Can We Trust Our Home Inspectors?Hey fellow debt fighters and wealth growers. I hope you are all well this fine day!  I don’t typically post on days like this, but I needed to get something off my chest. It’s been bottling up inside of me for a few months now. Since this is my blog, I figured I would share it and maybe it will help others along the way!  As many of you know, my wife and I bought a new house in 2014. It’s new to us, but the house was built in 1987. We love the area and couldn’t have asked for a better outside space.  It’s near our family, so that makes it much easier when you have a toddler. Fellow parents know what I’m talking about!

I’d like to think we did all of the right things when buying our house. We compared rates with mortgage brokers, found a real estate agent, got a home inspection, which included radon testing and septic tank inspection. I kept in contact with everyone during the entire process to make sure things moved along. It was a crazy time, but one that did get wrapped up, obviously!  Though I don’t feel I got my money’s worth when it comes to our real estate agent, I did feel everything else was going OK. Well, those feelings have slowly gone away. Welcome to our money pit!

Watching the Inspector

As we did with our first house, we decided to hire a home inspector to run through the house with a fine-tooth comb. I wanted to know what was wrong with what and how it could be fixed. It’s an opportunity to find out if the house is in dire need of repair or if all is well. Most agents will put a walk-out clause if the home inspection fails and the sellers wont’ rectify. It’s good to make sure you have one of those.

I spent most of the day with our inspector as he walked through the house. I not only spent time with him, but I walked through myself. Though I’m not an inspector, or home builder, I do have common sense. I can see when some things are wrong.  During the time with the inspector, he pointed out some issues, but most were minor. I’m talking about issues which would take me about 5 minutes to fix. Since I’m handy, I don’t nitpick home sellers to make those repairs. I will do it and move on.

Watching the inspector allowed me to get a little insight into what they look for. Our inspector came highly rated with many great reviews on a few sites like Angie’s List and just Google itself.  Real reviews make me feel a little better.  I wasn’t watching the inspector to see what he was missing, more of what he was catching and how he caught it. I like learning new things each and every day. I sit and watch trades when they come to my house to fix something. You can’t get better at something without a starting point.

Time Moves On and Issues Are Apparent

I had to head back to work, so I didn’t spend the entire day with the inspector. He was going to do a lot more looking and the boss was calling. Though I wanted to be there, I have to pay the bills people!  The inspector’s report was pretty clean. Some minor things here and there, but all in all, it was OK. This made me happy.  Unfortunately, those happy feelings have since gone away!

It seems like every day I find something new at this house. I don’t think the house was poorly constructed, I think the original owners or the previous ones before us where just horrible at DIY. They did it themselves, but cut every corner possible to get the job done quickly. I don’t consider the job done until it’s actually done right.  Cutting corners pisses me off to no end. The reason being is someone else (me in this case) has to go back and fix it.  I’ve encountered plumbing problems, flooring issues, inspect infestations, broken appliances, HVAC issues, and insulation headaches. At this point, my wallet and body hurt from all of the time I’ve spent fixing something.  Five minute jobs have turned into two hour jobs.  I have better things to do with my time!

Should We Inspect Our Home Inspectors?

It’s become utterly apparent that some home inspectors are just not good at what they do. Many of the things I found to be an issue were out in the open or behind a door. Yes, I know home inspectors typically won’t move objects to look, but I think that’s ridiculous. Why would you not move a box to see what’s behind it?  There was some musty water smell in our basement. You could see they did some waterproofing, but they didn’t do the entire basement. Why not?  Instead of moving two boxes and looking behind them, we found out there was water seepage coming through one of our walls. Now, it’s not a major leak, but that will cost us a couple thousand to repair. Yay!  All because two boxes where in the way.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I will need to inspect my home inspectors from now one. I have found insulation issues that are in plain view, only if you go up into the attic. You can’t just stick your head up there. Not sure how our inspector missed those.  I’ve also encountered a new issue with our HVAC. Plain as day and in the open, there are holes in the duct work. You can feel air pouring out of the holes. Why was that not in the report?  I’ve also found air returns not actually connected to anything. The returns are there and the duct work is made to look like it’s connected, but it’s not. I found one the other day, right next to the HVAC system and the duct looked suspicious. Come to find out, they just laid it on top of the system and it’s connected to nothing.  It should have been caught by the inspector.

The moral of this story boys and girls is that you should never take the word of your home inspector to the signing table. Do yourself a favor and double check what’s really going on.  Hell, it would have been more cost effective for me to hire another inspector and get two reports. As I stated, I’m no home inspector, or builder, but I do have a common sense. It’s apparent you don’t need much training to do what an inspector does. While I’m sure there are good inspectors out there, my two houses have shown me that I need to be the ultimate inspector in the home buying process.  From now on, I will be inspecting any home inspectors work just to see if I find anything out of the ordinary.  Buying a home is not cheap, so take the extra steps to protect yourself!

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