Home Tips with Mike Roberson

January 24, 2012

Editor’s Note: Mike Roberson has many years experience in the building trades industry. He is owner of Pioneering Consulting, which specializes in home inspections. Mike and his wife, Becky, live in Amber Township along with their five children. In this column, Home Tips, Mike will talk about what you can do to prepare your house for selling, what to look for when buying a house and just general tips in making your home safer and more energy efficient. 

Mike Roberson

What Is A Home Inspection?

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, chances are you will need an inspection in the near future. As a home inspector here in west Michigan, I find there are many misconceptions concerning a home inspection. Here are the top 5 most common misunderstandings and their answers.

  1. “Are you licensed?”

The state of Michigan, along with about half of all U.S states, does not offer or require licensing at this time. Most states also do not offer any education. Michigan does recommend that an inspector be “certified” through a third party organization. There are several of them with varying levels of education.  Most of these organizations have different entrance requirements and guidelines as well. After some research, I personally chose the organization with the most education to offer: the InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors. (InterNACHI)


2. “Can you tell me a house’s value?”
No, a home’s value is determined by an appraiser. An appraiser is licensed by the state to do just that. Your realtor can do a market analysis and give you a good idea of its market price range if that is what you are looking for.


Mike inspects a client's furnace

3.  “What do you look at during an inspection? “
This is a long and complex answer that will vary with different inspectors. Different organizations have varying standards of practice.  You can ask your home inspector for a more concise list. Many factors may limit an inspection, such as bad weather, snow cover, blocked attic or crawl space accesses or the utilities being turned off. For a more detailed list of the InterNACHI Standards of Practice, click this link: www.NACHI.org/sop

4. “What is the difference between a contractor and an inspector?”
I get this one a lot! The difference is simple: A contractor is paid to perform work; an inspector is paid to look at a home’s condition and give an opinion. This is a huge ethical boundary. An inspector should never try to sell you a new roof after he says you need a new one. This might leave a homeowner asking, “Did I need a new roof or did he need the work?”  Contractor referrals are easy to get after an inspection.

5. “Do I get to choose my own inspector?”
Absolutely yes! This is a great freedom and a crucial part of the home-buying process. Your realtor should give you the names of a few; otherwise an Internet search should give you a great list. Choose the one that suits your needs or you feel the most comfortable with.  Have a Happy House!


Pioneering Consulting



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