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The wrong inspector

Jim Baird

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Inspectornotes: been there done what?


Yet again a client has shared with me a report from that other kind of inspector, the ones the realtor lines up for the buyer.

This inspector was a staffer working for a branded corporation. He drove a custom painted logo loaded pickup truck, and he wore a uniform with a monogrammed shirt pocket patch and a matching ball cap. He carried a tablet and filled out a 25 page canned report with lots of photos. The inspector managed to fill out the report, but he failed to notice the dwelling’s status as a manufactured home, not a site built one.

He failed to note the basic elements of support and anchorage that are typical of the building type.

He called a red brick curtain wall a “foundation wall”.

He photographed a one inch diameter wasp nest at an eave, and he recommended that the buyer contact a “qualified professional” to accomplish its removal.

He failed to describe two additions to the original structure as additions. He failed to note how those additions are supported.

He failed the buyer that paid him in so many ways there is not room here to list them all.

In some counties manufactured homes are not even considered “real” property. They are taxed like vehicles, separately form the land parcel.

It is hard to overstate the gravity of this failure by the inspector. Even though the county had somehow assessed the property as “real”, the buyer got blindsided when they refinanced.

Their bank’s appraiser called the spade a spade, and demanded that a structural engineer sign off on the two additions to a manufactured home.

That inspector did not flag that train, did not kill the deal. That is why the agent recommended him, but the buyer got railroaded.

If you hire an inspector for a home you are buying, steer way clear of the agent’s suggested ones.

Hire an independent inspector that does not use canned software and inexperienced staff.

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In my area, it's getting much, much worse.  Some of the many new inspector schools seem to provide inexperienced folks just enough to get 'em  licensed.  The majority perform inspections like zombies, spending most of the time tapping screens and assuming  the software does the whole job for them.

I've always liked Jim B's writing style.

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5 hours ago, Jerry Simon said:

I've been asked more and more if I offer a warranty (prospective clients say their agent told them to ask, as it's becoming the norm???).

The value of a warranty pales in comparison to the value of an accomplished inspector. Such inspectors accounting for less than 1 in 40.

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On 5/1/2023 at 11:05 AM, Jerry Simon said:

I've been asked more and more if I offer a warranty (prospective clients say their agent told them to ask, as it's becoming the norm???).

Tell them you'll give them a logo coffee mug instead. It'll represent your business, it'll last longer, and they'll enjoy using it. For the same money it's a much better value.

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