Home inspections are optional, but a credible & diligent home inspector will reveal significant flaws in the property before you close on it. In this blog, we’re assessing and ranking the best home inspectors in Charleston, SC.
Reviews: 3 Best Home Inspectors in Charleston, SC
1. Victor Henderson, Pillar to Post Home Inspectors
Victor Henderson is infamous for professional and meticulous inspections. The inspection reports are well-documented and easy to read, accompanied by plenty of photographs.
🔗 A “Pillar To Post Home Inspectors™” Franchise: All home inspector companies of Pillar To Post undergo rigorous training, follow procedural guidelines, and offer bespoke packages, as follows:
- “Plus” Package: General home inspections for existing and new homes. This inspection covers all the major areas in the interior and exterior of the home. Fees depend on the size and age of the property.
- “Premium” Package: Includes everything in the Plus package with an infrared scan, a digital owners’ manual, rodent inspection, a 15 percent discount on added inspection services, and a lifetime maintenance advisory service.
- “Prestige” Package: Includes everything in the previous tiers, Healthy Home Package, and 30 percent off added inspection services.
- Specialized Inspections: Your local Pillar To Post franchise may offer other specialized inspections like radon, mold, infrared, sewer and septic systems, roof, foundation, stucco, pool and spa & more.
👉 Our Take: Victor Henderson inspects houses diligently and provides recommendations on home equipment & maintenance. However, these specialized home inspections aren’t available in all areas, so we recommend you inquire before scheduling an appointment.
What You Need to Know about This PillarToPost Franchise:
- How to Schedule an Inspection: You can schedule online via victorhenderson.pillartopost.com
- How Long Does it Take to Get My Home Inspection Report: Up to a few hours after the home inspection is complete. Typically, a general home inspection requires two to three hours. The Pillar To Post inspection report is available online within minutes if you didn’t do a specialized house inspection for your property
Additional Services Provided By Victor Henderson:
- Mold/Spore Testing
- ERMI Testing
- Water Quality
- Indoor Air Quality
- Pre-Drywall Inspections
- Pre-Listing Inspections
- Re-inspection services after repair addendum
» Home Inspection Report: What is a home inspection report and how to read it?
Victor Henderson has 5 out of 5 stars on Google.
Limited Coverage in South Carolina: Victor Henderson & his team inspect homes in limited counties in South Carolina- Williamsburg, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, & Colleto
2. National Property Inspections
NPI or National Property Inspections, Inc., is the oldest home inspection franchise company in the U.S. All NPI franchisees undergo rigorous training for 20 types of inspection services related to residential homes, commercial properties, and builder’s warranty inspections.
- General Home Inspection – $400 to $600: General home inspections for existing homes and new construction inspections. The fee varies by state, and franchise, and can be higher for larger or older properties.
- Re-Inspection – $100: Most NPI franchises offer reinspection for a small fee. Typically, these re-inspections only cover the items identified as having been repaired.
- Termite Inspection – $100: Most franchisees of National Property Inspections offer Termite or Wood Destroying Organisms Inspection. This is one of the most common inspections and is highly advised for home purchases. Prices vary.
- Specialty Inspections: Your local NPI franchise may offer other specialized inspections like radon, mold, infrared, sewer and septic systems, roof, foundations, stucco, pool and spa & more. Prices vary.
👉 Our Take: Although National Property Inspections is a renowned home inspection franchise network, some franchisees have questionable service quality. We recommend you check the local inspectors’ reviews before engaging them for a home inspection.
NPI Home Inspection Scheduling & Inspection Report
- How to Schedule an Inspection via NPI: You can schedule online on npiweb.com or via a phone call (541) 210-8055.
- How Long Does it Take to Get My Inspection Report: Varies by the home inspector. Typically, a general home inspection requires two to three hours for the actual inspection. After that it can take upto a week for the inspector to compile the inspection report.
National Property Inspections Atlanta has an excellent rating of 5 out of 5 stars on Birdeye. Since National Property Inspections is a franchise network, the reviews vary nationwide.
👉 Check customer reviews before scheduling a home inspection: To avoid investing money in a decaying property because of a negligent home inspection, ensure you read the reviews of past clients.
National Property Inspections is one of America’s largest home inspection service companies (by coverage), with offices in 200 locations across 42 states.
BUYER BENEFITS PROGRAM
HouseMaster is a home inspection company founded in 1971 by Ken Austin, the co-founder of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), which is the industry’s first association to set standards for home inspections.
HouseMaster has partnered with home utility brands like Sherwin-Williams, ADT, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and Empire Today. With its Buyer Benefits Program, HouseMaster enables home buyers to curtail some expenses associated with buying a new home. There is no extra fee because these benefits are included in the home inspection costs.
- General Home Inspection – $300 to $600: General home inspections for existing homes and new construction inspections. The fee varies regionally and can be higher for older properties.
- Specialized Inspections: Your local HouseMaster franchise will offer specialized inspections like radon, mold, infrared, sewer and septic systems, roof, foundations, stucco, pool and spa & more. Prices vary regionally.
👉 Our Take: While HouseMaster is a prolific brand, you should always check the reviews of your local HouseMaster franchise. Note that HouseMaster’s Buyer Benefits Program is only available in limited locations.
HouseMaster Home Inspection Scheduling & Inspection Report:
- How to Schedule an Inspection via HouseMaster.com: You can schedule online on housemaster.com
- How Long Does it Take to Get My Inspection Report: This depends on your home inspector. A general home inspection requires two to three hours, and it may take up to a week or so for the inspector to compile the inspection report.
- Your Experience May Vary: HouseMaster is available in 49 states, and you will be connected with the local franchise’s inspector. With HouseMaster’s “Inspection Guarantee,” you can also avail of a limited repairs reimbursement!
- Digitized Platform – HouseMaster Cloud: In 2017, the company upgraded its platform and created an online dashboard. Since then, home buyers can access all the property information at their fingertips.
- Pre-Listing Home Inspections: An idea brought to fruition by HouseMasters that has helped thousands of consumers sell their homes quickly.
HouseMaster has 5 out of 5 stars on Google for its Fayetteville office. The reviews of HouseMaster franchisees are positive nationwide.
Near-Nationwide Coverage: HouseMaster has franchisees offering home inspection services in 49 states.
What are Home Inspections?
Inspections are non-invasive visual examinations of homes and reveal significant defects in the property that a homebuyer can miss.
A thorough home inspection can uncover issues like mold infestation or faulty electrical systems and give home buyers an estimate of the maintenance required on the property. Home inspections also save home buyers from making the wrong investment beforehand.
🤌 Home Inspection South Carolina: Everything you need to know about home inspections
What are Home Inspectors?
Home inspectors conduct home inspections, making them important stakeholders in a real estate transactions. A home inspector will assess the property and prepare a detailed report that documents the property’s structures, design, and fixtures.
A home inspection report will provide valuable insights into the property’s foundation, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC, and more. Specialty home inspections like radon, asbestos, and termite inspections are also done.
👉 A good home inspector will uncover “hidden” issues of the property and save you from unexpected repairs.
What do Home Inspectors Look for in Charleston?
Home inspectors look for visual cues of major flaws that could compromise overall safety. Appearances can be deceptive. No matter how great the curb appeal is, you don’t want to get stuck with a damaged house.
Usually, a home inspector performs a general home inspection.
General Home Inspection
In a general home inspection, the home inspector will assess and examine all systems and areas outside and inside the property. Here’s a breakdown of what a home inspector looks at:
1. Exterior Inspection: Outside the Property
- Foundation Inspection: Inspection of the house perimeter to check for large cracks in walls, uneven flooring structure, sink holes, loosened or cracked windows, etc
- Garage: Inspector will test if the garage doors open and close as expected, whether the garage is ventilated enough, and if the garage framing is visible
- Exterior Walls: Inspector inspects the walls of the property to check the damage caused by wood-loving organisms, a possible infestation of termites, etc.
- Roof Inspection: Home inspector will check for loose or improperly secured shingles on the roof, signs of water damage, and the condition of the gutters
- Grading: House inspector will check grading around the structure of the house to verify if the level of the ground around the home is positive, as in, water flows away from the house.
2. Interior Inspections: Inside the Property
- Electrical Inspection: Inspector will examine the electrical connections and wiring of the house to find potential shock points or possible surges
- HVAC Inspection: Done by a home inspector to assess the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems of the house
- Plumbing Inspection: Thorough examination of the plumbing system, including sewers, supply and sewage lines, etc, done by an inspector
- Kitchen Appliances: Inspector will inspect household appliances like installed ovens, dishwashing machines, grinders, blenders, surface cooking appliances, etc.
🤌 Home Inspection Checklist: Check out an inspector’s general home inspection checklist
Specialized Home Inspections
If a home inspector suspects a potential hazard or if the condition of the property demands more examination, then specialized home inspections are done. Below are some special home inspection types:
- Asbestos Inspection: Check the suspected presence of ACM (Asbestos-containing material), which is a carcinogenic
- Radon Inspection: Assess the home for the presence of radon gas which is a highly toxic material
- Lead-based Paint Inspection: Recommended for old homes built before 1970 to check the type of paint used in the property
- Termites Inspection: Check the house for wood-loving organisms like termites, pests, etc.
- Mold Inspection: Assess the house for mold or moisture
- Chimney Inspection: Evaluation of chimney to determine if it’s usable or not
What are Home Inspectors Not Allowed to Do?
A good home inspector will limit their work to the scope of the inspection and refrain from doing things that aren’t allowed.
- Risk the Safety of Residents While Inspecting the House: Honoring their “duty to warn”, an inspector should never neglect the safety of the residents and themselves. Disclosing all imminent threats in the inspection report is ideal, and if an issue could escalate, then the inspection should be stopped.
- Diagnose and Draw Inferences of Symptoms That Need Further Testing: If a home inspector finds evidence of lead paint or mold, they shouldn’t draw conclusions without doing the specific tests.
- Repairing the Home They’ve Inspected: This is directly from the Inspector’s Code of Ethics! No home inspector can renovate or fix the house that they have inspected.
- Cross-sell or Upsell Other Real Estate Services: Inspectors shouldn’t sell any other services like repairs, handyman, contractors, etc., especially for the repairs identified during the home inspection.
- Move Items Around or Damage the House: The house inspector cannot move items around the house. They are also not entitled to make a hole in the wall to find out if the foundation is weak.
- Outline Encroachments: An inspector’s role is limited to examining the property, not estimating the exact size of the property or highlighting encroachments like a surveyor.
How Much do Home Inspectors Charge in Charleston, SC?
The average home inspection cost in Charleston, SC, is around $260 – $620 normally, and a Charleston home inspector will charge in this range.
Several factors, such as the size, condition, age, and location of your property, will contribute to this cost.
🤌 How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in Charleston, SC: Get the breakdown of home inspection costs in Charleston, SC
How to Find a Good Home Inspector in Charleston?
To find a good home inspector, you have to be thorough in your research.
Consider all the parameters to look for in a home inspector. The most important ones are customer reviews and the comprehensiveness of the home inspection reports.
The level of detail and thoroughness of the inspection report is an indicator of how observant and meticulous the home inspector is.
🤌 Home Inspection Report: What is an inspection report and how to read it
What to Look For in a Home Inspector in Charleston?
Hiring a credible home inspector is critical because their home inspection report elaborates on the true condition of the property. Before scheduling a home inspection, you should check out:
- Customer Reviews: Review the home inspector’s reviews on popular review sites like Google & TrustPilot. National home inspection companies like Pillar To Post Home Inspectors have reviews for every franchise office, and the past clientele review can help you understand the quality of inspection your house will get.
- Home Inspector’s Credentials: Check if your home inspector is licensed and whether they are a member of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors)
- Training and Experience: How many certifications have they done? How many homes were inspected in their tenure? Do they perform specialized home inspections?
- Pricing: Verify if the home inspector is charging as per the average house inspection costs in your area. It is likely that an experienced inspector may charge more for inspections.
- Quality of home inspection reports: Is the inspection report detailed and specific? How meticulously has the home been inspected? Did they cover all the crawl spaces and concealed attics?
- Access to technology tools: If a home inspector has advanced tech tools during a home inspection, there is possibly an improved chance of detecting issues that are hidden in plain sight. The inspection reports will also be detailed and summarize the entirety of the home inspection succinctly.
- Check if the home inspector is E&O insured: E&O Insurance is a liability insurance that covers legal costs for a home inspector if they are at fault. This typically happens when the house inspector fails to identify flaws in a property.
Can Home Inspectors be Held Liable for Missed Items?
Yes, home inspectors are liable for missed items, especially if they could pose a huge risk to public safety.
In this case, if the inspector fails to examine the faulty wiring and the house catches fire, then whether the inmates live or die, the home inspector is liable. To proceed, though, you need to have a claim.
This can be either some specific inspection that was promised but never happened or an area the inspector forgot to examine.
Home inspectors can be sued for negligence, but proving it can be tricky.
How Can I Sue My Home Inspector?
Yes, you can sue your home inspector. However, there is limited benefit from that drivel. You will have to prove your claim that the home inspector was irresponsible and negligent, which isn’t a cakewalk, really.
If exculpatory clauses like the “Limitation of Liability Clause” were included in your home inspection contract, then you might as well not sue anybody and save yourself the hassle of lawsuits.
According to this clause, even if the home inspector or the company misses something, they are not liable to pay for the damage. The negligence may have cost $20,000 in house repairs, but you won’t get a dime more than what you paid for the home inspection, $350.
ASHI and InterNACHI suggest home inspectors be E&O insured so that in case a home buyer wins the claim, the inspector’s insurance company can cover half the costs.
👉 We suggest you consider legal actions against the home seller (if they didn’t state the obvious defect in the seller disclosure) or the home builder (in the case of a new construction home) because proving the negligence claim can be complicated.
Home Inspector vs Home Appraiser
A home inspector is often confused with a home appraiser, but the two are quite distinct.
What is a Home Inspector?
- A home inspector has zero concern with the market value of the property and takes interest in its physical condition.
- Home inspectors will examine all the systems of the house with scrutiny and identify flaws in the different areas of the house.
- Home inspections are scheduled by home buyers generally. A pre-listing inspection is the only case when home sellers schedule an inspection.
What is a Home Appraiser?
- A home appraiser looks at the property to determine the fair market value of a property.
- Appraisers will check local home sale trends to compare similar properties & evaluate a home’s appraised value.
- Home appraisers are hired by mortgage lenders, and you cannot skip a home appraisal when you get a mortgage. If you don’t need a mortgage to buy a property, you should still hire a home appraiser and verify the price so that you don’t overpay.
» Home Appraisers Near Me: Find the best home appraiser in your neighborhood
Do I Need a Home Inspection in Charleston?
Yes, you need to do a home inspection!
An inspection will reveal potentially life-threatening issues in a house. Buying a home is probably something that happens once in anyone’s lifetime. You don’t want to end up with a property that costs thousands in extended repairs!
When done by a diligent home inspector, home inspections can save you from overpaying for a property or buying a property that’s a money pit.
You can also leverage the result of the home inspection & negotiate with the seller. This negotiation can either be about fixing the issues flagged in the home inspection report or reducing the home sale price. Imagine the money you’ll save just by spending a few dollars on an inspector!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does a home inspector do?
A home inspector examines and assesses the property to identify potential cosmetic or life-endangering flaws. During a home inspection, the inspector will note down their observations & prepare a detailed report that documents the property's structures, design, and fixtures.
2. Can you be a home inspector and appraiser?
Yes, home inspectors & home appraisers can be the same. There is no law stating otherwise. However, having the same person do the inspection and the home appraisal can cause a conflict of interest. An inspection is done to find flaws and negotiate the sales price to cover the cost of repairs. An appraisal on the other hand is done for mortgage lenders and an appraiser aims to find the market value of the property.
3. Can a home inspector condemn a house?
No, a home inspector cannot condemn a house. Only a legally appointed building or city inspector can condemn a house and declare it uninhabitable.
4. Can you sue a home inspector for false information?
Yes, you can sue a home inspector that gives you false information. The legal action depends on whether an individual home inspector is sued or the company where they work at. If you can prove that the home inspector was negligent, you may be able to recover some attorney fees.
5. Can a realtor be a home inspector?
Yes! A realtor can be a home inspector, and there is no law forbidding them from the same. However, this arrangement can be counterintuitive. A home inspector's primary motivation is to find faults in the house. A house that fails the inspection will not be closed, and that's where the realtor loses the entire sale. Your realtor could be motivated to wilfully ignore cosmetic issues so that the sale happens.
- Home Inspection Tools
- Home Inspection Report Sample
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