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Here we go again, repeat customer


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Got an inspection today on a 97 yr old house. 2nd Inspection for this couple. She wants a fixer upper. Last inspection was a 70 yr old with holes in roof, shingles and gutters falling off etc etc. One that needed torn down. So the one today, her new realtor calls me and says that this house is rough, torn out wring, torn out plumbing, but the BONES are good. Then client sends me the disclosure that includes a 7 page structural report from 2 years ago detailing repairs to the BONES. JEEZZ, Bones are good, looks like another one that will be an 8 hour affair. Oh well, at least I got some inspections. !'ll let cha know how it goes.

How many of ya'll are doing a ton of foreclousre properties that take forever to inspect and write the report?

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A few times I've shown up at a house like the one you describe (maybe worse) and after looking around I turn to the buyer and say "What is it exactly you want me to tell you about this house that you don't already know, this house needs everything redone, everything, HVAC, elec, plumbing, roof, siding, etc. So if you want me to do a full inspection and write a full report I'm going to have to charge you quite a bit more then we discussed on the phone. Another option is that I provide you with a verbal consultation, which is not a home inspection. I will go through the house and tell you everything verbally, but I will not write a report. Since your buying the house "as is" and you already know it needs a lot of work, and you plan on gutting the kitchen and baths, etc we can go through the house together looking at all the major components and you take notes. Understand this is not a home inspection because there is no written report, just your notes.?

They often like that idea, because it saves them some money and I like it because I don?t want to spend 8 hours writing a report.

Twice I?ve arrived at a house and the refused to perform the inspection because the house was in such bad condition. One house had a hole running all the way from the roof through 2 floors and into the basement. The basement stairs had collapsed?, it was just to unsafe.

Here in Illinois we are licensed and a written report is required as part of the home inspection, that is why I make it crystal clear that I am not conducting a home inspection, but a verbal consult. I provide a similar service for an occasional rehabber in the area.

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Been getting some pretty nice houses to inspect lately. Not too many of the junky ones.

When I do:

There are too many things wrong with the ______ system to provide a complete list of all deficiencies.

Some of the deficiencies include:




Have a _____ contractor restore the _____ system to safe operating condition.

Repeat as necessary.

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I say something similar to what Erby does while pointing out that listing each individual defect would make the report ridiculously lengthy. But to make sure that they don't think I'm simply being lazy I add a phrase to the effect that "What you really need to know is what fixing all this will cost. I recommend that you get quotes from a few competent contractors after they look the (item/system) over."

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8 hours for how big?

It could if you are detailing minutia.

I do alot of distressed properties and I make blanket statements when I've seen enough.

"I see wide spread electrical issues, A,B,C. A licensed electrician has to review all of your electrical service. You need extensive upgrade and repair."

Photos tell most of the story with distressed properties.

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This morning drove up and the dormer had a sheet of plywood bolted over it.

The rear door had been removed and "stored" in the kitchen with another plywood bolt resolution. Both the attic and crawlspace HVAC systems had been removed/stolen/recycled. Every light fixture was either dangling from wires or missing altogether. The dryer outlet had been pulled out of the wall createing a hole in they drywall about foot long and 2-3 inches wide. Most of the supply plumbing had been removed. Missing a toilet. Closet doors, door handles missing. List goes on and on.

Why bother? $40K and when you are all thru you have a 25 year old house will all new everything in a basic neighborhood. Client is an investor so will rent or flip to some unsuspecting first time buyer.

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When I say 8 hours, I mean 8 hours including 3-4 for the POS house and 4 for the report. I guess I could start using the shortcut blanket statements that a few of you have suggested, I just am wary of not reporting something and then 3,6,12 months later getting a call from someone who said " you did not tell me X"

I have been looking at it from the standpoint of, I typically only do one a day, but if I made that much everyday and had an inspection everyday, I would be doing good, but right now I can't expect an inspection everyday, don't know when I can, and if I ever will given the present state of affairs.

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"Nearly every receptacle in and out of the house had an issue with it. Some were broken, other were wired wrong and some did not even have any voltage. Ask an electrician to check and service every receptacle in and out of the house."

Doesn't take long to type this. It reflect the conditions found.

I've used similar language, albeit a couple paragraphs more, to condemn an entire system or even the entire house.


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