A good realtor is your best asset when buying a home and good home inspectors might be the next most important. The realtor wants what’s best for their clients and know which inspectors do thorough inspections, based upon their experience. We get many referrals from realtors and most of the rest from past clients. When realtors or their relatives buy houses for themselves we are frequently called in because of our thoroughness. This is important not only on older homes but also on newer homes since many of the deficiencies we find on older homes were built-in during original construction.
Inspect before your purchase your home!
Even if only minor problems are found the clients get a scale drawing of the house with the level readings taken during the inspection. We do this for all floors. This provides, among other things, a baseline against which to judge any future movements or to show the stability of the house. See the level reading section for more information on this. The scale drawings are sometimes useful in planning furniture layouts since door and window locations can be easily added by the clients after receiving the drawings.
In view of the expense of repairs on houses it makes sense to get the most thorough inspection possible. While no inspector catches all problems all the time, finding the most expensive ones will more than pay for the cost of the inspections in terms of potential savings during the purchase negotiations. For example, foundation repair companies have minimum job sizes that will exceed the cost of one pile installation.
Many inspectors will refer their clients to me for a closer look at the foundation and a repair plan if indications of movement are found during their inspections. This will give an independent opinion as to what is required to put the house back to its original condition. Comparing conflicting foundation repair estimates can be frustrating for buyers and homeowners in the absence of an inspection such as the one I provide.
It is not uncommon for us to do an inspection on a house for buyers where no previous inspections have been done. Unfortunately, sometimes big problems are found that the current owners could have easily found when they purchased the home.