FAQs

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

Alternatively, feel free to give us a call at 215-860-3150 and ask away.

Inspection Questions

What does the home inspector inspect?

Philadelphia Home Inspection

ValueGuard home inspections include:
Structural Components • Roofing • Exterior • Electrical • Heating • Cooling/Heat Pumps • Insulation/Ventilation • Plumbing • Interior Components

Click to learn more about what our home inspectors will inspect on your property.

Do I need a home inspection?

Yes. In most cases, purchasing real estate is the largest investment that you will ever make. Gaining insight into the general condition of the building, disclosure of visually observable material defects of the inspected systems, the age of its systems and corresponding life expectancies, the need for repairs and the positive attributes of the property (i.e.: new roof, low maintenance exteriors and upgrades) gives you the necessary facts to make an informed buying decision.

The simple axiom is that the more you know about the property – the less your exposure to the risks inherent in purchasing the property.

Below are just a few sample photos of major concerns, safety issues and repair items that experienced ValueGuard home inspection professionals have included in recent home inspection reports.

Furnace Leak Floor Joist Damage
Water Stain Frame Rot
Double-tap Flue Lining

ValueGuard ASHI Certified home inspectors inspect all of the major systems in the house, including the Structural Components • Roofing • Exterior Components • Electrical • Heating • Cooling/Heat Pumps • Insulation/Ventilation • Plumbing and Interior Components.

What is the cost of a home inspection?


Home Inspections Prices Include:

Structure, Roof, Exterior, Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Insulation/Ventilation, Plumbing & Interior

Additional Fees

As applicable, the home features below add to the home inspection price

  • Age of home:  over 50 years: +$30
  • Roof height:  3-story: +$30; roof deck +$30
  • Detached garage:  +$30

City Condo or Apartment-Style (Flat) Inspection Prices*

These inspections costs include electrical, heating, cooling, insulation/ventilation, plumbing & interior

Studio – 2 bedrooms, up to 1000 SFT          $359
1 – 2 bedrooms, up to 1500 SFT                      $379
1 – 3 bedrooms, up to 2000 SFT                      $399

Condo larger than 2000 SFT Call for price

*Apartment-style condominium inspection prices are priced lower because the exterior, roof and common areas are typically the responsibility of the condominium – homeowners association and therefore not included in the inspection. Please note that condominium and town home inspections that include inspection of the exterior, roof, basement AND/OR garage are priced at the single-family / town home price levels.


ValueGuard Certified Radon Testing Service

ValueGuard Pennsylvania DEP Certified radon technicians have performed over 20,000 local radon detection tests.

  • Radon Pricing InformationTamper-resistant, continuous rate electronic monitor
  • Convenient 48-hour test
  • Accurate, certified report

Tamper Resistant Radon Test: $195
Package discount: $170 with home inspection (save $25!)

Learn more about Radon Tests here


ValueGuard Additional Inspection Services:

  • Termite – Wood Destroying Insect Inspection: $90 – scheduled with home inspection
    (performed by Boro Exterminating Co. Inc. or Thur-o Pest Management LLC)
  • Follow-up Inspection: $200

ValueGuard Multi-Family Building Inspections:

  • Multi-unit (duplex, triplex, quad) building inspection: starting at $450; call for quote

ValueGuard Commercial Building Inspections:

  • Commercial Inspections: Call for quote

Experts recommend against choosing an inspection company based on price alone!

A “low price” inspector may charge less because he needs the business (inexperienced) or because he takes less time per inspection (takes shortcuts) and can do more inspections per day. Choose wisely and consider more than price.

Learn about our inspectors
See what makes our inspection reports superior

What communities does ValueGuard serve?

Since 1997, ValueGuard has performed over 50,000 ASHI® Certified home inspections throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including the City of Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County Pennsylvania. Our home inspectors live and work throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area.  To learn more about our inspection services in your community, and to read client reviews and view photos of homes we’ve inspected, please CLICK on your community below.

philadelphia home inspection bucks county home inspections valueguard
chester county home inspections valueguard delaware county pa home inspections valueguard

ValueGuard ® Home Inspections is a local, family-owned and operated BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating...not a franchise or single inspector company. Since 1997, our team of experienced ASHI ® certified home inspectors has performed over 50,000 home inspections, condo inspections and commercial property inspections throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia and New Jersey.  Our radon technicians have completed thousands of PA DEP certified radon tests.

ValueGuard home inspection prices are online!  Our home inspectors certifications and work experience, and most importantly our client reviews are online.  And our local, knowledgeable office staff is available to schedule your home inspection.  Call us at 215-860-3150.  We earn the trust of our clients everyday as we strive to provide service that exceeds expectations!

50,000 local families have trusted ValueGuard to inspect their homes. Can we inspect yours?

Need an inspection in New Jersey? Please visit our NJ site here.

Should I attend the home inspection?

YES, if at all possible, we encourage you to attend the home inspection. Valuable information regarding the condition of the home and its systems can be gained from spending just a couple of hours with our home inspector. Important information on the proper operation and maintenance of the house and its systems is reviewed at the time of the physical inspection. And all of our home inspectors welcome your questions throughout the inspection process.

You are the client and we want you to have the most accurate and thorough understanding about the condition of your new home.If you cannot attend the inspection, your ValueGuard home inspector will complete the inspection, produce the written report and call you to discuss the home and the items contained in the report.

How long does the home inspection take?

We recommend that you plan on 2 to 2½ hours, but the time can vary depending on the size, age and general condition of the home being inspected. Smaller properties may take less time, while larger, more complex properties may take longer. The inspector will generally spend an hour or more offsite preparing the report.

Our inspectors are quite thorough and never rush (avoid fast inspectors!). Please feel free to ask lots of questions during the inspection. And we won’t keep you waiting at the end of your inspection for the inspector to write up your report. If you have questions after receiving the report, our inspectors will be happy to answer them.

To schedule your home inspection, please call our local office at 215-860-3150.

Are all inspection reports the same?

No. Some large inspection companies provide a simple checklist report with responses such as “Good, Poor and Unsatisfactory.”  These checklist reports may be included in an  impressive binder with lots of pages — but unfortunately much of it is generic information unrelated to the property inspected.  You should select a company that provides a comprehensive, narrative-style inspection report with digital color photographs of problem areas.
Keep reading and learn why our reports are different

Why choose an ASHI® Certified home inspector?

ASHI Home Inspector

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI®) is the nation’s largest home inspector trade association. To become a member, an inspector has to pass a national home inspection test; have performed at least 250 inspections; and pass another test that covers standards of practice and the code of ethics. Members are required to take 20 hours of continuing education annually to keep abreast of new materials, building standards, technologies and inspection techniques.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI®) has been approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) as a recognized accrediting association for its profession-leading Certified Inspector Program.  ASHI is now the only accredited home inspection association whose full members have completed a recognized third-party certification process.  All current, full ASHI members have met the requirements for this new certification.

If you would like to read the ASHI® Standards, click here.

Learn more about what it takes to become an ASHI certified home inspector. 

Why not choose the cheapest home inspector?

The inspection fee for a typical single family home will vary from one inspection company to another. Criteria that often determine the inspection fee are the size of the home (interior square ft), age, features (i.e. finished basement) and specialty inspections required (i.e. radon, termite etc).  However prices may also vary based on the experience and workload of the home inspector/home inspection company that your choose.

Experts recommend against choosing an inspection company based on price alone. A “low price” inspector may charge less because he needs the business (inexperienced) or because he takes less time per inspection (takes shortcuts) and can do more inspections per day.  Choose wisely and consider more than price alone.

A home inspection is too important to simply go with the cheapest inspector.  Compare our experience, professionalism and pricing to any other inspection company.  Since 1997, more than 50,000 families in Southeastern Pennsylvania have trusted ValueGuard inspectors to inspect their homes.  If we didn’t inspect it, don’t buy it!

Are "new home" inspections necessary?

We are often asked: why do I need a home inspection on a new home? new construction inspection

The short answer is: because even the best built homes often have significant safety and repair issues that may go unnoticed for a long time by new home buyers.  This may result in unexpected, costly repairs down the road.  Knowing the condition of your new home is vital to making the right decisions.  A recent review of ValueGuard home inspection reports on new homes revealed a startling number of safety issues and needed repairs that any homebuyer should know in advance of the closing.

To highlight the need for new home inspections, we chose five (5) home inspection reports of new homes –homes less than one year old.  Each of these new home inspections were conducted by ValueGuard ASHI Certified home inspectors over the past year. We’ve compiled a sampling of major concerns, safety issues and repair items from those new home inspection reports.

We think you will be surprised by what our inspectors found – read on.

What is the ValueGuard Pre Inspection Agreement?

Valueguard Home Inspections requires a Pre Inspection Agreement to be signed by our clients prior to our home inspector beginning their inspection of your property. You can view that document online here.

10 questions to ask your home inspector

10 Questions to ask your home inspector - HUD

1. What does your home inspection cover?

The home inspector should ensure that their inspection and home inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.
>> Continue to questions 2-10

Take a virtual home inspection tour

Learn About the Home Inspection Process with our Virtual Home Inspection

Take the ASHI® Virtual Home Inspection Tour now to see and hear what a professional home inspection is all about. Learn about some common problems discovered during the home inspection with our virtual home inspection tour.

Launch the Virtual Home Inspection now.

Please note: the Virtual Home Inspection Tour is a pop-up window. You will have to press the “Control” key on your PC in case you have a pop-up blocker installed. Also, the virtual home inspection tour is narrated for your convenience. Please make sure the sound on your computer is turned on so you can fully participate.

Is ValueGuard accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

BBB, better business bureau accredited businessYes. ValueGuard is a local, family-owned Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business. Our Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is A+!

For more information, visit BBB.org.

Do you make repairs or recommend contractors?

No. We will not perform repairs or recommend specific contractors for the work.

We adhere to the fundamental principals embodied by the Code of Ethics of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Specifically, ValueGuard inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity. This includes:

  • Inspectors shall not accept compensation, directly or indirectly, for recommending contractors, services, or products to inspection clients or other parties having an interest in inspected properties.
  • Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice.

For more information, see Code of Ethics of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

What is radon?

radon testing Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. This gas moves through the earth and enters buildings through cracks and/or holes in foundations and floors and accumulates. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Surgeon General have identified Radon gas as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Living in a home with elevated radon readings for a long period of time significantly increases your chances of contracting the disease. The risk is even more pronounced if you smoke or have ever smoked.

We strongly recommend that you test your home for radon…whether you are currently living in the home or plan to purchase the home.

Dr Oz: The #1 Cancer Risk at Home, February 9, 2011. Must watch video about the health risks of radon on your family’s health.

ValueGuard Radon technicians have performed over 20,000 radon detection tests since 1997! Call 215-860-3150 to schedule your 48-hour tamper-resistant, continuous rate, electronic radon test today!

Do I need a radon test?

Do I need to test for radon?

YES! The only way to determine if you are at risk for high radon levels in your home is to perform radon testing. The EPA and Surgeon General recommend testing for all homes below the third floor. EPA further recommends that homes with high radon concentration be mitigated. ValueGuard is a test only firm to avoid any conflict of interest. We do not perform or recommend radon mitigation services.Pennsylvania zone map

Map of Radon Zones for Pennsylvania

• Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones.
• All homes should be tested regardless of geographic location. Learn more
• Click on the image for a larger version | What do the colors mean?

Pennsylvania’s Highest Radon Potential Counties (Red on map) include Berks, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester Counties. The potential average indoor radon screening level for RED counties is greater than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). The EPA recommends mitigation for elevated (4.0 pCli/l or higher) results.

Check out this must watch video about the health risks of radon on your family’s health. Dr Oz: The #1 Cancer Risk at Home, February 9,2011.

ValueGuard Radon technicians have performed over 20,000 radon detection tests since 1997! Call 215-860-3150 to schedule your 48-hour radon test.

What is a tamper-resistant, electronic radon test?

electronic tamper-resistant radon testing
ValueGuard Greater Philadelphia Certified Radon Technicians utilize state of the art testing protocols, including continuous rate, tamper-resistant electronic radon monitors which detect any unusual readings of radon, temperature and humidity caused by opening the surrounding windows. Tilt and power sensors detect if the monitor is moved. Hourly barometric pressure readings will even help detect unusual radon averages due to extreme weather conditions.

The results are provided to our clients in a professional, four-page Certified Radon Report that provides the overall average radon concentration, as well as hourly graphs detailing temperature, radon concentration and barometric pressure for the duration of the 48-hour test.


Radon Test Results You Can Depend On

Sellers can easily compromise most radon tests to avoid responsibility. Who will know if they open the windows or move the test device to get a false low? ValueGuard uses electronic, tamper-resistant monitors which detect any unusual readings of radon, temperature and humidity caused by opening the surrounding windows. Tilt and power sensors detect if the monitor is moved to a different location. Hourly barometric pressure readings will even help detect unusual radon averages due to extreme weather conditions. All data is reviewed for any sign of suspected tampering by trained professionals. Bottom line: It is extremely difficult to compromise a ValueGuard electronic monitor radon test without getting caught.

ValueGuard is a test only firm to avoid any conflict of interest. We do not perform or recommend radon mitigation services.

ValueGuard Radon technicians have performed over 20,000 radon detection tests since 1997! Call 215-860-3150 to schedule your 48-hour radon test.


DEP certified radon testing

ValueGuard Greater Philadelphia Radon Testing
215-860-3150
If we didn’t test it, you shouldn’t buy it!

ValueGuard Radon technicians are certified by the Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Radiation Protection – Radon Division.

What is the cost for a radon test?

EPA radon testingValueGuard uses only premium, continuous rate tamper-resistant electronic radon monitors to test for radon in Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  ValueGuard is a test only firm to avoid any conflict of interest. We do not perform or recommend radon mitigation services. ValueGuard Radon technicians have performed over 20,000 radon detection tests since 1997!  Call 215-860-3150 to schedule your 48-hour radon test.

CONTINUOUS RATE, TAMPER-RESISTANT RADON TEST

  • ValueGuard Accurate, Tamper-Resistant Radon Test Fee: $195 SPECIAL $170 with a home inspection  (SAVE $25!)

  • Please note, competitors may offer less expensive testing services using non-electronic, non-tamper resistant testing procedures, however we believe accurate, dependable radon results are worth a few extra dollars!

ValueGuard radon technicians are certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  We can generally schedule your Philadelphia Area Radon test with 24 hours notice!  Call 215-860-3150 to schedule a ValueGuard certified radon test. Click to view Sample Radon Test or schedule your test today.

   ValueGuard Radon Testing Services
Proudly inspecting homes and testing for radon in Philadelphia, Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware
Office:  600 Chestnut Street, Suite 675
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19106
215-860-3150
info@valueguardusa.com

Our team of certified radon testing professionals live and work throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Should I test granite countertops for radon?

Questions regarding testing of granite countertops for radon are best answered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The full article can be found here.

Does the EPA believe there is a danger of radon gas or associated radiation being emitted from granite countertops?

Some granite used for countertops may contribute variably to indoor radon levels. Some types of granite may emit gamma radiation above typical background levels. However, at this time EPA believes that the existing data is insufficient to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels. At this time EPA believes that the existing data is insufficient to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels.

What advice does the EPA have about radon for consumers who have granite countertops?

EPA believes the principal source of radon in homes is from the soil in contact with basement floors and walls. To reduce the radon risk you should first test the air in your home to determine the radon level.

Can I test my granite countertops for radiation or radon?

At this time, a generally accepted radiation testing protocol for countertops does not exist, and neither imported nor domestic granite products require radiation testing.

ValueGuard does not perform a separate testing service for granite countertops.
We would encourage you to read the full article on this subject.

How to Become an ASHI-Certified Home Inspector

ASHI Certified Home InspectorIf you have a keen eye for detail, enjoy working with people, and like the idea of job security, home inspection might be a trade worth looking into.

Inspecting homes is a fairly recent vocation that has grown in popularity since its start in the mid-1970s. An inspector’s job is to evaluate a house or residential building to ensure its safety prior to new residents moving in.

These days, people are aware that a thorough inspection is a crucial step before making their significant financial decision to mitigate investment risks. Some real estate companies even offer it packaged with their services. Read our full article on becoming a home inspector.

Should you Get a New Home Inspection?

New construction inspectionIt’s exciting to be the first one to move into a newly built home. Everything is completely new, without a single scuff or chip from any last owner, and it still has that new-house smell. But don’t sign that paperwork yet… not without a proper inspection first.

It seems like a pointless procedure, considering no one has had the chance yet to cause damage to the property. However, there’s no such thing as a perfect house. Having someone give it a last checkup could end up saving you thousands, and here’s why. Keep reading.

Article: Secrets to a Solid Home Inspection

(ARA) – Selling, buying or just putting a house on the market may raise many questions. Can I get a good price? Are there any problems I should fix prior to listing my house? If I buy this house, will I encounter problems that may make me regret my decision?

The sale price of a house depends on many factors, including the market, location, size of the property, age of the house, condition of the structure, what appliances might be included in the sale and even how nicely the property and building were landscaped and decorated – just to name a few.

Having a qualified professional inspect your house prior to putting it on the market – or for prospective buyers, before closing on a sale – can help guide your decision. But many homeowners and prospective buyers are unsure what’s included in a standard home inspection, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). A qualified home inspector will review these aspects of a property:

  • Roof, attic and visible insulation
  • Foundation, basement and structural components
  • Walls, ceilings and floors
  • Heating and central air conditioning systems
  • Windows and doors
  • Water fixtures and faucets
  • Decks

Nearly two out of three homeowners recently surveyed by ASHI reported they saved a lot of money as a result of having a home inspection during the selling/buying of a house. Sellers use inspections to help determine potential problems that can be repaired or replaced prior to listing – potentially getting them a higher sale price. And buyers use the inspections to determine if they want to invest in the property, or help negotiate for a better price that would include the repair and replacement of potential problems.

Not all home inspectors are certified and licensed. Always check with your local inspector for a complete list of services provided.

“It’s important for homeowners to do their homework before hiring an inspector,” says Kurt Salomon, ASHI president. “Look for a home inspector certified through the ASHI Certified Inspector Program, which is the only home inspection association program approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.”

The following elements are not included in a standard home inspection:

  • Septic system
  • Electrical wiring and plumbing that is not readily accessible (for example, behind drywall or plaster)
  • Water conditioning or softening system
  • Swimming pool
  • Backyard fences
  • Lawn irrigation system
  • Household appliances
  • Compliance with local codes
  • Appraisal to determine market value

Before hiring a home inspector, inquire about what is covered in the inspection and ask to see a sample report. Although some inspectors provide ancillary services, it may be necessary to consult a specialist for concerns that extend beyond a standard inspection. Often your inspector will help you make this determination.

Hiring a certified home inspector and having questions answered before putting your house up for sale – or before finalizing a purchase price – can not only help save money, but also allow you to go through the process with more peace of mind.

Article: "FHA Recommends Home Inspections"

FHA Home Inspection RecommendationsWhy You Need a Home Inspection

Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime, so you should be sure that the home you want to buy is in good condition. A home inspection is an evaluation of a home’s condition by a trained expert. During a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth and impartial look at the property you plan to buy.

The inspector will:

Evaluate the physical condition: the structure, construction and mechanical systems.
Identify items that should be repaired or replaced.
Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems (such as electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning), equipment, structure and finishes.

The home inspector does not estimate the value of the house.

After the inspection is complete, you will receive a written report of the findings from the home inspector, usually within five to seven days.

This brochure is primarily for homebuyers that buy their homes with the help of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs. All homebuyers can benefit from the information in this brochure to understand the difference between home inspections and appraisals, the benefits of home inspections, how to find a qualified inspector, and the importance of radon testing.

Home Inspections Are Not Appraisals

A property appraisal is a document that provides an estimate of a property’s market value. Lenders require appraisals on properties prior to loan approval to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property. Appraisals are for lenders; home inspections are for buyers.

FHA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), requires lenders to obtain appraisals of properties securing FHA-insured loans. FHA requires appraisals for three reasons:

  • To estimate the market value of the property.
  • To make sure that the property meets FHA minimum property requirements/standards (health and safety).
  • To make sure that the property is marketable.

The FHA appraisal process will note property deficiencies that are readily observable and found not in compliance with HUD’s minimum property requirements/standards (Handbook 4905.1 REV-1 and Handbook 4910.1). These deficiencies may not be the same as those items noted in a home inspection report.

About FHA Home Inspections

FHA helps individuals and families become homeowners by providing lenders with mortgage insurance for certain loans.

FHA does not guarantee the value or condition of your future home, and FHA does not perform home inspections. If you find problems with your new home after closing, FHA cannot give or lend you money for repairs, nor can it buy the home back from you.

That’s why it is so important for you, the buyer, to get an independent home inspection. Ask a qualified home inspector to thoroughly examine the physical condition of your future home and give you the information you need to make a wise decision.

The Bottom Line: Spending Hundreds May Save Thousands

When you make a written offer on a home, you should insist that the contract state that the offer is contingent on a home inspection conducted by a qualified inspector. You will have to pay for the inspection yourself, but it could keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in repairs down the road. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection, then your offer can proceed.

FHA does not guarantee the value or condition of your potential new home, and FHA does not perform home inspections.

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

As the homebuyer, it is your responsibility to carefully select a qualified inspector and pay for the inspection.

The following sources may help you find a qualified home inspector:

  • State regulatory authorities. Some states require licensing of home inspectors.
  • Professional organizations. Professional organizations may require home inspectors to pass tests and meet minimum qualifications before becoming a member.
  • Phone book yellow pages. Look under “Building Inspection Service” or “Home Inspection Service.”
  • The Internet. Search for “Building Inspection Service” or “Home Inspection Service.”
  • Your real estate agent. Most real estate professionals have a list of home inspectors they recommend.

Radon Gas Testing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General of the United States have recommended that all houses should be tested for radon. For more information on radon testing, call the National Radon Information Line at 1-800-SOS-Radon or 1-800-767-7236. As with a home inspection, if you decide to test for radon, you may do so before signing your contract, or you may do so after signing the contract as long as your contract states the sale of the home depends on your satisfaction with the results of the radon test.

Information Resources

HUD has resources available for information about homebuying and homeownership. You may find the following services helpful.

Internet

www.hud.gov or espanol.hud.gov

HUD’s website contains comprehensive information about home inspections, homebuying, homeownership, selling a home, making home improvements, and other housing-related topics— in English and Spanish.

National Lead Information Clearinghouse

Many homes built before 1978 have lead paint, and some of these have lead hazards. To protect your family, it is recommended that you get a lead-based inspection and/or risk assessment. For more information, contact the National Lead Information Clearinghouse at 1-800-424-LEAD.

HUD-Approved Housing Counseling

HUD supports a network of approved housing counseling agencies that provide counseling services across the nation. For a complete list of HUD-approved agencies in your area, call the toll-free HUD housing counseling referral line 1-800-569-4287 or visit the HUD website at www.hud.gov.

HUD-Approved Lenders

A searchable database of HUD-approved lenders, including banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions, is available on the HUD website at www.hud.gov

Note:  The article above is written by HUD and provided for informational purposes.


ValueGuard Home Inspections
Proudly inspecting homes in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Office:  600 Chestnut Street, Suite 675
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  19106
215-860-3150 • 610-642-5500
800-965-8520

 

Article: "Are Client Surveys Important?"

Client Home Inspection SurveyWe think so!  We ask each of our clients to tell us about their home inspection experience.

Our surveys are conducted a week or two after their home inspection. We ask questions about the ease of scheduling, the professionalism of the inspector and the inspection, and the value of the inspection report.  In our recent survey, clients were asked, “How easy was it to schedule your inspection?” and 94% said it was as easy as taking a “walk in the park.”

The ValueGuard home inspection experience often starts with a phone call, email or an online request for information, pricing and availability. Our goal is to answer your inquiries in a friendly, knowledgeable and efficient manner.  The last thing you need is to wait for a call back from a home inspection company.  Afterall, we want your scheduling experience to be “a walk in the park!”

More than half of our clients visit our website before they schedule a home inspection.  90% of them report that they found our website useful.  If you’re visiting us online, we hope your experience is equally beneficial.  We encourage you to use the “Chat Now” button or call us at 215-860-3150 or 610-642-5500 if you have questions or would like to schedule an inspection.

Our client survey includes questions about the inspector, the inspection and the inspection report.  For example, “How satisfied were you with the ValueGuard home inspector?”  91% of our clients said they were Very Satisfied with the inspector.  99% of our clients were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their home inspection report.

We also get some great suggestions from our surveys.  For example clients said they really liked color photographs, so we challenged our inspectors to add more to their reports.  A few clients asked for Sunday inspections, so we added more Sunday home inspections.

The most important question that we ask our in our survey is “Would you refer ValueGuard to your friends and family?”  Overwhelmingly, 99% of our clients said they would refer us to friends and family.  It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

We’re pleased to receive so many great testimonials from our clients.  Here are just a few:

We had a great experience with ValueGuard.  From the initial online chat session to a quick and painless phone call to an outstanding inspection with a friendly, thorough and knowledgeable inspector, to the clear, detailed and easy to understand reports – the entire experience was outstanding!  ValueGuard – Great customer service – Great price – Great Inspectors – Great Company! J.Little Glenside PA

Your office staff was super to deal with.  Kudos to them…. F. Wetzel Oxford, PA

This is the second time that we’ve used ValueGuard for our home inspection needs.  The second time was for a follow-up inspection of the seller’s repairs before purchasing our first home.  We’ve been in our home for a little over a month, and we are extremely happy with the security we have in knowing that we made a good decision!  Some of our friends who chose other companies have not been so fortunate!  Thanks ValueGuard! K. Walker Philadelphia, PA

After doing careful research online, checking websites and customer reports, and also calling various companies to get quotes and see how they treat potential customers over the phone, I decided that ValueGuard was the right choice for me.  Their inspectors were on time, polite, and did a great job explaining what they were doing and what they found.  I am very satisfied with the job done by ValueGuard, and I would hire them again.  Their services are a fair value for the money.  I would not hesitate to recommend them to others. C. Hartley, Malvern PA

Want to see more ValueGuard home inspection testimonials? Can we add family to our list of satisfied customers?

Article: "ValueGuard's 15 Tips to Prepare your House for a Home Inspection"

philadelphia home inspection tips to prepare home for an inspectionHome sellers spend a lot of time and money preparing their home for potential buyers…making home improvements like granite counter tops, new carpeting on the stairs and fresh paint on the walls.These efforts help to make your home stand out from the others in the neighborhood, but an important and often overlooked step in the selling process is preparing your home for a Philadelphia home inspection.

ValueGuard home inspectors report many of the same safety, repair and recommended improvement items in their home inspection reports…items which, for lack of a better word, clutter the home inspection report and detract from the many positive aspects of the home. Many of these problems could have been addressed in advance by the home seller with little effort and minimal cost.

So here is ValueGuard’s list of 15 Simple Things the home seller can do to prepare their home for a home inspection – keep reading.

Article: "7 Tips for Home Buying in a Down Economy"

PA family home inspection

Buying a home in a “normal” economy is tough enough, but buying in a down market can be particularly daunting. The key to buying a home is identifying your personal financial position, goals and housing needs; however it’s equally important that you know what you’re buying. Our home buying tips represent a small portion of the overall home buying process because we are home inspectors not financial planners, but hopefully you will find them useful.

Find all seven tips here

2015 Angie's List Super Service Award

ValueGuard Home Inspections Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Angles List Super Service AwardValueGuard has once again earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace site in 2015.

“Our home inspectors have worked hard to consistently provide excellent customer service to all of our clients,” says Chase Millard, VP of ValueGuard.

“Only about 5 percent of home inspection companies in Philadelphia have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.

Since 1997, ValueGuard has conducted over 50,000 home inspections and 20,000 radon tests in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between nearly 3 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly-rated service providers in 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of authentic reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Article: "ASHI Certified Home Inspector Program"

Accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies

  • ASHI is the only home inspection association to achieve this accredited status.
  • ASHI Certified Inspectors are the only home inspectors who have completed a recognized certification process.
  • Third-party certification validates ASHI member qualifications and professional competence.
  • Achieving third-party certification helps consumers make informed buying decisions and gives them peace of mind when they hire an ASHI Certified Home Inspector.

Des Plaines, Ill. (January 6, 2010) – The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has been approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) as a recognized accrediting association for its profession-leading Certified Inspector Program. ASHI is now the only accredited home inspection association whose full members have completed a recognized third-party certification process. All current, full ASHI members have met the requirements for this new certification.

“The accreditation and certification of ASHI’s processes by a recognized third party is an affirmation of the status we hold in the home inspection profession,” said Jeff Arnold, executive director, ASHI. “Our members are recognized as leaders in home inspection by those in and out of the profession and by government entities. And, achieving certification further validates ASHI member qualifications and professional competence.”

ASHI standards for certification are more stringent than other home inspection organizations. New home inspector members join ASHI as Associates and must accomplish several tasks to become ASHI Certified Inspectors. Associate members must pass the National Home Inspector’s Examination; complete the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics education module, undergo an inspection report verification process and conduct 250 paid home inspections. To remain active in the organization, all members must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education each year.

“ASHI sets the professional standard on a national level,” said Bill Richardson, 2009 ASHI president. “In an environment where home inspection regulation and licensing are typically performed at a state level and have been at times granted for meeting minimal professional requirements, this national certification denotes a more advanced level of knowledge and practice skill required to become an ASHI Certified Inspector.” Richardson added, “It also helps consumers make informed buying decisions and gives them peace of mind when they choose to hire an ASHI Certified Home Inspector.”

ASHI’s organizational structure and membership process was thoroughly evaluated by the NCCA Board for compliance with what it requires of a responsible professional accrediting society.

According to Brendan Ryan, ASHI Certified Inspector and Certification Committee chair, “This evaluation process has taken other types of associations up to five years to complete. Due to ASHI’s existing structure, standards and ethics, the process was completed in less than two years.”

The NCCA is the professional services accreditation arm of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. ASHI chose the organization because it is a recognized leader in setting quality standards for credentialing organizations. The NCCA requires compliance with 21 Standards, each of which has multiple components, in order to grant accreditation status to any association.

About the American Society of Home Inspectors

In its 33rd year and with approximately 6000 members, ASHI is the oldest and most widely recognized non-profit, professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics is the industry standard.


ValueGuard Home Inspections
Proudly inspecting homes in Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware and Southern New Jersey
Office: 600 Chestnut Street, Suite 675
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
215-860-3150 • 610-642-5500
800-965-8520

 

Article: "Consumer Protection with a Home Inspection"

Consumer protectionLegislation hailed by ASHI will educate buyers on the importance of obtaining an inspection

  • President Obama signed legislation acknowledged by ASHI as effective means to help homebuyers protect themselves
  • New law mandates HUD revise counseling programs to include more advice to buyers on the importance of obtaining home inspections
  • It is vital that HUD arm buyers with the knowledge to hire a certified professional home inspector

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) played a critical role in the inclusion of the “Consumer Protection with Home Inspection” law in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act signed by President Obama on July 21. ASHI hails this legislation as an innovative and low-cost means to help homebuyers weigh their options when looking to obtain a home inspection.

The new law requires the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) modify its existing housing counseling programs to include more robust advice on home inspections, including the importance of an inspection, its advantages, and where and how a future homeowner can obtain one.

“Home inspectors often find problems ranging from plumbing and moisture issues to structural, roofing and electrical problems,” said David Tamny, ASHI president. “These are critical issues to homebuyers, because some can be expensive repairs and others can be dangerous. HUD’s counseling will help consumers to ask the right questions at the right time to protect themselves.”

Through HUD’s vast counseling networks, they will reach buyers with messages made available on their website, through HUD documents, public service announcements, as well as a toll-free hotline to ensure consumers’ questions are being answered.

With HUD’s counseling in place, a future homeowner will have the option to learn about the home inspection process at the earliest opportunity, which is when it can be the most helpful.

Jeff Arnold, executive director and CEO of ASHI, considers the new law to be very valuable to buyers. “HUD counseling programs will help homebuyers seek the right qualifications in a professional home inspector. There are no universal qualifications within the profession. However, an ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) is one who has extensive training and years of inspection experience, is committed to the highest ethical standards and professional guidelines, and pursues continuing education,” said Arnold.

Consumers can find more information about the Consumer Protection Act and HUD’s involvement, by visiting their website.

About the American Society of Home Inspectors

Founded in 1976 and with more than 5,500 members, ASHI is the oldest and most widely recognized non-profit, professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics is the industry standard. For more information, visit www.ASHI.org.

Des Plaines, Ill. (July 27, 2010)

More Home Inspection Resources

Additional Home Inspection Resources

American Society of Home InspectionsThe American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), founded in 1976, is North America’s oldest and most respected professional society of home inspectors. ASHI’s goals have always been to build customer awareness of the importance of a quality home inspection and enhance the professionalism of home inspectors.

ASHI Certified Inspectors are the only home inspectors who have completed a recognized certification process. ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics

All of ValueGuard’s home inspectors are Certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)


Better Business BureauBetter Business Bureau (BBB) ValueGuard is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating.


PA DEP Certified Radon TestingPennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Radon Testing Certification

All of ValueGuard’s radon technicians are certified by the PA DEP.


Dr Oz: The #1 Cancer Risk at Home, February 9,2011. Must watch video about the health risks of radon on your family’s health.


Leaks Can Dry Up Your Wallet– article from WALL ST JOURNAL, November 7, 2010


“70 Percent of Homeowners Agree Their Home Inspection Helped Them Avoid Potential Problems” ASHI, February 22, 2011