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Old 01-09-2014, 06:44 PM   #1
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


Hey guys!
We are purchasing a house in a town that has 100k people so not many home inspectors to choose from. ASHI's website (American Association of Home Inspectors) has only ONE inspector listed, and I wasn't impressed with the credentials when I checked the website (too vague data on experience, previous trades, etc).

So I currently have 3 options to choose from:

Inspector #1 (found from TAREI - Texas assoc of real estate inspectors): on BBB since 1993, A+ rated. Currently performing 400 inspections per year. 6 months of apprenticeship before he started inspections, no relative trade exposure before then.

Inspector #2: in business since 2011 (A- rated on bbb website, no complaints, however short history), previous trade was electrician, also does commercial inspections for insurances. TAREI - certifies like the previous one. Around 400 inspections per year as well.

Inspector #3: what our realtor used in the past. in business since 2010 (A- rated on bbb website, no complaints, however short history). NO TAREI certification, and was a pharmaceutical rep before getting into this trade. He did mention he worked as a contractor back in college. Around 400 inspections as well.

I am buying this home as a rental for the next 3 years (we will be moving there once I get the job transfer), but since I am purchasing this long-distance, I am a little worried about making the right choice on this.

Who would you pick?

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Old 01-09-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


Have them send you their checklists.

They are all going to have a checklist, a clipboard or binder, and a flashlight.

I think the checklist if the most important.

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Old 01-09-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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Thank you Cleverman
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


#2 hes actually spent time in the construction industry so he has years of seeing things and more understanding of how things are done..

#1 sounds like a joke. #3 would be the second choice. as has a little bit of experience


personally i think someone should create a higher level of regulation regarding inspectors other than taking a 3 day course in a conference room of a hotel.. it should be mandatory to have atleast 5 years experieince in the construction industry to even be eligible as a inspector.. by doing this it not only insures the person doing the inspection knows the ins and outs of construction but can see more pressing issues that the inexperienced ones compleltey miss. and it gives older tradesman whos bodies are worn out a way of staying involved in the industry
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:10 PM   #5
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


No way would I be using anyone a realtor suggest!!!!!!!!!!!
Guess what, it will pass with flying colors.
99% of an inspection is common since.
I can just drive up in the driveway in most homes and see things.
Vinyl siding on an an old home and it's already wavy.
Miss matched shingle colors.
Roof wavy.
Go in the basement, crawl space it should be dry.
Lack of proper roof venting.
Old steel drain lines.
No grounds on the outlets.
Fuses, not breakers.
Post some pictures around the outside of the house and I'd bet we can see some issues.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:11 AM   #6
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


You might check out this thread if you haven't already found it.

How to avoid surprises when buying a house
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:45 AM   #7
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


Quote:
Originally Posted by edavt04 View Post

I am buying this home as a rental for the next 3 years (we will be moving there once I get the job transfer), but since I am purchasing this long-distance, I am a little worried about making the right choice on this....
If there is ANY way at all you can be there, do so!!!
And ask TONS of questions.

Look for someone with the most construction or building experience, as well as someone you can talk to. Someone who will answer your questions even if they are very basic without rolling their eyes.

If you have the time, go to the local lumberyards (NOT the apron stores) and talk to the guys behind the counter.

Check with realtors, they may have additional names. But don't rely on them.
Every trade has it's good and bad. Keep in mind the realtor/inspector relationship is prone to... shall we say, "backwashing." Some realtors will always recommend the inspector they know will find the least amount of problems, so the sale will go smoothly. Inspectors know this, and the less than upstanding will cater to this and dismiss or overlook things.
Even if there is nothing outright illegal going on, this system is ripe for abuse, and leaves the potential buyer out in the cold.


We bought our current house and had the inspection done without being there.

If I had it to do over again, I'd drive the seven hours (each way!).



Last edited by Blondesense; 01-10-2014 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:09 AM   #8
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
No way would I be using anyone a realtor suggest!!!!!!!!!!!
Guess what, it will pass with flying colors.
99% of an inspection is common since.
I can just drive up in the driveway in most homes and see things.
Vinyl siding on an an old home and it's already wavy.
Miss matched shingle colors.
Roof wavy.
Go in the basement, crawl space it should be dry.
Lack of proper roof venting.
Old steel drain lines.
No grounds on the outlets.
Fuses, not breakers.
Post some pictures around the outside of the house and I'd bet we can see some issues.
Not all Realtors are bad like that..some actually are more interested in protecting their client and not just ruining their own reputations...yikes..

Just the same when comes time for a home inspection I never recommend an actual Home Inspector for a Home Inspection. Mostly because as stated I believe that most do not have the proper experience.

(Just so you know Joe,,it can go the other way too..an over zealous HI can kill a deal on a perfectly good home)


OP: You do not necessarily have to use any of them. You want an inspection, but nothing is stopping you from hiring a good contractor to give the home a once over. You may not get a written report on a pre defined checklist, but you will probably save money and get a better idea of the "bones'
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:44 AM   #9
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


The reason I came down hard on using a realtor suggested inspector is based on all the experience I had to deal with in this area.
Time and time again when I've worked on homes that have just been bought there was flaws in plan sight that were never even mentioned on the inspection report the people had paid for.
EG: 60 amp. service with fuses, foundation looked like it had been built by filling a concrete truck with brick and block and just dumped it in a pile.
4" hole in the vinyl siding where a dryer used to be.
Roof sagging where there was one of those cheap plastic sky lights was.
Missing caps.
75' long sewer lines with the middle higher then the end.
Laundry tub right in front of the electrical panel.
Insect eaten beams.
And that's just on one house.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:11 AM   #10
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


See Joe..thats why I'd recommend to my clients to use a contractor instead.

Typically, Realtors are in the business of selling the home and not building them so they may not necessarily be trying to intentionally fool a buyer,,,just may not see the defects and are relying on a certified inspector to find them.

If I have a relationship with a Buyer they will buy a house from me. I don't care whether it's house A or house B. If the inspection finds major flaws we move on to the next home. I'm more interested in keeping the Buyer happy...that's how a referral network is built

Even my own Home Inspector for my purchase disappointed me...one of the reasons that brought me to this site..
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:22 AM   #11
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


Definitely find one that's not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty! I like the guys who actually crawl through the attic, get up on the roof, etc. to do a REAL inspection. Anyone who takes less than a couple hours to inspect is worthless IMO. Even the best of them miss some things, but, the guy who rolls up his sleeves and knows his stuff, won't miss much.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:38 AM   #12
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Shows up with wing tip shoes, no ladder, just a clipboard, no flash light, no GFI tester, no crawl suit. Sorry you have to go.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:24 AM   #13
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Hiring a Home Inspector - what's MOST important?


I like that you started this saying that your town ONLY has 100k people so thus no inspectors. 100k people is a bustling metropolis in my area....

Agreed with a few above. Get personal recommendations from people you know. Make sure he (or she) will get their hands dirty. AND BE THERE. My inspector was great, and his report was thorough, but being here w hen he inspected the place was far more beneficial to anything else.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:35 AM   #14
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My whole county only has about 10,000 and we have to have permits.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:42 AM   #15
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I would look for the guy with the most extensive experience in the trades who was recommended to me by friends and has no obligations or relationships with my realtor. Alot of these guys market themselves directly to home buyers and consciously try to avoid building relationships with realtors due to conflict of interest issues. That is an on-going problem in the industry. The best ones want to be looking out for one person and one person only in the transaction, the buyer. If you let your realtor refer you there is always a chance you will end up with their buddy who wants to help them push the sale through and make their commission.

On the home we bought we got an inspector referred to us by a friend. This was a notoriously thorough guy with a background in construction and maintenance who was known for taking his time and knowing his job. What sold us was that on her transaction, he found termites that the termite guy didn't find. On ours he found electrical issues that the township code inspector missed. Then he found a cracked furnace heat exchanger that was missed by the home inspector used by the buyer before us that backed out. We negotiated part of the replacement cost of the HVAC system into the price as a result of that and he saved us 2500 dollars along with helping us avoid a possible carbon monoxide poisoning situation down the line. All because he took an extra 5 minutes to take off the service panel and stick a mirror into the ports and see what was going on in there. This was stuff that should have been plain as day to prior inspectors, but had been signed off on by other supposed professionals.

In my opinion someone who came from some other white collar profession into home inspections with just a training course will find the things that the textbook says are a problem. But someone with extensive experience building and working on homes will know how to spot things that aren't in the text book or in the training manual.


Last edited by eharri3; 01-10-2014 at 11:06 AM.
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