Here’s a short list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) that I get asked often.
Who selects the home inspector?
Answer: You do (the home buyer). If someone else (Agent or Builder) tells you that they must select the home inspector, they’re being less than honest. It’s your choice!
Do I have to be at the inspection?
Answer: I always advise my Clients to be at the Inspection. But I understand that schedule do not always sync. So the short answer is “NO” you don’t have to be at the inspection, but I’d sure like to see you there. More and more of my Clients are choosing to show up near the end, which is always better than not showing up at all. (I know waiting hours for an inspection can be boring!)
But if you can’t make it, I understand. You can have your Agent show up in your place if you’d like.
JUST REMEMBER, SOMEONE HAS TO BE THERE TO LET ME IN OR MAKE PRIOR ARRANGEMENTS! If you can’t make it, then either your Agent or the Sellers agent needs to be present to let me in or make other arrangements (like stopping by the RE Office and picking up the keys if they’re local)
Do all the Utilities need to be turned on of the home is vacant? Do you turn on Utilities such as gas, water or electric?
Answer: YES, ALL UTILITIES NEED TO BE TURNED BEFORE I GET THERE! And NO, I do not turn on utilities!!! For some reason, a lot of people think I will be the one turning on Utilities. This isn’t true. It’s the Agents and/or Sellers responsibilities to make sure all Utilities are turned on and that the home is ready to inspect!
If a Utility such as the water is not turned on when I get there, I can not check the system! When we arrive and a Utility is not turned on, we inspect what we can and issue the report. A re-inspect fee to go back out to the home after the initial inspection is $150.
The Seller is providing a Home Warranty. Doesn’t this mean I don’t need an Inspection?
Answer: NO IT DOESN’T! I keep hearing some Agents tell people they don’t need a home inspection because the Seller is providing a Home Warranty. Many home warranties do not cover a wide range of components in a home. Other Warranties severely limit what is covered and what is not (you’ll find some policies don’t cover much at all!) Nearly all the ones I’m familiar with do not cover pre-existing conditions!
I was told that all Home Inspectors reports are the same, so it doesn’t matter which one I choose.
Answer: This isn’t true at all. We’re known for our in-depth inspection reports. Our reports are easy to read and understand. We spend a great deal of time on them to make them the best in the area! We use Plain English when writing an inspection report and do not try and dazzle you by using ten dollar words or construction jargon! The report has little value to you if you don’t understand it!
My Agent gave me a list of “Preferred Vendors.” She/he said I’m required to choose an inspector from this list. Is this correct?
Answer: No. That is not correct! You’re free to choose your own Inspector, anyone you choose. In many instances, companies on a “Preferred Vendor List” get there by buying their way onto it. I guess if they’re willing to pay to be on a list, that’s why they’re “preferred” over other companies!
Wise consumers do their own research and find a vendor, including Home Inspectors, themselves.
How long does an inspection take?
Answer: It depends! There are a lot of variable that play into how long an inspection takes. Age, condition of the home, people present, empty vs lived in, etc. I’ve had 1000 sf homes take 4 hours and I’ve inspected 5000 sf homes that were in great condition in 3 hours. On average, a 2000 sf home in average condition will take 2.5 to 3 hours.
When will I get my report?
Answer: Reports are emailed out within 24 hours of the end of inspection.
We’re known as having the most thorough inspection reports in the area. We offer a computer generated report with Photo’s and narrative descriptions. We go into detail on the defects to let you know what the defect is, why it’s a problem and in some instances, what consequences you could face if not repaired properly.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Answer: We accept PayPal, Cash (at the inspection), Personal Check (as long as it’s written on a local bank) or a USPS Money Order for exact amount. Credit and Debit card holders can pay through PayPal. You do not have to be a member to pay through PayPal.
IMPORTANT: No Inspection Report are not released until paid for. No exceptions. If you do not think you can be at the Inspection, most people prepay for their inspection so it can be sent as soon as the report is ready.
Do I (or the Sellers) have to make all the repairs noted on the report?
Answer: No. Usually the terms of the sales contract will dictate who makes the repairs. Typically repairs are accepted “as-is” or they’re negotiated between the Buyers and Sellers. Our Inspection report is just an informational tool for your benefit!
Do newly constructed homes really need inspected by an independent Inspector? My Builder (or Agent) said that the City and/or County had already inspected it and there was no need for me to hire my own inspector.
Answer: I been involved in literally thousands of transactions over the last 15 years as a home inspector. Many of those homes were inspected by a City or County code official and/or were also inspected by an Inspection Company that the Builder hired. Every single one of them had issues that these other inspectors missed.
Look at it this way. A City or Code inspector has a job to do. He/she is in and out in as short amount as time as they can so they can hurry up and get back before close of the day. They don’t have time to spend hours at an inspection site.
As for the Builders “Inspection Company”, it has been my experience these “Quality Control” inspections were more for marketing that actually finding defects and construction flaws.
When you hire me, I’m at the Inspection as long as it takes! I’m working for you. Not the City, County, Builder or Agent!
I’m buying a home in an upscale community, surely these homes are better built than homes in “lesser” subdivision?(their words, not mine)
Answer: Many people are surprised to find that the same sub-contractors that work in subdivisions with homes costing in the 100’s are the same ones working on homes in upscale subdivisions where homes can into the millions!
The only difference is, when a defect is found in an upscale home, the repairs can run into the thousands of dollars due to the higher end materials that are sometimes used.
Perfect example. I was inspecting this 1.2 million dollar home. I noticed when I walked into the home, a few of the marble tiles seemed “loose” or I heard a gritty sound.
As soon as I started my inspection, one of the first things I did was to test the tiles. Sure enough, many were loose and others had very little thin-set behind them! This tile floor covered almost half the downstairs and would cost easily into the five figures to replace!
The Builder threw one heckuva fit but eventually had the floor replaced! Needless to say, I wasn’t on their Christmas card list that year. 🙂
The point is, this Builder made it a huge point to potential buyers that he had his own “Quality Control Inspection Company” come in and “go over the place with a fine tooth comb”. Well, that comb must have been missing some teeth because I found other defects that day including some serious safety hazards.
I’m going to lease a commercial building in Tulsa. Surely I don’t need a commercial inspection?
Answer: The truth is, a lot of people leasing Commercial properties in Tulsa and the surrounding areas do so under a triple net lease agreement. This means you will be responsible for any maintenance, damage, repairs and upkeep.
And I Get The Usually Curiosity Questions
What is the largest home you’ve ever inspected?
Answer: Although this is a popular question, I don’t really keep up with figures like that. Off the top of my head, I’ve inspected a few homes over 10,000 sf. I did bid on a 22,000 sf home once. At one time it was the largest home built in Houston. My Client backed out and I believe ended up buying another property.
What’s the longest inspection you’ve ever done?
Answer: If memory serves me right, it was right at 11 hours. Give or take an hour. Home was built in the 1910’s and somewhere around 4000 sf. It had been added onto a few times over the ages and looked like several contractors of varying degrees of “experience” had worked on it. I still have nightmares about that home! 😉