Home Inspections, just how picky are the inspectors?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by canfossi, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. canfossi

    canfossi Well-Known Member

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    Good news! The buyers accepted the price so we agree on that and papers have been signed. They want a home inspection Tues or Wed. Everything is pretty sound in my house, there are a couple of small things, a bit of rotting wood near the eavetrough, but just on the corner. Also, a bit of rotten wood on the side of the deck and a there are no ground fault receptacles in the kitchen, other than that things are up to shape. Are the home inspectors really picky on little things like this? Do they just give a report to the buyers of what is good and what is bad with the house? Would it stop the sale from going through? I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks again, Chris
     
  2. RockyRooster

    RockyRooster Well-Known Member

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    Ground fault receptacles are a building code. For bathroom and kitchen. But not a big deal. You just go to Lowes, or Home depot and get them, put them in and your good to go.
     

  3. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Home Inspectors are a wide open field. Don't believe there is any regulation of them. Around here almost anybody can be a home inspector. Whether he knows anything or not. There suppose to make a list and just turn it over. But it can depend oh whose hiring him. The one that did mine, since I couldn't be there was a piece of crap. hopefully you;ll do better Good Luck
     
  4. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

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    Usually the buyer writes a contingency into the contract so that the house must pass inspection or else they can back out of the contract free and clear.

    That said, it's fairly common for houses not to pass inspection (for example, the GF receptacles). In that case, there is usually a negotiation between the buyer and seller to come to a resolution. Remember, the buyer wants to buy the house! Anyway, you can fix the problem, reduce the price of the house to cover repair costs undertaken by the new owners, etc.

    It can cost several hundred dollars for a home inspection and the inspector should give the buyer a complete written report along with photos.

    My recommendation to you is to not be home when he comes. That will be less questions you have to answer.

    /VM
     
  5. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    Depends upon the inspector. Remember..these are private citizens..and you just never know how professional they may or may not be.

    I've used home inspectors in the past. Some are more thorough than others. Many (most?) get their training via corrospondence courses. The most impressive attribute of some of them is their final product..a neatly organized summation of their inspection.

    Don't worry about the things you've mentioned. Those are minor. In fact..maybe you'd save yourself a bit of grief if you told the prospective buyers what you've told us. Don't hide anything from them..and you have nothing to worry about.
     
  6. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    Around here most folks seem to worry more about stuff like foundations (frost heaving, cracking) and roofs are important with the snow and ice etc. I would think that as long as all that is fairly sound you should do okay!

    Congratulations by the way! :)
     
  7. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, In this area a lot of home inspectors get their work from the real estate agents that are trying to complete the deal. This generally is exceptionally beneficial to the seller, but it is worse than worthless for the buyer. Some of these inspectors are very hesitant to bite the hand that feed them and will overlook very serious issues. I did some emegency repairs to an older home that the neighbor's kid bought. The place is an absolute disaster. The electrical and plumbing systems are functionally inadequate, the roof leaks, the oil burner chimney is pulling away from the house and in danger of falling on pedestrians and the neighbors home. The "home inspector" that the agent recommended said everything was fine. The agent and inspector should both be shot for this. The kid can't afford to rebuild the place and the house isn't really habitable, but they are living in this dump with their two children. If you are buying a home, I would strongly advise finding an inspector who has not sold their soul to a realtor.
     
  8. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, a house does not pass or fail a home inspection. The inspector makes a list of the findings and then the buyer can make a decision based on that. Inspectors are usually licensed and some states have pretty stiff requirements, however I've found they do a really poor job overall.

    The last house I had inspected, they missed some rather obvious defects such as major termite damage, a large, uncovered cistern in the crawl space, a leaky roof, etc.

    The things you mentioned might be listed in the inspection report, if the guy bothers to find them. It is then up to the buyer to determine if they want to go through with the sale.

    Jena
     
  9. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    I hired a home inspector and he had a pre-printed industry standard checklist. Since I was with him during the inspection, he was very thorough, except home inspectors do not take apart anything for termite or carpenter ant inspections, but will note any obvious insect damage and suggest further inspection. He had meticulous notes on the things that were substandard and needed to be fixed to prevent further damage. He also noted things that were exceptionally better than code. It was up to me to pass/fail the house based on his report and opinion.
     
  10. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    Aren't the home inspectors liable for blatant ommissions..things they say are fine..but even a novice could determine they aren't fine? I think there should be some liability somewhere..not for innocent omissions..but for obvious (blatant) omissions. After all..they are hired to perform a service..and surely..they should be expected to be ethical.
     
  11. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    In my experience, as Jena said above, houses don't "pass" or "fail." The inspector writes up a list of faults - and yes, they can be VERY picky - and makes recommendations. Then the buyer writes up a list of demands for the seller to address as a contingency for the sale. This may be negotiable.

    What you really have to worry about is the appraisal by the buyer's mortgage company. This is similar to an inspection, except that neither the buyer nor seller have any control over the results. If the appraiser says you MUST fix something, you MUST or else the buyer's loan won't go through. Appraisers aren't generally interested in nitpicky things like GFI outlets; they care about foundations, roofs, windows, major structural issues.

    We're currently selling our 2nd house - so yeah, we've been through this 3x as buyers and twice as sellers. Yuck. Currently we're right where you are - have a buyer and are waiting for the rest of the process. Our buyers waived the home inspection, so we thought we were home free. But the appraiser doesn't like our foundation. So cross your fingers for me and I'll do the same for you!
     
  12. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    The home inspector has paid into a fund to cover situations like you describe, Have the owner contact the state licensing board and file a complaint against the real estate inspector. If things are as you say they are the items misrepresented will be paid for by the state, and the inspector will lose his license until he pays the state fund back.
     
  13. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    As a buyer, never hire the home inspector recommended to you by the realtor. I found mine in the Costco parking lot and set up our appointment on the hood of his pick-up.
     
  14. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, we tend to expand the rights some of us enjoy in the individual states to other juristictions. Pa. has a very strong residential construction lobby and has managed to control one of the most corrupt state houses in the nation. Since competent, liceinsed inspectors do not benefit realtors or builders they are not necessarily a given in these parts. We were one of the last states to adopt the national building code. I know many, including myself, would rather avoid codes, but this is a case of homeowners buying new homes in developments where every home has dozens of code violations and the builders lobby sucessfully blocking any reasonable oversight for decades. As for the inspectors liability, they have a contract so full of weasel clauses that it is probably proudly displayed in the lawyer's hall of fame. The bottom line is that they are not on the hook for concealed defects, so there would be a very shaky lawsuit required to even hope to recover. You would have to prove that the condition existed and was clearly visible at the time of the inspection. Don't misunderstand me, I have been involved with many inspections that were exceptionally well done. I have been a professional homebuilder, and have even had private inspectors who reviewed some of my new stuff for the buyer. There are a lot of good ones out there. There are some real whores though. As a buyer in this state, I wouldn't even think of taking a recommendation from a realtor involved in the sale.
     
  15. terri46355

    terri46355 Well-Known Member

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    I strongly agree. We purchased a 10 year old home in Missouri. Because we were out of state and had to go back to work, we didn't have time to inspect it ourselves. We paid for a home inspection and termite inspection.

    Guess what? When my husband went in the crawlspace a few months later to look at the plumbing he found termite tunnels up the foundation! :mad:

    How could 2 different inspectors miss that?