Friday, April 1, 2016

The Holmes Imperative & A Partial List of Inspectors

M. Holmes is a populist TV builder/contractor personality. He is direct, truthful, and does not mince words. One of his publications was and is instrumental to me as an inspector. M. Holmes, The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer, and Seller (NY: Time Home Entertainment, 2012). This text has horror story example after example of bad inspections, incomplete inspections, inspector-to-realtor conflicts of interest, and the like. As a new inspector, I approached this book with fear and trembling. Since reading the book, I go back to it periodically to remind my self how essential it is to be careful in inspecting. That I need to have the same fear and trembling that was present at the beginning. Holmes infers that diligent care and competent communication are more important than making a dollar at the expense of quality. Add to this testimony the story after story (after story) I have received from clients who have had abbreviated, quickie inspections and reports themselves. One page report for 450$! Said nothing. Missed twelve cracked windows. Etc. The inJustice of the 17 page report that missed large item after large item on a property I reinspected after a prior un-Just inspector had done his thing.

I am a buyer's inspector. But not completely. I am an inspector for whomever hires me. If you are a realtor, buyer, bank, or seller who wants a quick, check off list type of typical inspection that covers the big issues only or seeks to treat the inspection as another hoop to jump through, Domuspect is not for you. Go to the next inspector on the list, please. The list is at the end of this post.

Domuspect's reports are detailed, long, have many maintenance suggestions, and like Holmes, seek to speak the truth and plainly. I tell people to use high grade silicone caulk that is 10$ a tube, to use stainless steel flashing and fasteners, and to not cut corners for the sake of greed. Since I am a born maintenance man, I include explanations how to do your own work if you are that type of personality. I shall not gloss over issues to make the sale or help the transaction in any way. If you want the detail, it will be there. If not, read the summary only or else get another inspector. I once had a realtor nearly shout at me, "You cannot be a deal killer." In response, I seek to observe critically though fairly, and then speak the truth. Deal with it! And she has dealt with it: she never refers me and that's just ok with me!

Recently, an inspection of a property outside Nehalem that was along river. The river had deep banks, a somewhat built up dike, and during calm times (almost always), portrays an idyllic riverfront property that looks most appealing. Beautiful country with your neighbors out of your face. Simply walk twenty feet off of your porch to fish or kayak or get your river blackberries or visit your river rat pets Frank and Jules, or whatever. However, thrice in the last twenty years, the property has flooded. The house is only accessible by boat when this occurs. Your car is up to its wheels on the high ground (fully underwater on the low ground) and all your firewood floats away! Water is under the house at a one foot depth average. The house skirting on two sides is caved in from the force of the flooding water.
The rest of the house and pole garage were in fabulous shape. I would have given an A- or B+ for the structures alone. But I told my client, "I give this property a flat F because of where it lies. You shall experience flooding that will be detrimental toward the structure, dangerous to you/yours, and beyond this, to you even being able to get in and out when this occurs. It is not a matter of if this flooding will happen, it is rather a matter of when." My report paralleled this conclusion, come what may.

Ok, a list of inspectors besides myself in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties. This list has no reference to any abilities, experience, knowledge, etc. of these persons, companies. I am just giving a list; YOU make up your own mind based on speaking with the person(s). I hate, despise the idiotic good old boy network where one person in control likes person a, f, and t and only recommends them while another likes b, g, and t and only recommends these. As Holmes says, YOU THE CLIENT should be the one to interview people and make up your mind intelligently on whom you are using. Invariably, one person loves that guy (person) while another does not, for whatever reasons. Some of these inspectors may be out of business. If not here and want to be listed, contact and I'll add. With the exception of one inspector (out of area who works primarily in this area) whom I have inspected after he and cannot endorse his superficiality and lack of interest in his clients' financial and safety concerns.

The Tilly:
Steve Schroetke, Silvertide Inspection Services. 503 351-8156.
Jeff Schick, Amber Home Inspections LLC. 503 734-7564.
Scott Neimann, 4 Corners Home Inspection. 503 812-5603.
Aric Barnes, Northstar Home Inspections. 503 738-7488.
Jeff Hayes, Top Notch Home Inspection. 503 816-6098.
Deleted, see *** below.
Jim Smith, Professional Home Inspection. 503 458-5602; 503 791-8028.
Brent Mallory, Coastal Pacific Home Inspection Services. 503 791-5997.

Long Beach Peninsula:
Leslie A Colvin, Colvin's Quality Inspections. 360 777-8880; 503 791-2313. 

 Sicut Domino, gaudio, inspectans!! (As unto the Lord, inspecting with great joy.)

*** Mike Harrison of Seaside: you are off the list. You are a vastly experienced contractor having many decades of contractor experience. However,

1. How many times must I hear from your former clients about your abbreviated inspections, spending fifteen to forty five minutes on site. (Fifteen to forty five MINUTES!?!!!!!) No access to roof. To other components. You may be an old school contractor, but you are no inspectorial prophet and seer. You simply cannot stand at the edge of a property and look over it and accurately pontificate what is defective and in need of work. What lazy arrogance, this?
2. We live in a computer age. You need to either come to terms with this, integrating it into your work, or leave your occupation. Your half to one page hand written check-off reports shall not do. No pictures. Hand scribble that is nearly illegible. These reports do not at all do justice to your clients' interests. You would not want a report like this were you spending 250K on a property; hence, DO NOT expect that your clients' will either.
3. The straw that broke the back: My neighbor from across the street bought his house two years ago. He found massive rot on two sides of the structure -- such that he has had to tear the structure apart to remove this rot and remediate. On my off time, I have been going over and helping him with this work since he is too under-employed to pay for this work. His structure is a war zone now, has been for the last year, and shall be for many months and even years. Imagine my surprise last evening when my neighbor said that you had inspected his house. Fifteen minutes on site and 350$. A short one page of report that said nothing. As I bend down with sore back, wrists, and elbows to lay a sill plate or repair this or that, you come to mind. Enough is enough Harrison. Either come up to a minimum standard with the quality of your work, or abandon your stubborn demeanor and leave the profession. Shameful!

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