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Realty Xperts

Being a Realtor and Builder, for over 30 years I have had my fill with home inspections by "Certified" Inspectors - in Iowa there is no requirement for a license. I strongly suggest to my buyers to have the home inspected by Licensed Contractors, plumbing, electrical and heating contractors are licensed and trained in Iowa. I also suggest if we are worried about the structure we can get a structural engineer and be real close to if not under the cost for non-licensed people - and they cannot warrant how long the furnace will work - they can only tell the people they feel comfortable and would recommend this furnace, electrical to their friends and family - have never had a person call me back with a problem due to faulty inspection. Many referrals for my effort to get them the best for their price range and how the inspections are handled.

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Roz Carson

I thought I was doing everything right. I hired a licensed inspector, with insurance and a member of several national organizations. One mark several years ago on his State license report, settled before it went to the board. He had a sample inspection report that looked complete. I later found out the report was for hi own residence.

For an empty 800 square foot house the inspector spent less than an hour- including writing up his notes. Almost $400.

When I asked him about following him around, he said it wasn't needed, he'd go over everything.

i'm not even sure he stepped foot into the bathroom. His report says everything was OK. He missed the jury-rigged, patched drain in the tub that leaks, the many leaks with the shower (not just the shower head), the vent that blows air *into* the bathroom, all three pieces of the tub surround without any caulking at all and that are only fastened at the top, the wall with a large number of nails coming from the laundry room side, the sink drain patched the same as the tub as well as patched spots in the bowl. And that's just the bathroom! Lighting/ electrical issues, no cap on the sewer cleanout, porch gutters that drain to under the house ("but that's not illegal") and both porches are unstable and have rotting wood as well as railings that aren't up to code. As we walked through to see his errors he just didn't think any of it was a problem. The porch gutters were OK because roof gutters drain to the ground too-well, no. My roof gutters drain into an underground system- only the porch gutters drain to under the house. I had to show him because he was absolutely positive I didn't understand gutters. Tubs don't need caulking? The bathroom sink was considered cosmetic because it wasn't leaking when he inspected. Yet what hadn't been mentioned as a potential problem was the patched, jury-rigged, drain and 9 patched holes. As I pointed at the sewer cleanout, his response was "I don't see anything, what's wrong". And here I thought no cap was illegal and a health hazard. Then he said the problems wouldn't have made any difference in buying the house since I hadn't fixed the broken siding to under the house mentioned in his report.

It took 2 months for him to return after my email listing the errors I had found so far- yet he lives less than 15 miles away! His offers when he finally found the time were 1-too bad 2- to send someone with liquid nails to fasten the tub walls 3-$100 refund 4-refund his full inspection fee with a non-disclosure.

Yes, I would have done better if I had used licensed professionals for each individual system.

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Home inspectors usually have a complete "cover themselves" disclaimer. No blame to you but there was a reasonable assumption of your and most people's part regarding inspectors. The thing to do in the future is to ask what the scope of their services entail. From the inspection clean out perspective for example - the clean out was there it just wasn't covered - easy fix - same with some of the other items; they need to be repaired but are essentially OK. If there had been standard drywall in the shower or no clean out that would not be an easy fix. Not that they would have caught that either. They have no work ethic they just wanted an excuse to take your money but were "legally within their rights". And they are not licensed so there is not much of a yard stick for relative competence.Sounds like you did a pretty good assessment - maybe next time, take the time yourself and really go through the project and if you have questions get specific people to come in and pay them - plumber, carpenter etc.

Give your self some therapy and do the world a favor and write all this in a couple on line reviews to warn other people. Almost worth having him keep the fee just to post the reviews - people read them and they know it. Someone seems to be in the process of taking advantage of my mother on a regular basis - I have her call me for anything over $500 and we walk through what is going on to see if it makes sense.


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