Jump to content

Recommended Posts

We are looking into relocating to the Columbia area. Any member inspectors in the area?

As I have said before, I'm the homeowner who contributes here from time to time, but I read the new posts almost every day. The professionalism I have witnessed here is amazing, and it is what I want for my next inspection!

The wife & I both work for the federal government and move every 4 - 5 years so house buying and inspections are common to us. It was only after the last purchase where I got a check box inspection report that I started looking at the industry. I won't complain, the inspection was good and as far as I can tell he identified all necessary issues. I just like the way you all seem to work around here.

We have been looking at listings, and for the first time I saw this today in an on line house listing: "Seller had a pre-marketing home inspection performed by **Inspector Name**, (**Inspection company name**), and repairs identified were completed by a licensed? contractor prior to listing for a smooth sale!"

So, anybody in the Columbia area?

Link to post
Share on other sites
We have been looking at listings, and for the first time I saw this today in an on line house listing: "Seller had a pre-marketing home inspection performed by **Inspector Name**, (**Inspection company name**), and repairs identified were completed by a licensed? contractor prior to listing for a smooth sale!"

Good. That should help the inspector you hire for a "smooth sale." Other than that, it doesn't mean much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Use the Inspector Locator on the home page. There are several inspectors in the Columbia area on there.

Inspectors are licensed in SC. All I can say is do not go with the realtor's buddy. Go with an independent. Realtor's buddy is trained not to slow down the footrace to the closing table.

Well, using the Inspector Locator I come up with the following in the Columbia/Lexington area:

1. The realators buddy

2. One inspector with a dead website

3. One inspector with no website at all

4. One inspector with a professional looking website.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I put myself in your shoes for a few minutes and 'looked' for my inspector in Columbia. Your right...there's nothing there. Only one company had a sample report and it sucks to high heaven.

If I were in your shoes and SC didn't require me to get a home inspection, I'd pay the mileage fee or even a round trip flight to get the man I wanted. If he's out of state and unlicensed in SC, doesn't matter because he's actually a 'friend', an old 'college buddy', whatever. He's not your inspector, so he's not doing anything wrong.

I'd cheat. The locals are all incompetent and I'm not buying the house without someone that meet MY expectations taking a look at it.

Of course, that's just me. I'm picky...and hard-headed.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Use the Inspector Locator on the home page. There are several inspectors in the Columbia area on there.

Inspectors are licensed in SC. All I can say is do not go with the realtor's buddy. Go with an independent. Realtor's buddy is trained not to slow down the footrace to the closing table.

Well, using the Inspector Locator I come up with the following in the Columbia/Lexington area:

1. The realators buddy

2. One inspector with a dead website

3. One inspector with no website at all

4. One inspector with a professional looking website.

Sorry, I just scrolled through the list. I didn't actually go check any of them out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"...He's not your inspector, so he's not doing anything wrong..."

I agree with Marc's thinking, but without licensing will the stick be swingable in a contract negotiation?

All he needs is a way to walk if he decides to do so based on the sellers refusal to accommodate an issue. I'll cede that it may present a problem depending on the wording of the SC purchase agreement. In LA, most licensed tradesmen are exempt from the requirement for an HI license and an inspection by one within his expertise is accepted by the state purchase agreement.

I did this once for a nephew in Atlanta. He brought up with the builder some concerns I had found (it was a new construction), the builder made corrections and he proceeded with the purchase.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

I put myself in your shoes for a few minutes and 'looked' for my inspector in Columbia. Your right...there's nothing there. Only one company had a sample report and it sucks to high heaven.

If I were in your shoes and SC didn't require me to get a home inspection, I'd pay the mileage fee or even a round trip flight to get the man I wanted. If he's out of state and unlicensed in SC, doesn't matter because he's actually a 'friend', an old 'college buddy', whatever. He's not your inspector, so he's not doing anything wrong.

I'd cheat. The locals are all incompetent and I'm not buying the house without someone that meet MY expectations taking a look at it.

Of course, that's just me. I'm picky...and hard-headed.

Marc

Marc, That is funny. You do not know how many times that I have sneaked into SC to inspect a lake house on the border. Every time I told the buyer that I am not licensed in South Carolina and every time they say "I do not care". They pay for travel, the full day etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Call four or five guys in the area and talk to them over the phone.

How long have they been in business, how long does it take to inspect the house, sample reports, thoughtful answers to your questions.

You should be able to figure it out and get someone decent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does SC not have reciprocity?

If they do, check out licensed guys in neighboring states that are recognized by SC as being equally qualified.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

They have reciprocity with NC. Lots of border Inspectors hold licenses in both states.

ASHI has about 2 dozen inspectors listed for Columbia SC.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm from Columbia, but have not fully started the business yet. I couldn't officially help you but I might be able to guide you in the right direction. I am very familiar with the government lifestyle, having PCS'd a few times myself. Hopefully soon I will be able to fill the void in the Columbia market. Send me a PM if you would like to talk.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I'm from Columbia, but have not fully started the business yet. I couldn't officially help you but I might be able to guide you in the right direction. I am very familiar with the government lifestyle, having PCS'd a few times myself. Hopefully soon I will be able to fill the void in the Columbia market. Send me a PM if you would like to talk.

Just saw your post Dutch, Thanks for the offer - I may be taking you up on it. We travel there next month for the purchase.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Does SC not have reciprocity?

If they do, check out licensed guys in neighboring states that are recognized by SC as being equally qualified.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

They have reciprocity with NC. Lots of border Inspectors hold licenses in both states.

ASHI has about 2 dozen inspectors listed for Columbia SC.

Even if a state offers reciprocity, a person will still need to apply for and have a license for each state. Reciprocity just means that the state recognizes the license requirements as long as they equal or similar, you still need to acquire a license in that state.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like your X1/9, My wife wanted one bad back in 78, but I couldn't sit in it with the top on, so we traded in my 124 Coupe for 124 Spider. Then when the first kid came we got a 131 station-wagon.

Good luck on your Inspector search.

Thanks, I share more on the search later, but I think I've found who I will use.

My first car that I owned was a 74 X, purchased new off the showroom floor. I drove that car in Miami for 3 years with no AC. But that was many pounds ago.

I'm really not comfortable in it with the roof on either. Generally, unless the roof comes off it doesn't leave the garage. I found it in St. Louis, owned by an X enthusiast (yes, there are a bunch of them out there) and his wife wanted him to reduce his stable of X's. It's an 86 and when I bought it is had just over 32,000 original miles. I flew into St. Louis and he was waiting at the airport with it. I handed him a fist full of $20's and hit the road. Bringing it home to DC was the longest 13 hour drive of my life.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, now for the information on my search....

Using association directories, Google and several other sources I developed a list of possible inspectors.

Sorry, but no website or a very unprofessional home made website eliminated folks from the list. It seems everyone in the area charges about the same prices, based on square footage. Here is a sample of the pricing:

Square Footage Fee

1,000 - 1,400 $200

1,401 - 1,800 $225

1,801 - 2,200 $250

2,201 - 2,600 $275

2,601 - 3,000 $300

3,001 - 3,400 $325

3,401 - 3,800 $350

3,801 - 4,200 $375

4,201 - 4,600 $400

Age of home 30 - 50 years $25

Age of home 50+ years old $50

Slab / No Crawlspace Deduction (over 1400 sq ft) Less $25

So, eliminating the realtors buddy from before, those touting realtors on their web site or with excessive links to realtors it's time to call the three I'm down to. I'll call them inspector A, B and C. I have a list of questions that I put together from my reading here (thanks to just about everyone).

Call Inspector A, five rings and it goes to voice mail. One demerit for inspector A, his voice mail is a computer voice that says basically, You have reached 555-555-2134, leave a message.

Call Inspector B. He answers on the second ring with a hello. I have to ask if I have the right number for the inspection company. Personable and professional, but I was turned off by his sales pitch. He has been inspecting homes in the area for 30 years and he is the one I need to hire. He has trained most of the inspectors in the ares so he knows more than they do. He is a licensed contractor so he is able to comment on structural issues, while the other inspectors in the area are prohibited from doing anything other than refer me to an engineer or contractor. Reports are computer generated on site and delivered before I leave. No warm fuzzy feelings for Inspector B.

Call Inspector C. Phone is answered on the third ring with the business name. Turns out to be the inspectors wife who runs the office. She is able to answer all my questions without hesitation leaving me with the feeling she knows what she is talking about. If her husband inspects homes as well as she answers the phone I've got a winner. He has been inspecting over 10 years in the area. Said if I have more questions her husband is usually back working on the days reports around 7 and I'm free to call with any additional questions I might have, or even if I want to talk about the areas and where I might be better in searching for a home. Uses HomeGauge reporting and it will be available that night, or at the latest the next morning.

Call Inspector A back the next day. He answers on the forth ring with a hello (is this a Columbia thing?). Again I have to ask if I have the right number for the inspection company. I took me a few minutes to warm him up as for the first few minutes answers to my questions seemed to be in one or two word answers. Once I got him going I felt good with his answers. He admitted he trained under Inspector B about 10 years ago. This is where he went off the rails with me. He went into a dissertation on why Inspector B wasn't the one to hire (I never asked or commented on Inspector B). Computerized reports using "his own system" that are usually delivered on the scene because he "doesn't fill the report up with useless pictures". He went on to say he did take pictures but only used them if there was something he found difficult to explain without use of the photo.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, now for the information on my search....

Using association directories, Google and several other sources I developed a list of possible inspectors.

Sorry, but no website or a very unprofessional home made website eliminated folks from the list. It seems everyone in the area charges about the same prices, based on square footage. Here is a sample of the pricing:

Square Footage Fee

1,000 - 1,400 $200

1,401 - 1,800 $225

1,801 - 2,200 $250

2,201 - 2,600 $275

2,601 - 3,000 $300

3,001 - 3,400 $325

3,401 - 3,800 $350

3,801 - 4,200 $375

4,201 - 4,600 $400

Age of home 30 - 50 years $25

Age of home 50+ years old $50

Slab / No Crawlspace Deduction (over 1400 sq ft) Less $25

So, eliminating the realtors buddy from before, those touting realtors on their web site or with excessive links to realtors it's time to call the three I'm down to. I'll call them inspector A, B and C. I have a list of questions that I put together from my reading here (thanks to just about everyone).

Call Inspector A, five rings and it goes to voice mail. One demerit for inspector A, his voice mail is a computer voice that says basically, You have reached 555-555-2134, leave a message.

Call Inspector B. He answers on the second ring with a hello. I have to ask if I have the right number for the inspection company. Personable and professional, but I was turned off by his sales pitch. He has been inspecting homes in the area for 30 years and he is the one I need to hire. He has trained most of the inspectors in the ares so he knows more than they do. He is a licensed contractor so he is able to comment on structural issues, while the other inspectors in the area are prohibited from doing anything other than refer me to an engineer or contractor. Reports are computer generated on site and delivered before I leave. No warm fuzzy feelings for Inspector B.

Call Inspector C. Phone is answered on the third ring with the business name. Turns out to be the inspectors wife who runs the office. She is able to answer all my questions without hesitation leaving me with the feeling she knows what she is talking about. If her husband inspects homes as well as she answers the phone I've got a winner. He has been inspecting over 10 years in the area. Said if I have more questions her husband is usually back working on the days reports around 7 and I'm free to call with any additional questions I might have, or even if I want to talk about the areas and where I might be better in searching for a home. Uses HomeGauge reporting and it will be available that night, or at the latest the next morning.

Call Inspector A back the next day. He answers on the forth ring with a hello (is this a Columbia thing?). Again I have to ask if I have the right number for the inspection company. I took me a few minutes to warm him up as for the first few minutes answers to my questions seemed to be in one or two word answers. Once I got him going I felt good with his answers. He admitted he trained under Inspector B about 10 years ago. This is where he went off the rails with me. He went into a dissertation on why Inspector B wasn't the one to hire (I never asked or commented on Inspector B). Computerized reports using "his own system" that are usually delivered on the scene because he "doesn't fill the report up with useless pictures". He went on to say he did take pictures but only used them if there was something he found difficult to explain without use of the photo.

'On-site' reports are done with 'one size fits all' previously composed sentences or paragraphs that are added with clicks of a button or taps of a finger. They're not tweaked for the particular house.

Inspecting the house is half of the service, IMHO. Writing the report is the other half.

Photos say a lot but take time to add to reports.

You're a smart buyer. You do your homework.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...