The old classical Latin lexicon by E. A Andrews defines the adjective commodus in part as something/someone/conditions that are suitable, fit, convenient, opportune, complete, pleasing, agreeable, favorable, an advantage, or profitable. As a noun it also meant a reward, pay, a loan, or a profit. [E.A. Andrews, A Copious and Critical Latin – English Lexicon (1854)] As a verb, in general to “commodo” something or someone meant to make things equitable or right.
As an aside, there was a Roman Emperor named Commodus. [Full name, Commodus Lucius Aurelius] In the 2000 movie The Gladiator, Commodus the villain was played by J. Phoenix. Commodus was born in AD 161 and given the title Caesar in 166 when only five, co-reigning with his father Marcus Aurelius until the latter’s death in 180. Gradually getting more insane, he reigned as the sole emperor for twelve more years until strangled in a plot in 192.
In later church Latin, the word commodum added blessing to the old classical meanings. [L.F. Stelten, Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin (1995)].
All of this has reference to our English language to the present day. In slightly older English, a commode was a cabinet in a room containing a washbowl or a low chair containing a chamber pot (to relieve oneself). Think of how the term commode as a portable chamber pot would be related to convenience (or even blessing!) in previous eras of distant exterior outhouses. . . The English word commodity is also a direct descendant. A commodity is simply something useful. In economics, a commodity is an article of trade or commerce. The commodity is assumed to be of equivalent value regardless of where it was obtained. A gallon of gas at Fred Meyer will be of equivalent quality as that purchased at the 76 station in town or from Costco, etc.
One tendency of people is to treat service providers as commodities – one service provider is essentially as good as the next. However, this is a mistake. Any adult over thirty knows that service providers of whatever specialty can differ wildly in terms of customer service, competence, communication, and support. That restaurant has great food but get ready to wait forever and be abused by the staff in the process of getting this food (e.g. the Soup Nazi episode on Seinfeld!). Or that place does great work but you can’t get in for three months, and they offer no warranties whatever. Etc.
Home inspections and inspectors are no different. Not all humans are created equal in terms of physical and mental abilities. Perhaps more importantly, not all are equal in terms of work ethic or habits. Not all are the same regarding communication abilities. Or desire to grow in their abilities through study and personal enrichment.
One old time inspector of over thirty years said, “In a home inspector, people are not purchasing a commodity. They are purchasing competence and experience.” He later added, “Home inspectors are too concerned with CYA [covering their posteriors]. It is really quite simple. Cover your clients’ posteriors. Protect what they are concerned with by doing a solid job of looking at property with their best interests as your main concern. This is how you too will succeed.”
One common question is how much an inspection costs. Some few realtors ask this question as a shibboleth (filter) of whom they will use (refer to their clients) from those they will not. Some clients ask this question and compare quotes from differing inspectors. I have done the same in the past. On one instance, we chose the inspector who quoted the lowest cost. We then moved into a property that had serious, unseen, unreported problems that took years and significant expense to resolve. Would that we had spent the extra fifty or ninety dollars for a competent inspection and avoided, or at least been aware of, the problems that lurked in this structure.