Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Advice for potential home buyers

Home inspections are a load of bunk.  Some may be given the impression that these people are knowledgeable professionals who perform a thorough structural inspection of the home and its major systems.  That is, after all, what real estate agents and inspectors lead you to believe.

Often, sadly, this is not the case.

You see, many of these individuals are no more skilled or knowledgeable than the average DIYer.  They may specialize in one specific area, but generally have little knowledge of most others.

They also have an incentive NOT to perform their job, as every home inspector stipulates in their contract that they are not liable for oversights.  In other words, all they have to do is provide a quick, cursory inspection that meets state minimum regulations.  If they do a crappy job and miss a laundry list of issues, who cares?  It's not their problem.

So how do they have any incentive to invest the time and effort that a full and proper inspection requires?

My "wonderful" inspector happened to miss the following (among many other issues):
*a whole roof full of completely unsealed flashing
*a large (4'x8') severely bowed area of roofing and rotted wood beams that is now leaking into my second story
*an electrical box that was nowhere near up to code
*a leaking basement

So, if any of you are in the market for a home, don't trust your home inspector.  The guy likely knows little more about construction than your handy neighbor.  Also, be aware that he will not be taking responsibility if the job isn't performed correctly.

Also, while I'm going on my cranky little rant here, I'd like address another very important, but completely unrelated, issue.  Please Facebook, I emplore you.  Stop changing your layout!  When I woke up all bleary-eyed at 5:30 this morning and went to check my messages, I was greeted with a screen full of confusing alert messages and a million different feed windows.  My reaction was this:


  1. i was looking at an episode of holmes on homes while reading your post...its sad to see our hard earned money being abused thanks to someone not doing their job right...and yes fb makes me pull my hair

  2. I've had two bad experiences with inspectors too...once as a seller and once as a buyer. When I sold my previous home, the inspector gave me about 20 pages of "problems," and the buyer wanted me to come down $20K on the price, saying he'd be responsible for the repairs. Instead, I opted to get estimates on the repairs myself. One by one, people came out and said there wasn't a thing wrong with my roof, my fireplace or my wiring. I don't know how much the buyer paid the inspector to falsify the report, but it didn't work.

    Then when I bought the house I own now, I must not have paid my inspector enough, because he missed quite a few things. Fortunately, they were small...but they were things he should have found nevertheless.

  3. It really can be awful, especially after all of the searching, the offers, the counter-offers, the paperwork, the huge investment, etc. You just want to settle in to your new house and get things done, but then comes a huge, expensive problem that could have been avoided if the "professional" that you hired had actually done their job. Of course, nobody ever accepts any liability for anything these days, so it's almost impossible to do anything about it.