How much is a Home Inspection in NJ?
If you are looking for a NJ Home Inspector you may be wondering how much this service should cost. Here’s the easy answer: a typical home inspection in New Jersey will cost anywhere between $400-700 depending on a number of variables.
Now that we got you here, strap in kids.
I’m all for cheap flights (as long as its not Spirit), cheap gas (if that even exists anymore), and cheap shampoo (but if my wife is reading this… I’m totally kidding babe – salon quality and organic only for this family!!). However, there are some situations when going with the cheapest will cost you in the long run. Don’t even get my started on waiving the inspection.
FUN FACT: When our Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, was busy with deadlines and draft submissions for the Declaration of Independence, he was also in a bidding war and waived the inspection. A few short years later the quote, “Haste leads to waste” was born.
In all seriousness, you want to be sure that you are hiring someone you can trust and rely on. Here is a list of questions you should be asking and a few other things to think about when shopping for a home inspector.
Well, this is not really a question to ask but when you call, do they answer the phone? It is understandable and appreciated that if you happen to call them while they are on an inspection that they might not answer right away but how long does it take to get back to you? This can be a great indication of their reliability, professionalism and level of customer service.
How long will the inspection take?
A quality inspection should take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours typically depending on different variables. A quick inspection might sound appealing for someone who is short on time but it will likely result in more headache in the long run. You might want to also ask how much time they will take to help you understand your new home. (My answer would be, “As much time as it takes!”) You want someone who wants to be a resource to their clients. A good service-oriented inspector will walk you through their findings and help you to be informed about this major purchase. Stay away from an inspector who just treats you like you’re just one of his three inspections for the day.
What are your credentials, experience and background?
According to New Jersey law all home inspectors are required to complete an approved course of study, and pass the state exam. They are also required to have insurance but you can absolutely ask them how much they carry. Above that, all home inspectors should be a part of a major Home Inspection Association like InterNACHI or ASHI. Read more here about why choosing an InterNACHI inspector is so important. As an added benefit, a home inspector could join their local chapter (ie: NJ InterNACHI) so they can remain up-to-date and knowledgeable in regards to their specific location.
What services do you offer?
Hopefully they offer home inspections but what about all the additional ancillary services? Do they offer a radon inspection? Termite or wood destroying organism inspections? Air quality? Mold? Infrared? Tank sweep? Sewer scope? If they don’t offer all of these services, do they work with reputable companies that do? Will you have to call and schedule and organize multiple inspections and coordinate timing or will they handle all of that for you? Even if you don’t think you’ll need all of these services, something may surface during the home inspection that might require additional investigation.
One service you will for sure need is a good quality roof inspection. A good inspector will walk the roof as safety allows and will be prepared with a drone to use for areas that cannot be seen.
What type of tools do you use?
Do you use your thermal camera on every inspection? A good quality thermal camera is essential as it can be used to identify troubles in the electric panel, areas where there’s moisture, and heat/cool losses. If you are getting a radon inspection, what type of radon test is going to be used? The charcoal canisters are good however they can take a few days to get the results back. With today’s technology all inspectors should be investing in Continuous Radon Monitors. They are reliable, they can be set up in advance to deliver inspection day results and you don’t have to worry about shipping issues or wait on lab results.
Let me see that report! Like ASAP!
Some inspectors record their findings and observations manually on paper and deliver it in a lengthy PDF. You want to find an inspector that is using today’s latest and best software so that you are delivered a report that is easy to navigate and compatible with any device, mobile, tablet or computer. Ask for a sample report! This will also help you determine if the report is easy to read, navigate and understand. Spectora is one of the leading reporting systems (they also offer online pricing and scheduling!). There are other systems out there but the best in the industry agree that this is the next generation of home inspection software.
Timing is so important in a real estate transaction. Ask how long it will take them to get the report back to you? (Hint: Industry’s best standard is 24 hours or less).
What if I don’t understand something on the report?
If they say something like, “Your realtor should be able to help you with that.” What that really means is, “Don’t call me”. Your inspector should be making sure you completely understand your home, your report, and all other areas of the home inspection. Does he leave his phone number and encourage calling to help better assist you with your needs? A related after-inspection-question you might want to also ask is: What are the charges like if a re-visit inspection is needed?
What makes you different? Why choose you?
This is a good question to ask as it will help you to get a read on the inspector overall.
To sum it up, price important as it is, should not be the main driver for your home inspection. Be sure to hire a quality home inspector. One who takes their time, does a thorough job and leaves you with full knowledge about your new home. A home is a large purchase don’t leave it in the hands of “the cheap guy”. Interview your inspectors thoroughly and get quality work.