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The Professional's Professional
Following are a few reasons many realtors and real estate professionals use our company for family members purchasing their first home.

Many individuals that are calling themselves a Home Inspector use only a flash light and a clip board to inspect. They will not invest in some of the most basic tools because they are expensive or enter the crawl space because it is muddy, or even walk the roof because they are scared of heights.

Tools of the Professional Inspector:
  • Moisture Meter - Because it is the most common defect in a home less than 10 years old, your home inspector should be checking the base of the patio doors for moisture. How can you possibly determine if moisture is beneath the vinyl in the kitchen or if a leak is active without one of these?

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector - About twice a month we document a home or furnace with high levels of Carbon Monoxide, the majority of home inspectors choose not to invest in this $550 tool.

  • Natural gas detector - About once a week we will find a home that has a gas leak and confirm it with snoop. The majority of home inspectors do not own this $500 tool.

  • Volt/Amp meter - helps in diagnosing Electrical and Basic HVAC and Heat Pump problems.

  • Arc fault tester - these devices cost about $200, most inspectors do carry a GFCI tester but not an ARC fault tester. I usually find about 1 in 3 Arc fault testers trip with the test button but not with the tester.

  • Home Made GFCI tester - The only way to test an ungrounded GFCI outlet properly is by going to Radio Shack and building your own tester.

  • Tic Tracer - Determines if a wire is hot or not, this tool has probably saved my life a hundred times (it could have been your child touching the wire)

  • Garbage Disposal Wrench - 30 second fix, the last thing that you want on the report are problems that are not really problems.

  • Non-Contact thermometer - There are so many uses for this tool from Air Conditioning, to Electrical, Fire Hazards I almost forget how I used to inspect without one.

  • Heavy Duty Termite Probe - Even if they are not inspecting for termites, 80% of the time a qualified home inspector can easily locate termite damage to a joist by sounding and probing with the proper tool.

  • Ladders - Typically we carry 4 different styles and sizes of ladders most inspectors carry only one.

  • Misc. Hand tools and cordless screw guns.
The tools listed above can be purchased for less than $5,000 but some home inspectors do not find it to be a necessary expense. I ask you, if these inspectors do not want to walk the roof or are trying to save a couple dollars on tools, are they really going to do a good job on what ever it is that they do inspect? Do you want to an unequipped home inspector checking out the biggest investment of your life?

We also have invested in a LPA -1 ($14,000) lead paint analyzer and we rarely use it, but it can literally be a life saver sometimes.

 
THINK ABOUT IT

The Home Inspection Report - Do you really want to receive a hand written report with a bunch of check marks? Many hand written reports that I have reviewed have less than 100 words describing the entire house - (Roof, Gutter, Siding, Downspouts, Grading, Foundation, Electrical, Plumbing, Attic, Windows, Doors, Fireplace, Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation). IF THE INSPECTOR IS TOO LAZY TO PROPERLY DOCUMENT THE INSPECTION I WONDER WHAT KIND OF AN INSPECTION WAS ACTUALLY PERFORMED?

Computer - We choose to use a very small computer that we carry in our back pocket at all times, up on the roof and in the crawl space. We can walk. talk, and enter data at the same time. Some inspectors leave the computer on the dining room table. The easier it is to document what you see the better the quality of the inspection and the less likely it is that the inspector will forget to document something after his 20th trip to the computer. Immediately following the inspection it takes about 5 minutes to print out the inspection and review it with you. You will have the inspection in your hand when you leave. Some companies will send it to you at the end of the day or 2 days later. Personally I think that the best time for you to review the report is at the end of the inspection so that you can tell the realtor what your major concerns are, and if there is anything in question you can look at it again without having to reschedule another inspection time.

Wood Destroying Insect Inspection - I recently spoke to a “New Home Inspector” and he stated that he was also performing WDI inspections (inspecting for termites) for an added fee. He said that he is not licensed by the State as a category 7B wood destroying pesticide applicator or insured, but that he could pick up a couple extra dollars inspecting for termites and would learn as he goes along!

ASHI Certified Inspector - As far as we are aware ASHI is the most difficult certification to obtain and maintain. They require at least 250 fee paid inspections, about 8 hours of testing and having your reports reviewed before becoming certified along with continuing education requirements. Beware, there are organizations that will certify you if pretend to inspect a couple homes in your mind, write a few reports and submit them, WHAT?

Bottom line is that we Budget about the first 100 inspections of the year ($25,000 to $30,000) to provide the proper tools, schooling, supplies, fees and necessary equipment to perform the job properly and this is the cost of doing business, if an inspector cuts costs they can inspect for less, is that what you are looking for? How much are you spending on your home?

Average number of defects - Typically most New homes on their first day contain about 30 defects. This number decreases after the first year to about 15 where it tends to remain constant for about the first 10 to 15 years. After that we typically find about 1 defect for every year that that house is old. Typically a 40 year old house has 40 defects. How can you summarize 40 defects in 50 words? Example; one of the most common defects that I find on about half of the homes that are between 1 and 20 years old…. The J-Channel along the bottom of the siding is causing a leak above the garage because the end terminates behind the O/S corner post; recommend sealing the end and creating weep holes or opening the end to properly discharge the water. (35-40 words used in this one defect).

Free Home Owners Manual - We will provide you with a Home Owners manual with over 380 pages of information with hundreds of pictures. The majority of the items listed in the report are referenced to the section in the book that describes that item in detail. This Manual costs our company about $50, but it is yours for free.

Walking the roof - Some home inspectors think that they can check a roof from the ground with binoculars. After 6,000 inspections I will tell you that you can not. For example, fairly common defects for asphalt/fiberglass shingles are vertical splits. In August I documented a home with a total of 80 split shingles distributed randomly throughout the roof. This defect was NOT visible from the ground using binoculars. We walk about 90 per cent of the roofs; we will not however walk a roof that is too steep or slippery, sorry I only have one life and many more people to help.

Letting the water run for at least an hour from all fixtures - I can give you 500 examples of problems that have been discovered by doing this from leaks in the shower pan, to wells running dry to clogged sewer mains that took over $10,000 to repair.

Crawl Space - You have to have a mud suit, boots and gloves to get into the nasty ones, I personally followed one inspector that did not enter the crawl space in a development off of Kirkwood Highway and there was over $5,000 of repairs that were missed, needless to say he is no longer in business.

We choose not list all my tricks of the trade because we do not want to disclose to the competition how we inspect homes, let the uniformed buyers fight with them and force them out of business.

Simply put, we will do the best that we can for you but the x-ray glasses I bought out of the comic book do not work, we will not find every defect that exists or ever could exist, or predict what will happen when the next Nor‘easter comes through or when the water heater will leak, nor can we guarantee a home that we did not build. You can not satisfy everyone but after 12 years and thousands of homes, 99 out of 100 buyers walk away from the inspections very satisfied and willing to recommend us to friends and family. The majority of our business is referrals, after 12 years we must be doing something right.

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