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01-19-2013 07:02 AM
I originally posted this in the Home Repairs forum but it seems like there are more warm bodies over here.
I was wondering if anyone has considered getting a 2nd home inspection done post sale in order to create a maintenance plan and/or to get a second opinion on an initial inspection? I recently purchased my first home in November and as a new home owner I used the inspector recommended by my RE broker. Although I felt the report was sufficient to buy my home I didn't feel entirely satisfied. Prior to my inspection I had attended a RedFin Home Inspection class to get insight on what the inspection would cover. Maybe my expectations were too high! I'm now thinking about hiring a RedFin badged inspector to do it again but more thoroughly.
Does anyone think this is a waste of time/money? I figured as a single woman it would also help me to have an idea of the extent of any problems before I start calling in the different repair guys if necessary. Any suggestions?
01-19-2013 04:26 PM
It's an interesting idea, but I wouldn't do it. Houses aren't very complex machines. There's not a whole heck of a lot that can go slowly and subtly wrong that you won't figure out just by living in the place for a few months and keeping your eyes open. The idea of a home inspection is to have someone do in an hour what might otherwise take you months of living there to discover, as well as check compliance with legal codes with which you may not be familiar.
Now, the idea of a regular home maintenance plan sounds very good. And will pay you handsomely back when you sell the beast. There are lots of fora out there that focus on home maintenance and upgrades, and if you lurk around there long enough, you'll probably start to get a good idea of what needs doing at what intervals.
By the way, you might also consider a subscription to Angie's List or something like that, so that when you do start calling repair and upgrade people, you can check references there. Not 100% reliable, but useful. Also, be careful about people who want to sell you upgraded windows. Depending on where you live, you also might want to get yourself a radon and water test kit, just to see what's going on there. These are both cheap.
01-19-2013 08:24 PM
The only thing I would have done hindsight is bring in a licensed electrician. The general inspection during escrow really only scratches the surface. Electrical and wiring is so complex and hidden that it would've totally been worth it to bring someone in to do a thorough report.
01-19-2013 09:54 PM
Also, be careful about people who want to sell you upgraded windows.
Care to elaborate? I'd like to replace my original wood windows because they're so drafty, they'd rattle whenever the wind blew. I pretty much sealed them shut for the winter but when spring rolls around I'd like to install some nice modern dual pane windows and doors.
01-19-2013 10:14 PM
Oh I don't mean you shouldn't do that. In fact, I have about 10-12 windows I am planning to replace in the next year or so. They're about 25 years old, aluminum, bent and not working in places, and tend to leak heat like a sieve -- I mean, so that I can feel a draft near them. You can get much better insulation these days.
I just mean that it seems to be an area where it's easily possible to be sold tech you don't really need, and where intangibles (installations costs) can allow less scrupulous vendors to jack the price up 2x from what would be reasonable. I think some window people take advantage of the fact that these days people can readily be upsold on very expensive windows and installation, because they can be presented as 21st century energy savings devices rather than...well, just ways to see through the walls. I only suggest being wary of sales pressure, and realizing windows are only one of the ways heat gets in or out of the house -- you don't want to pay $600 each to install triple-glazed super sealed argon-filled low-E NASA-quality windows when your attic has got 2 inches of 30-year-old fiberglass plus a few 6 inch holes the rats have gnawed in it.
01-20-2013 08:42 AM
Thanks all for your responses!
So do you think it would be better to schedule a few individual walkthroughs for the major systems i.e. plumbing, electrical, etc? My original home inspector told me that 80% of my plumbing had been replaced with copper (he couldn't see the remaining 20% due to my front lawn slope). But I've been in my home less than 2 months and I already have a slow draining shower and I can hear my pipes draining in the laundry room whenever I run water in other rooms. Maybe I'm just looking for some peace of mind that this type of stuff is normal. I love my home and want to keep it in the best shape to keep costs down.
01-21-2013 02:55 PM
This may sound like overkill but if you've ever discovered what your purchased (house, car, whatever) was 'not as advertised' after the deal was done then maybe not so 'overkill' : Get a separate inspection for every major system.
Yes you will spend more than just doing a 'visual' inspection by the lender's guy but the information you get will be worth the money.... Especially if it turns up things with the 'jack of all trades' inspector doesn't catch.
01-21-2013 07:14 PM
I agree with most posts.
This is why a "general" inspection is your best choice:
- A www.CREIA.org inspector needs a minimum of 30 education hours annually.
- A licensed contractor needs NO continuing education.
- California law prohibits inspectors from performing work on a building he/she inspects.
- A contractor may embellish on the scope of work because he/she is profit-driven.
BTW. I cannot imagine a home inspection without infra-red (thermal imaging).
01-30-2013 10:08 PM
Thanks all for the great advice! But you won't believe what's happened. My main bath shower started to drain slow, so after trying home remedies and failing, I called a plumber. The estimate is $2200 to fix the main line that the general inspector said was fine. The plumber videotaped the water pouring out of my main line. Thankfully I have a home warranty, but I now have to one up with the cash upfront before they'll reimburse me. Sheesh!
I have to agree that getting secondary inspections but by the specific trade(s) is the best way to go prior to buying a home. I could have either gotten this fixed or creditted upfront. Does anybody know of any other recourse I may have? Thanks!
01-30-2013 10:38 PM
Speak to your Realtor or broker. He/she will suggest the appropriate recourse (if any). The inspector cannot be liable for this ommission unless the inspector stated the main sewer line as "fine" in the written report. If you can prove that the seller had knowledge of this deficiency, then you may seek reimbursement. Refer to the the Buyer & Seller Advisory: http://www.car.org/media/pdf/legal/standard-forms/