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Old 01-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #16
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obviously, many home inspectors are not worth their weight in coal. however, you live and learn. first of all, ALWAYS be there when the inspector is there. act interested, walk around with the guy/gal. gain some knowledge. a good inspector will point things out and help you out as the potential homeowner. the report should be thorough with plenty of pictures, arrows, notes, etc. my inspector told me the items on the report that were noteworthy and that i should negotiate getting fixed by the seller. the rest were minor and not worth fighting over.

seriously, it ain't rocket science. the best thing is to educate yourself as a homeowner because an educated homeowner knows that there are tons and tons of "professionals" out there that don't know jack. and when you find someone good, do the right thing and RECOMMEND that person to friends and family. get the word out, help out the good guys. i find that most people love to bi*ch and complain about the bad guys, but they do nothing to help out the good guys.


Last edited by NitroNate; 01-23-2012 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:54 AM   #17
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gma2rjc, I totally agree with you. The point I was trying to make is that the inspector is usually a jack-of-all-trades and consequently master of none, and they essentially seem pointless when it would be much better to get an experienced specialist to check each aspect of a home.

Unfortunately this is not apparent to the majority of first-time home buyers (including myself)! I'm just thankful that my hard-learned lesson wasn't too hard-learned.

I did learn some stuff by shadowing the guy around the house though, so there was a silver lining to the whole FUBAR.

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Old 01-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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It's very hard to comment based on the OP's rather brief summary. We all know that contractors are good at spotting things that need to be done, even if they are things that an inspector would not flag because there is nothing actually "wrong."

I've bought five houses in my lifetime and a couple of the inspectors were pretty crummy and a couple were pretty good. I think what separates the good ones from the bad ones is that they point out issues that the homeowner should be aware of, even if they are not technically flaws or problems.

From my perspective, saying a roof has "five more years" is tantamount to saying "that's an old roof nearing the end of it's serviceable life and you're going to need to replace that very soon". There is no way to know exactly when a roof will fail, and if it fails in one spot that does not necessarily mean it's time for the whole thing to be replaced.

Many inspectors might not bother pointing out the lack of insulation. It's not like it's hidden from the buyer.

A prior leak should be pointed out, but if it's not a current leak then it's not a current problem. If you pointed out every sign of every prior problem in an old house the inspection report would be 500 pages long.

I'm not defending poor home inspections, just saying we don't have a lot to go on here. The very fact that the OP is asking if he can go to small claims court leads me to believe this is his first house and is not knowledgeable about houses, the inspection process, the contract he signed, and what his rights are.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Before we convict, torture and hang the inspector, back up. Exactly what did the inspector promise to do in their inspection? In Massachusetts where I live, there is a common AASHI form used by most inspectors as a contract that explains exactly what they will and will not do, and walking on the roof IS NOT one of them. In general, the AASHI contract specifies that the inspector will verify the presence of specific items, and will check them to see if they appear to operate correctly (for example, they will check that an outlet works). They will not do invasive investigations, they will offer no structural opinions, they do not perform radon testing under their base contract, they don't walk on the roof, etc. etc.

So I suggest you read the contract you signed, and see if this individual in fact did what they were contractually obligated to do. Simply because they missed something does not automatically mean they are liable, they may not have been contractually obligated to look for that particular defect, it might have been hidden, or it might not have been present at the time of inspection (i.e. if they did the inspection in the summer, there would not be frost in the attic).

So start by reading your agreement, if they missed something important that they were contractually obligated to examine for, you may have a case. As to what you can collect, well there may be limitations written into the contract.
According to this, in my eyes, this would make them about useless. My advice would be to hire a contractor with at least 10-12 years hands on experience, not the contractor who just rides around and his puppy dog tells him what is going on or is running the show. A contractor who has that much experience usually will know what is going on.


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