Choosing the right Home Inspector

Since there is no experience or training required to become a home inspector in Michigan it’s important that you know the facts…

 Would you want some inexperienced inspector conducting an inspection on your home? I think I know the answer to that one… but that’s exactly what’s happening to many home buyers in Marquette and surrounding areas.

Inspectors don’t even have to take a class or pass an exam. No hands-on experience is required! No prior experience is required! No “on-the-job” training required! And on top of that, having insurance or offering a warranty isn’t a requirement either!

My name is Walt Fish and I’m the owner of Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC.  I realize that purchasing a home can be a very stressful time for anyone, and my primary goal is to help you understand this process.


Most home buyers will ask their realtor to refer them to a Home Inspector. And, most Realtors, in turn, will provide you with a short list of several names.  You, however, have no way of knowing the quality of their work, their background or years of experience. In fact, wouldn’t it be helpful if every Home Inspector gave you a copy of an actual inspection report so that you could look it over to see how detailed it is and what things were found during the inspection?

I have completed over 3,250 home inspections in the past 15 years and provide the most detailed inspection reports in Upper Michigan. Here, take a look (names and addresses have been removed to protect my customer’s privacy).                         

Ranch (older)  Inspection on Older Ranch

Ranch (Newer)  Inspection on newer ranch by Bay Area Home Inspection

Hobby Farm   Hobby Farm for sample

Victorian   Victorian Home inspected by Bay Area Home Inspection

Log Home  Log Home Inspected by Bay Area Home Inspection

You can see from the examples above that a home inspection should identify specific deficiencies inside and outside the home and also highlight any major repair items or structural issues as well as any safety concerns.

Only an experienced home inspector can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision!

It’s true that I am competing for your business. I have owned 6 homes myself and, believe me, I know the process thoroughly. The home inspection should always be considered necessary because it can save you money and in some cases, many thousands of dollars.

Is it important who you hire? By now, I think you do understand it will make all the difference.

As I mentioned at the beginning, Michigan does not regulate Home Inspectors. I was a Combat Engineer in the Army and have a BSBA degree from Michigan Technological University.  I was trained as a Home Inspector through the American Home Inspector’s Training Institute, North East Wisconsin Technical College, Waukesha Technical College, sat for and passed the National Exam in 1999, and have been a state licensed Home Inspector in Wisconsin since then. Currently, I do inspections throughout the western half of the UP and northern Wisconsin.

Most of the Home Inspectors in Marquette will tell you that they are certified. In reality, there are many associations that grant certifications for a fee.  

The experience required by most of these organizations is zero! The educational requirements are also generally minimal. I do belong to a couple associations as do other inspectors in Marquette. I do not rely on their certification as my credential.

When you hire me for your home inspection:

       You and I will take 3-4 hours to examine the home from top to bottom.

       I’ll give you lots of tips on home maintenance and help you prioritize what repairs should be made.

        I will create a computer generated report over 35 pages long which will give detailed descriptions of all the concerns that were found.

        I will also include high quality pictures showing these issues. Any issues we find will be included in the report. I do not “soft peddle” the findings and I work for you, not the realtor!

Home Inspectors who provide a quality report consider all aspects of the home, it’s overall condition, the minor issues present as well as major deficiencies or concerns.

For example, when I show up at a house which is structurally sound, but the furnace is quite old (even though it works), the wiring needs updating because the 3 prong outlets are ungrounded, the home is poorly insulated, the gutters leak, the carpeting needs stretching, water pressure at the bathroom sink is poor, the seals on 2 windows are broken, one casement window crank is stripped,  the chimney is not properly flashed, cracks in the walls and ceilings need repair and there is no source of heat in one of the bedrooms, these issues, though minor ones individually, are included in my report since they will cost the buyer money, she/he may, or may not have available after the purchase.

If you think all Home Inspectors include these items, or that they are even required to include such things, remember, Michigan has no standards that Home Inspectors are required to follow, and many get all their referrals from Realtors!

Give me a call and let’s make this a positive experience!

Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC

Call the number below


You can also check out my calendar and book the inspection from there. It automatically notifies me and the realtors involved.

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2 thoughts on “Choosing the right Home Inspector”

  1. Hi, I spoke with you today regarding an inspection. I tried to schedule for Tuesday 5/31 at 10:30 and it went through but then it went to home page
    Could you email me and let me know if it was scheduled?

    Thank you

    1. Yes, it was. Just the house number was no included, so after we were able to talk it was added and I completed the order. Thanks!

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