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DID YOU KNOW?

 

  1. Be wary of clauses in the offer to purchase which state that “the choice of building inspector is to be mutually agreed upon between buyer and seller”.  Why should a seller have the right of veto over who is chosen to inspect the home? Most often it is because they do not want someone who is too thorough inspecting the home. You’ll be told, however, that such a clause is in place to prevent an inspector who is not competent from being given access to the home. Don’t believe it.  If you were buying a used car, wouldn’t you bring it to your own mechanic? Why then not your future home, an investment which could easily exceed 10 times the cost of a car? A thorough inspection protects the seller as well as the buyer, because it reduces the risk of a lawsuit at a later date. Even the most expensive inspections typically cost far less than the typical service visit to a garage, or less than the typical annual insurance cost for a home. Not that great a price to pay for peace of mind.

  2. Beware of home inspection companies with similar-sounding names.  Ask the respondent for Allan White, and you’ll be told “he’s not here at this moment; can I help you?” INSPECTO-PRO Inc. was incorporated in March of 1992, with this same name having been registered several years prior to that. We are in no way affiliated with Inspect-Pro, Inspecta-Pro, Inspection-Pro, or Pro-Inspect. Similar sounding names chosen by other companies or individuals providing home inspection services are done deliberately and with good reason: to dupe the customer, to capitalize on the recognition of a known “brand”, and to profit from miss-types when searching the internet.

  3. If you are buying a home, beware of cut rate prices and inexperienced inspectors. Most offers to purchase provide very little time within which to schedule and execute an inspection, and secondary or follow-up inspections are often refused by the seller (i.e. you only get “one kick at the can”).   Inspectors who offer cut rate prices can do so because they are working volume. This means reduced time on the inspection, and a quickly prepared report (often nothing more than a short checklist) providing very little information of use.  If you’re not pleased with the result, you don’t get to re-inspect with someone else.

  4. Be wary of any clauses in the offers to purchase which force you, the home buyer, to acknowledge the age and “wear and tear” within the home. If you are not a building systems expert, you could be caught with massive expenditures on issues related to the age of the home, but for which you had no prior knowledge. As an example, most buyers could probably see that the windows are in need of replacement, or that the roof looks ratty, but did you know that in certain parts of town, foundations are known to crumble in as little as 50 years? Did you check for lead piping in the home, or unsafe wiring, an outdated electrical panel, signs of groundwater infiltration, and so on? All of these issues can be considered “normal wear and tear” for a home relative to its age and location.  It is all in the eye of the beholder, but did you really know you could be faced with these expenses?

  5. Many inspectors provide a checklist-style report rather than a detailed narrative report. This allows them to quickly finish the job and move on to their next client. Some such checklists are provided with a home maintenance guide, but much of the contents of such publications are generic and will have absolutely no relevance for the home in question. Be very, very careful about checklist reports.  You may be happy that you will typically receive your written report on the spot, but it prevents the inspector from accomplishing any additional research or ruminating over what he or she has witnessed. Typically, these reports do not (and by their very nature cannot) go into enough detail to properly document or explain the implications of the myriad defects that can be found within a home. In fact, most will not really tell you anything more than that which you could have observed on your own, without the need of an expert.

  6. Beware of home inspection companies which do not actually perform the inspection themselves, but rather, subcontract the work to others.

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