A: There are several reasons. Buying a home is a significant financial obligation that should involve careful consideration. Among the important factors of location, crime rate, schools, proximity to work, taxes and so forth, the physical conditions and operational states of the systems and components must be evaluated. This is where an independent inspector can offer critical information that can either validate everything is okay or repairs are needed that can possibly be negotiated. It’s a known fact consumers routinely make decisions based on emotion. We offer technical information (independent of emotion) that can position clients to make a sound decision. The American Society of Home Inspectors Association performed an extensive nationwide study that stated the returned value of a home inspection at just over $1,500. Given the average fee for an inspection is $400, this is not only a good value but it provides Peace of Mind and possibly negotiable repairs.
A: We specialize in evaluating the various systems and components a home or commercial building may have. During the course of inspecting we are on full alert for any damage that may be attributed to wood-destroying insects, whether it is powder post beetles or termites. Termite inspectors have a slightly different inspection protocol where they are experts at detecting the presence and species of wood-destroying insects. Having both inspectors evaluating the property with complimentary inspection protocols is a definite plus. When possible, Discovery Inspections prefers to have the termite inspector onsite at the time of our inspection to compare notes and consult with one another.
A: This is somewhat difficult to answer. However, in most cases, buyers have a contingency in the purchase contract that not only allows for the inspection to take place but also allows the buyer to either negotiate repairs for discovered discrepancies or simply walk away from the deal. Consulting with your professional realtor is the best option.
A: Anytime you spend money on the purchase of a property and it involves a service, a contract is strongly encouraged and almost expected. In our case, we adhere to the Standards of Practice for the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors to ensure compliance and thoroughness. The agreement should clearly outline what the inspector should be doing during the inspection as well as stipulations outside the boundaries of the inspection (such as making repairs on discovered items needing repair, which clearly constitutes a conflict of interest).
A: Since 1997 we have refined our pricing model to offer the best pricing based on some criteria. This includes the size of the home, age of the home, foundation type, and where the property is located. We also factor in if the client is a repeat customer and also if the client wears a uniform (military, firefighters, police officers). Teachers are also appreciated.
A: Everything in real estate is negotiable. We recently inspected a home where one of the contingencies was for the seller to include the 40 chickens and a rooster in order for the deal to go through. Usually the realtors are instrumental in negotiating any necessary repairs.
A: Inspectors should only stick to what they do best…educating and reporting items of concern. As smart as we think we are, we are not contractors. We may not know current material costs or an accurate amount of time required to perform a given repair. We encourage our clients to either request repairs be performed by a qualified contractor (ask for receipts) or share our professional report with a contractor (either ask your realtor for a reputable one or we can provide names) to get an accurate number to help make your decision.
A: No. Our clients pay for the information in the report. Usually, we send a courtesy copy to their agent and nowhere else.
Q. Can we ask the home inspector to alter or omit items in the report if we do not want them to become issues with the lender?
A: Our company will not agree to do that. We operate by the highest Standards of Ethics and will not compromise our integrity or fiduciary responsibility to tell the truth.
A: We love having our clients witness how hard we’re working on their behalf. We strive to ensure our inspections are informative and interactive. For us, it’s not just about finding flaws. Any inspector can do that. Of course, we’ll report defects but we also inform our clients about emergency shutoffs, how to change the property’s filters (both air and water), how to improve the energy efficiency, we talk about the importance of indoor air quality, general maintenance and more. Invariably, at the end of the inspection our clients know more about the property than the current owners!
A: It depends on age, size, foundation type and how well the property has been maintained (or neglected). Our typical inspections last between 2.5 to 4 hours. We had one inspection that took 10 hours and 40 minutes but the home was quite large, very neglected and needed more than $100,000 in repairs. We stay onsite until we feel we have comprehensively evaluated the home–no time limit–and no extra fees for additional time needed.
A: At Discovery Inspections, we believe that once our clients establish a relationship with us, it is timeless and endless. We offer unlimited technical advice for as long as our clients like (whether it’s their home, a neighbor’s home or a friend’s home! Our inspectors have all this accumulated knowledge and expertise that we want to share.
A: Unfortunately, Georgia is a non-licensed state regarding home inspections. Consequently, there are inspectors that are operating and advising their clients without proper knowledge or expertise. Home inspectors should be well versed in the various building disciplines ranging from the countless and evolving codes for new construction to identifying defects caused by natural aging, usage, and amateur modifications for homes built in the 1800’s. Georgia has both and everything in between. Inspectors should be familiar with product recalls, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, safety, and environmental conditions such as radon or carbon monoxide). Inspectors should be a member of a professional inspector association that requires minimum annual education requirements and proficiency testing to remain sharp and current in our trade. All of our inspectors are nationally certified and undergo routine quality control checks.
A: Often times our office receives calls from prospective clients and their only question is: “How much?” Of course, price should be a consideration, but it should be one of multiple considerations. We coach clients to ask:
* What are the credentials of the inspector?
* Are you an active member of a professional home inspector association?
* What quality control checks do you have to ensure accuracy and thoroughness?
* How long will you be onsite?
* What diagnostic tools does your inspector use to evaluate the property?
* Does your service have a satisfaction guarantee?
* Can I attend the inspection?
* Can I ask questions after the inspection?
* May I see a sample inspection report?
* Do you make repairs based on what you find?
Gary Sloan, CPI, CMI, CCI, IAC2, Certified Thermographer
Discovery Inspections, LLC
Proudly Inspecting Homes & Commercial Properties Since 1997