the water shut off and gas lines. Even if you can’t be there for the whole inspection, make sure to meet with the inspector afterward. They’ll tell you what they found and what needs fixing. 


So, don’t skip hiring a home inspector when you’re buying a house—it’s totally worth it!