Friday, January 12, 2007

The things I see and feel

Who am I? Well I'm a 50 something guy on his last career trying to help people in an industry were the better you are, the less you are recommended by the professionals that sell homes. I'll let you figure out why better is less, this way my therapist wife won't get upset with me?

The best advice I can give anyone about buying a house is don't fall in love so much that the faults of the home are overlooked or taken to lightly. Just like in life you have to pay if you are in love.

It is hard emotionally being a home inspector (that is if you care) you bust some dreams on both sides of the transaction. I think it hurts me more when I tell sellers about the problems in their house that they never knew about.

Well how does that happen? First they hire contractor whose only goal is to the job for the least amount of money so they can make the most amount of money. Secondly the home was never inspected before they bought it or the inspector that did the inspection was looking more at his watch then the house.

The one truly amazing thing that I find is when the deal goes south (fails) the next time I get a call from the buyer to do an inspection the house is better. And when I get that third or fourth (I think six is my record) that house is pretty good. We all should learn from our mistakes and continue. Not getting that one house maybe the best thing to happen.

In most inspections I always get comments about grand fathering, if it lasted this long and it is functional. It's all pure doggy poops. I'm concerned with your well being and just because it meets the criteria above don’t mean it’s safe or advisable. I wish I could tell you why things happen the way they do I just know that if you drive a car with four bald tires at some point in time one or more is going to pop. Maybe other people want to gamble with your investment, I don't.

Many houses in our part of the world have what is commonly called unpermited additions. The reason why is the lack of code enforcement and it be cheaper to build. (Because it doesn't have to meet code.) Do a permit search on every home prior to purchase and if the permit is not in the records it is unpermited and you may be liable to make it permitable or tear it down.

One of the biggest con jobs going around my profession is certification of the home inspector. How does an inspector become certified he writes a check and he becomes certified? I took some courses given by one of the largest trainer of home inspectors. At the end of two days they handed out certifications that I took the courses, no checking as to whom I am or did I attend the courses no checking what so ever; I wrote a check and I was certified.

Mold!!! Mold lives because it has a source of water. A leak in the roof a plumbing leak or a dryer venting into the house can cause mold. Fix the roof leak, fix that plumbing leak and vent that dryer to the outside and the mold doesn't grow. PLEASE don't get caught in a mold scam hire an industrial hygienist.

Question things you don't understand and question things that you want more information about. Point out things that you see at in inspection. I had a client that told me he saw a problem with the roof and didn't tell me because I should have found it. He told me six months after the inspection because he had a problem with roof. Hmm!

You should do a walk through prior to closing on you house, don't take this lightly. Sellers will swap out appliances, sellers will have area rugs covering broken tiles , sellers will have pieces of furniture covering holes in the wall, check the AC units as sellers may have juiced up unit to fool the inspector and more. (Not all seller, not most sellers, just some dishonest sellers.) It's not a bad idea to take pictures at the home inspection and pictures at the closing. And please don't be forced into closing if you find something wrong.

Mine and most home inspector's favorite topic Realtors. Yesterday while doing a home inspection, a Realtor asked "how long am I going to be about one hour." My reply was "It normally takes at least two hours." Now how many times do you think the Realtor ask the question "how much longer?" Too many.

One of the electrical panels was in the kitchen and for some reason in south Florida they like to paint the panel and the wall at the same time. The paint them becomes glue for the panel to the wall. I asked the Realtor if it was ok to remove the panel cover. She said "sure by why do that?" "Because in order to see if the panel is wired properly I have to take off the cover." I replied. She then said "that's weird I never had an inspector take the cover off, well go ahead and do it."

The Realtor left for about an hour and my client arrived. My client and the Realtor did not get along very well. After a number of "how long" I said 15 to 20 minutes and I still needed to go in the garage to check some things. She said she would lock up and I can leave the door open and she’ll return later to lock up.

Well before she left she thanked me for doing the inspection quickly. It took me 2 and 1/2 hours, maybe she was being sarcastic.

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