If you’ve had an inspection with me, you’ll notice that my reports are quite detailed. I inspect and report on each home as if I were buying it myself- what would I want to know before I make the largest purchase I’ve ever made? I’ve been told by many real estate agents that my reports are the most detailed and thorough they’ve seen. I am a Type A personality, so this doesn’t surprise me (I take it as a compliment). What does surprise me is how many important details other inspectors seem to miss or not even report on. I’m saying this from personal experience- I had two home inspections before becoming a home inspector myself. I’ve also seen reports for the exact same property that I inspected, making it easy to compare my report to another inspection company’s report. Although I’m obviously biased, the things that are missing from the other reports are too important to ignore.
For instance: I test as well as check the manufacture dates on every single smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm whenever possible. Why? BECAUSE ALARMS SAVE LIVES! Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are required both by law and by your lender to be installed in a real estate transaction. Knowing that the sensors on these alarms become less sensitive over time, don’t you, as a buyer, want your home to be as safe as possible? 10 years is the life of a smoke alarm; 5-7 years for carbon monoxide alarms. Alarms that are any older need to be replaced. I am adamant in my inspections about this. Furthermore, this simple thing is probably the easiest and most affordable requirement to fulfill in a real estate transaction, having (potentially) the largest safety factor. It’s a no-brainer.
Case in point: I recently inspected a newly constructed home- nobody has lived there yet… the paint was probably still drying. Any normal person would assume that all the smoke & carbon monoxide alarms are brand new, right? WRONG. Two of the six smoke alarms in this home were 13 years old– they’d been reused from another home when they should have been disposed of three years ago. Now, if I had assumed all the alarms were new because the home is new, I’m putting my clients’ safety at risk. This is just one example of the level of detail that I take a little bit of extra time to verify so that your home is SAFE.
Now… it’s possible that my inspections take a tad longer than the “average” inspector, but I guarantee that it’s worth it. Does that little bit of extra detail really make a difference? I believe it can mean the difference between (excuse the scare tactics- see above) life and death… and, well, that’s also a no-brainer. Don’t you agree?
The following are excerpts of inspection reports from the exact same house- one from a competitor and then Home Gnome’s report.