A house inspection is a process of discovery and discussion.
Your Home Inspection: A 2 Day Process
I generally arrive at 8:30 AM to take digital and thermal photos of the exterior. I use this time prior to your 9:30 AM * arrival to analyze the house exterior, the roof and surrounding property. When you arrive we will thoroughly review the exterior together. By approximately 11:00 AM we will have finished the exterior and will advance to the interior, starting at the bottom (basement/ground floor) and working up through the house and into the attic. We will likely be there until at least 3:00 or even 5:00 PM, depending on the size and age of the house.
I then take all our discovered information back to my office to compose a custom written inspection report. Writing is a full day process. Review and discussion of the report will take place at approximately 6:30 PM on Day 2 at a convenient location.
* Full client participation in the inspection is highly encouraged. It is painless and informative, and provides an essential eye-opening education about your proposed purchase. The time just flies by
What do I look for during the inspection?
I look for any and everything. I do not carry a checklist. By scrutinizing every nook and cranny I am always open to discovering new and novel deficiencies. I am not preoccupied with filling in a report and processing photos as I go.
When inspectors follow a computer checklist or computer-generated report format, their focus is to go from item to item. They can easily overlook deficiencies not on their list; their focus is to look for and take photos of deficiencies that fit their prewritten script. (From what I’ve seen most inspectors have adopted computer-generated reporting systems and cannot afford to go off at a tangent, as that would require custom written input, increasing their inspection time on site.)
I say, what’s the rush?
A slower-paced inspection can detect more subtle clues which can lead to the discovery of latent deficiencies, which can have substantial consequences, and/or issues that have been covered up by staging or DIY renovations. Since I don’t have another inspection to rush off to, I can take the time needed to make these subtle discoveries and discuss cause-and-effect and your options.
Most home inspectors do not allow themselves to get caught up in an analytical process. Their inspection reports are simplistic: observe the items on their checklist, take a photo, insert it into the mostly prewritten report (using an inspection report app), and on to the next item. This is about all they are capable of in a tightly scheduled inspection. (Generally 3 – 5 hours to inspect and generate a report.) Their discoveries are without analysis, connective context or remedial direction. The home buyer will likely be inadequately informed about the state of the house and property. This suits the purpose of the seller and the real estate agents but not the home buyer making this huge investment. This type of inspection and reporting may look good and be efficient but it leaves the buyer with a potentially costly incomplete knowledge of their purchase.
Contact Ted About Your House Inspection
1- Home inspectors have always been dependent on real estate agents for 70 to 90% of their work
2- Home inspectors must cultivate working relationships with real estate agents or their business will fail within the 1st year
3- Real estate agents have dictated that they want cheap, fast inspections by inspectors who are somewhat blind.
4- Home inspectors recognizing the needs of salespeople have happily capitulated to the real estate industries preferences.
5- referral websites such as HomeStars and Yelp are fast taking the place of real estate agent referrals. Same inspectors, different marketing. Recognizing that when people don’t know what a home inspection can do for them they will gravitate to the lowest or near lowest fee. An average or slightly lower fee is a ticket to an inspectors success. “After all; all home inspectors are government licensed and should all be equal, right ?”
6- keep in mind; the home inspection industry did not independently decide how long a professional inspection should take or how much it should cost. The real estate industry has dictated these parameters simply by their inspector referral practices. Home inspectors have gladly traded their professional independence for a steady source of work. Who can afford not to. Consequently Homebuyers have been compromised by varying degrees ever since but so have home inspectors.
Note: A few professionally excellent inspectors I’ve had the privilege of knowing over the yrs were in agreement that they could not provide a thorough inspection turnaround in less than a day, their preference was for a 2 day turnaround. Unable to compete with the $500 inspectors they’ve gone on to other related professions. I consider this an immeasurable loss to a potentially noble profession.