A few months ago, I addressed a frequently asked question – should a client attend the home inspection?
Both then and now, my conclusion was without hesitation, of course the client should attend the home inspection.
It is vital / essential for the client to be present for the inspection. If for no other reason, just for the simple fact that the only way to truly understand the relevance of the findings that arise during an inspection, is to witness the items in person and to speak with the inspectors in order to understand the relevance and the urgency of the issues (if any).
Reading about the items in the report simply does not cut it! I don’t care how many pictures you put into the report, or how detailed your narrative is about the item.
So we inspected an older home a few weeks ago – built in 1890. Now, for my money, these homes are typically some of the best construction that we encounter as home inspectors. The craftsmanship and workmanship employed in building the home were top notch.
The foundation was comprised of granite blocks – most weighing 2 to 4 tons (at a guess). And the woodwork throughout the home was exquisite. Most of the exterior architectural features were unique to the home.
However, older homes come with inherent issues that new homes don’t have. I’m referring to the potential for asbestos and lead to be present in the home, as well as Knob & Tube electrical wiring. All of these items are considered potential health / safety hazards, and all three items are considered insurance hazards by insurance companies.
And this house in particular, although meticulously cared for and updated in almost every category, still had all three of the previously mentioned items present in the home.
The paint on the exterior of the home (and no doubt inside the home) most likely contained lead (for the record, we did not confirm the presence of lead, but recommended testing the paint to confirm it).
There was Vermiculite insulation present in the attic. Vermiculite insulation can have asbestos impregnated in the material (all Vermiculite is required to be removed by insurance companies now).
And there was Knob & Tube electrical wiring that was present in the attic, and we confirmed that it was active / energized.
All three of these issues can be resolved. At a cost of course, but that’s why our client wisely ordered a home inspection.
Unfortunately, our client was not present for the home inspection. As a result, he had to hear about the issues when he read the report. And although I spend extra time elaborating on issues in the report when a client is not present during a home inspection, there is just no substitute for the client being there and hearing about the issues in person.
With the client present, we can describe the issues in detail, illustrate the concerns, and offer a path to solution (through recommended contractors).
But again, our client was not present. So as a result, the client backed out of the transaction.
I offered to speak with him regarding the report, but he did not take me up on the offer.
And that’s a shame, because it was a beautiful home! If I was looking for an investment property, I would have jumped at it.
So the moral of the story is, please try and attend your home inspection. If for no other reason, just so you can get an education about the home.
The inspectors at First Choice Home Inspection are ready to inspect your home!
NH Licensed Home Inspector # 316
HUD 203k Consultant # 1939