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Y'know....

I would think that since home inspections have been common for the last 30 years in my area, that the housing stock would have improved noticeably. Surely buyers have more information today than they ever have. Are they just not addressing things?

'Cause there's still a lot of shite out there.

What does the brain trust think?

Jimmy

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It's a big question. Hard to say what the overall impact of our work is.

This stuff works slow. A couple generations of crap cannot be overcome overnight, especially when the folks in charge are NAHB, NAR, and special interest trade groups.

Maybe your grandchildren will see some improvement, but by then, we'll probably have extruded ceramic houses, or some such other thing to mess up.

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30 years ago is 1982. Yeah, I think the housing stock has improved but it's because of how things were in 82, not because of us.

The IRC allows builders to bypass the architect and engineer who are generally the ones who add 'compliance with manufacturer installation instructions' and other common sense things to the blueprints. If our profession were to progress and HI laws were to include code inspections, HI's could find themselves in there from the groundbreaking, specifying 'compliance with manufacturer installation instructions' and upping the bar beyond the minimum requirements of the codes. It wouldn't be mandatory but it would give buyers the means by which to get better quality housing if they wanted it.

We might make a dent then.

I'd rather think of making a difference in micro-fashion, one house at a time instead of the whole housing stock. Feels better.

Marc

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I've inspected hundreds of properties that I've inspected previously for prior owners. Some I've inspected 3,4 and 5 times over 25 years. A large majority still have many of the same issues that I identified in the first inspection as they have never been repaired or corrected.

Folks often just use the inspection report to negotiate a credit, then use the money for new bathroom fixtures, a fancy patio with statuary, granite counters or new boobs for the wife.

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Jimmy,

Sometimes I think people are just paying me to spend time protecting my own liability in the whole thing.

I'm liable, that's a given. Now, you want to pay me to spend some time protecting myself. No problem at all. The best liability protection is a thorough inspection and well written report.

I'll be the last one paying for any repairs.

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I've inspected hundreds of properties that I've inspected previously for prior owners. Some I've inspected 3,4 and 5 times over 25 years. A large majority still have many of the same issues that I identified in the first inspection as they have never been repaired or corrected.

Folks often just use the inspection report to negotiate a credit, then use the money for new bathroom fixtures, a fancy patio with statuary, granite counters or new boobs for the wife.

Then, maybe you're a little bit picky, mister.[;)]

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I've inspected hundreds of properties that I've inspected previously for prior owners. Some I've inspected 3,4 and 5 times over 25 years. A large majority still have many of the same issues that I identified in the first inspection as they have never been repaired or corrected.

Folks often just use the inspection report to negotiate a credit, then use the money for new bathroom fixtures, a fancy patio with statuary, granite counters or new boobs for the wife.

That's been my experience too, except that while the wives' boobs show no appreciable improvements, then husbands' continue to grow unchecked.

But still, the overfusings, the unlined chimneys, the worst of the termite damage, the about-ready-to-collapse-decks, the orphaned water heaters....

Aren't we finding most of them and aren't a bunch of them getting made right?

I mean, how many CO poisonings DIDN'T people read about in 2011 because HI's correctly flagged and reported combustion air issues that got addressed in the course of an RE transaction?

Call me naive, but I still believe what my Dad taught me about this business: That we are a powerful force for good, measured in the horror stories that nobody read because they didn't happen.

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Did one last month for a couple who was buying the house from the daughter of the lady I did the inspection for 4 years ago.

After the inspection and report were completed, pulled up the old report.

NOT surprisingly, ALL of the same issues were still present.

Though you can bet Mama got some price reduction for the stuff. Now the daughter gets to pass the money on to the new buyer.

=========

NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ADVICE GIVEN BUT NOT FOLLOWED. (who said that?)

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Down here in the Deep South inspections are not as routine as some might think.

I think Jimmy's assessment of the inspection biz' impact is maybe misdirected. The buying public might be better off (some of them) but the condition of the housing stock is no better than the quality-mindedness of the building biz. In my opinion that aspect has gotten no better.

One of my thoughts about building tech and materials is that the engineering energy directed at the business seeks cheaper as often as it does better, if not more so.

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I can't say that I ever had any expectations that the quality of existing housing stock would improve due to home inspections. But I admit that I have been disappointed in the fact that I keep seeing the same easily corrected defects in new homes year after year. While we don't have large tract builders here, I have inspected homes built by the same builders and found the same defects I had written up on earlier homes. C'mon guys, it just isn't that hard to correct such things as brick window sills without any slope or horribly installed flashing.

It's disappointing to realize that there are many builders who just don't care about improving their product after improper techniques are pointed out.

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I will take the optimistic approach and say "Yes, we have made a difference", in a small way, at least.

We all have seen the suicidal shacks that the people bought in spite of our best reporting efforts. But for the most part, the leaking roofs do get replaced eventually and the rotting decks get torn down or collapse on their own.

When we call for serious electrical, drainage or pest control work, it generally gets done after a fashion. I know because I talk to the contractors from time to time. It took almost 3 years but one shack I know finally has a new service mast and I saw the electrician's van there for several days. Great.

I'd like to think that joist hangers do get eventually get installed, where the buyer nods and says "no problem". Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

How about the times when our report convinces the buyers to see the light and walk away? They find a better home, suffer fewer headaches, who knows what kind of grief we've saved them from? [:)]

As far as the quality of housing stock goes, fiberglass shingles, Hardiplank siding, and spray foam insulation are all good stuff. Manufactured trusses have been the standard here for 40 years, but not because of the HI profession. I think it is simply a cheaper way to throw up a roof, and the municipal inspectors give it a quick checkmark.

In this area, the little old post-war bungalows that are worth saving are being jacked up and trucked out of town to a new foundation with new plumbing. The lot can hold four new units, so the old one is out of here. Home inspection has no influence whatsoever on that aspect of the market.

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