Ron Seiber Home Inspections

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Your Questions

How do I make an appointment?

Making an appointment is just a phone call or email away.  It takes coordinating the times of the inspector, the buyer agent, and the seller of the home.

How long will it take?

Single homes take 3 to 4 hours, three level townhomes take 3 hours, two level townhomes take 21/2 hours and condos take 2 hours.

Can I follow you around while you inspect the home?

Yes, you can and I hope that you will. While I do the inspection, you can see me discover the problems found and see them yourself firsthand. This is important in understanding the typed report that you will receive later.  Also during this time, I will be explaining the location of the main water shutoff valve, how to adjust the temperature on the hot water heater, how to change the furnace filter, and how to properly maintain your home.

Do you check behind walls or take cover plates off of outlets?

Inspectors check only what they can see.  Nothing is dismantled or taken apart to check except the furnace front cover panel and the main electric panel cover. Inspectors make a visual examination of the whole home, top to bottom, but they can only inspect what is visible to the eye.

What does ASHI require inspectors to check?

You can click on this link ASHI Standards of Practice and see exactly what all ASHI inspectors are required to inspect and what they are not required to inspect. While there, you can also see the Code of Ethics to the left.

homeinspector.org/standards/default.aspx

How much will it cost?

My prices are simple and straight forward. You don't have to call to ask my prices or answer questions about the home like the age, square feet, and selling price. My prices are as follows:

Single Homes under 5,000sf are $480 (Homes over 5,000sf see home page for prices)
3 or 4 Level Townhomes are $440
2-level Townhomes with no basement are $400
All 1 level condos $380
All 2 level condos $390
All 3 Level Townhouse Condos $400

What time do you usually do the inspections?

I do two inspections a day: a morning inspection beginning at 9am and an afternoon inspection at 3pm.

Do you work weekends?

I work Saturdays at 9am in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon at 3pm.

Can I do the inspection myself or have my brother-in-law do it? My brother-in-law works in construction?

Inspectors are trained and have years of experience and know exactly what to check.  A home buyer does not know what to look for and does not know if what they see is acceptable or not.  Saving money by checking yourself is not worth the risk.  Laymen cannot enter a courtroom and defend themselves nor do a medical checkup on their own body.  These things are left to trained professionals.  Your brother-in-law knows about construction, but does he have training in home inspections and is he certified to do it properly? 

What happens if you find a serious problem? Can I cancel the contract to buy the house?

This is something you must discuss with your realtor.  If you have an "inspection contingency," then yes, you can usually cancel the contract if there is something in the inspection report which concerns you greatly.  If you don't have an inspection contingency and the inspection is for "information only," then the reason to cancel must be because the home is dangerous to live in or because there is a severe structural problem or foundation problem.  Again, you must talk this over with your realtor to find out what your options are.

I am thinking of buying a home which is "bank owned" and is being sold "as is." Sometimes I see that homeowners, who are still living in the home, sell the home "as is," too. Do I still need an "information only" inspection even though the sellers are not required to fix anything because of the "as is" clause?

It is always wise to have an inspection, especially for a home being sold "as is."  This is because even though the sellers won't fix anything, you still need to know all the problems the home has before you buy it.  You need to know the condition of any home you are thinking of buying so when you move in, you don't have any "depressing surprises."  In most cases, the problems found are minor ones and not that bad to cause real concern over.  Banks list homes "as is" because they don't want the added headache of fixing small things.  Banks are not the only ones to list homes "as is."  Many home owners, even ones still living in the home, list their home "as is" because they don't want the headaches of fixing any problems found.  They just don't want the aggravation.  Generally, most of the problems found in these "as is" sales are very minor like drain leaks, or an old hot water heater, which are very inexpensive to fix or replace.  It is a very rare and extreme case that an inspector will find a home with a major problem like a foundation or structural problem.  Again, consult your realtor about this for more information.

If I have a contract for a new-construction home or one that is just 2 or 3 years old, do I still need an inspection?   After all, the home is practically new and it really shouldn't have any problems, right?

Even newly built homes have problems that the builder didn't notice or see.  Humans are building the homes and humans make mistakes.  New homes have construction supervisors and quality control people whose job it is to make sure that everything is close to perfect, but still inspectors find problems in these "new homes."  Generally, most problems found in new homes are minor, but once found, the builder is there to fix them for you right away. And homes less than ten years old have problems, too.  Homes settle during the first 5 years.  The ground settles, the whole frame of the house settles, wood dries and shrinks, and sometimes these changes result in nothing at all.  But sometimes they can result in minor to severe cracks in the foundation and structure.  So it is always good to have an inspector check the whole home for your peace of mind.  Better to be safe, than sorry.

Can I get the seller to fix the problems you find?

If the home is not being sold "as is," then "Everything is negotiable!"  This is something that your realtor will have to negotiate and talk over with the seller or with the seller's listing agent.  Your agent will be experienced and knowledgeable about what to request and what not to request as far as repairs are concerned.  If the inspection is a "home inspection contingency," then the seller usually will fix most of the problems found, depending on what they are.  Also, if the seller can't fix any of the problems, for whatever reason (the sellers are old, or they don't know how to fix them), they can hire contractors to do the work.  Most repairs are supposed to be done anyway by a "professional licensed electrician," or a "professional licensed plumber."  Sometimes the sellers don't want to fix the problems and would rather "give the buyer" the money and have the buyer worry about fixing them.  What happens then is your agent, or someone with knowledge about the cost of the repairs, comes up with a figure for the cost and presents this to the sellers. The amount is agreed to by both parties and then this money is usually given at settlement to the buyer by moving seller money to the buyer side of the HUD-1 settlement document. Remember one very important thing: that the inspection is not a "wish list" and the seller doesn't have to fix everything.  Everything must be kept within reason and both the buyer and seller must be fair with each other trying not to be unreasonable.  The buyer must not be overly demanding and nit-picky, and the seller must not go so far as to stonewall reasonable requests for repairs. If the sale is "as is," then the inspection is going to be for "information only," and the seller, be it the bank or a home owner, will not be required to address any of the problems that are found.

Do I have to be present for the inspection at the home?

It is strongly recommended that you be present during the whole inspection. If you are not able to be there for the whole inspection, you should come to the end of it so I can explain to you all the problems found. It is very important, even vital, that you be there for my "tour" of the home after the inspection is finished, where I explain to you all the items found to be deficient.  Since you are going to be making the most expensive purchase of your life, it is extremely important to be present so I can explain all the items that I think you should know about concerning your new purchase.  This can be explained over the phone, but I really expect all buyers to be present at the end of the inspection so they can see with their own eyes all the problems found.  Some things are hard to explain over the phone.

Are you fully insured?

I am insured by "The Hartford" for two million dollars.