Podcast: Season 4 Episode 1 – Debunking Home Inspection Myths

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Season 4, EP. 1 – Podcast Transcript: Debunking Common Home Inspection Myths

 

NOTE: This transcript was automatically processed using artificial intelligence and may or may not be 100% accurate.

 

[Brian]

Hi and welcome to the Houseplant Inspections Podcast where we provide you insight into the home inspection industry and make sure that you’ve got helpful tips and tricks to maintain your home for the long run. I’m Brian and I’m Tony and today we are going to go through several home inspection myths. Now Tony, you wouldn’t think there would be myths associated with the home inspection business.

 

[Tony]

Oh, no way, right? It’s like a unicorn or something, right?

 

[Brian]

Right, but it turns out, right, that there’s several things that people think about this business or this industry or even just the process itself that really aren’t true. Yes. And they’re pretty common things that people think of when they think of a home inspection.

 

[Tony]

Right. One of those would be it’s unnecessary to get a home inspection for new construction, right?

 

[Brian]

Yeah. So that’s a very common myth that, hey, this house is brand new, it’s just been built, it should be perfect, right?

 

[Tony]

What could be wrong?

 

[Brian]

What could go wrong?

 

[Tony]

Right. Plenty, I think, for sure.

 

[Brian]

Without a doubt.

 

[Tony]

Yeah. I mean, you’re going to tell us some of those things that you see or you want reversed water, hot and cold type things?

 

[Brian]

Yeah. So lots of things, right? So starting at sort of the most basic level, when you get a home that’s been newly built, there is a mad scramble at the end.

 

Of something called a punch list, where they’re literally trying to install faucets, get your air conditioner working, make sure that kind of all these last minute things that need to be done are done in order for you to move in to a new home. Correct. And as they’re going through this mad scramble, nobody takes the time beyond just sort of turning it on.

 

Water comes on. Great. I’m out of here.

 

Nobody sort of takes the time to figure out, does it work the way it’s supposed to? Right.

 

[Tony]

Absolutely.

 

[Brian]

So a lot of times we’ll get into a new house and we’ll start operating things as if you were going to operate them as a homeowner and we get to work those bugs out so you don’t have to. Absolutely. Yeah.

 

And like you mentioned, common things, hot and cold reversed on a faucet. They’ll start up the heating side of an air conditioning system, but forget about the cooling side or vice versa, depending on the time of year.

 

[Tony]

Oh yeah. I’ve seen a lot of things. We can go through each and every one of them, but I don’t think we have enough time.

 

[Brian]

No, for sure we don’t. But just mention a couple of common ones that you’ve seen.

 

[Tony]

Well, I mean, we like to touch everything, but just, I mean, from GFCIs that aren’t wired correctly, I’ve had, you know, loose cabinets. We like to touch those and they’re just loose and hanging there. Yeah.

 

[Brian]

My favorite is when you open the cabinet door and it just comes right off in your hand.

 

[Tony]

That’s amazing. Yeah. I mean, sometimes, you know, it’s just the finish around the floors next to the cabinet next between the toilet and the cabinet that where they haven’t put any trim and just little things like that.

 

I mean, the biggest thing I ever found was a hot, a tankless water heater that was installed on the outside of the home and below it, you could see an organic material, let’s say on the foundation below the bricks, you know, and then got looking closer and in the master bedroom. And I mean, just to run the faucets and the shower and everything that all went fine. Hot water worked, but you could see some bubbling in the paint on the trim around the floorboards, you know, and you touched, I touched one and it popped and some water came out.

 

I’m like, oh, this is where I need to put my moisture meter right here. Something’s not right, you know? And so there was a small like pinhole leak and some of the plumbing for that hot water, a tankless hot water heater in the wall.

 

And just, I guess, over the period of time that they took to finish all this, it was slowly leaking in there. It was black bold. And I got to sit there and wait for the plumber to arrive after everyone else from the builder had showed up, the building manager, the salesperson.

 

[Brian]

Oh my goodness.

 

[Tony]

Yeah. I mean, it was amazing. And finally the plumber left after all of that, those people were gone.

 

And I was, cause the client said, go ahead and finish up.

 

[Brian]

Yeah.

 

[Tony]

He cut a square out in the wall and back in there. So it’s, it’s in the wall behind the, the, the, the fixtures and the sinks in the master bedroom. It was black.

 

[Brian]

Oh wow. So we had a client and he did a podcast with us that you can find if you kind of scroll back through the history, he had a brand new house. His wife was pregnant with their first baby.

 

They moved into their home and they skipped the inspection because they said, Hey, brand new house. Yeah. They had the same exact problem in a different location.

 

It was in a hall bath behind the kitchen. And several weeks after the brand new baby in the house, they had their entire house torn apart by the builder because they had to replace hardwood floors. They had to replace kitchen cabinets.

 

They had to replace. Yeah. So yeah, definitely don’t skip the inspection on a new home construction.

 

We’ve seen everything from, you know, uh, framing that’s not done appropriately where they had to come in after the fact and reinforce it. Um, but I mean, things like that, you’re not, you’re not going to see just walking around as a homeowner. So right.

 

Definitely, uh, highly recommend on a new home construction. You don’t skip the inspection.

 

[Tony]

Yeah. I, a lot of people will say, Oh, we’ll have you come out at the 11 month warranty inspection, we like to do that also, but for sure you can walk into some real trouble as you described and I described and it just, it isn’t worth it.

 

[Brian]

Yeah.

 

[Tony]

And that’s true.

 

[Brian]

And you know, since you brought that up, we’ll just talk for a second about it. And I know we need to get onto myth number two, but we will do a lot of times the new home construction inspection and then come back 11 months later. And I get asked a lot, what, you know, how much can really change in 11 months?

 

How much can change in 11 months?

 

[Tony]

Quite a bit, quite a bit.

 

[Brian]

So when you’re in a house and you’re using things every day, you start to get the, um, usage factor. Right. And so when we test things, we’re doing sort of a one-time test on a new construction, right?

 

Like I’m testing, do you get hot water at your bathroom sink? When you’re living in there, you’re testing, do I get hot water at my bathroom sink every day? Right.

 

Or do I get it the way I expect it to come out every day? Right. And so when we come back at the 11th month, it’s amazing to me sometimes how we’ll find, well, yeah, it works, but not really right in the, at least not in the way that we expected it to.

 

[Tony]

Yeah.

 

[Brian]

Or, um, over time things will, will change just due to the, just due to the time factor.

 

[Tony]

Right. And it gives, like you said, the homeowner, um, an opportunity to live in the house and do things on a day-to-day basis in the pattern that they do those things. And then when we show up, you know, they can let us know what they’re having concerns with and we can dig deeper into that.

 

Right.

 

[Brian]

Yeah, absolutely.

 

[Tony]

Yeah. Myth number two, you ready? Let her rip.

 

The home inspections are only for buyers.

 

[Brian]

Oh no, not at all. In fact, um, I would encourage, so we’re going to get into a little bit of my soapbox here, but I actually think we do this whole process backwards. Right.

 

I really do. I, you know, we, we are in this weird situation when it comes to buying a house. Okay.

 

And then, you know, all the disclaimers, not a lawyer, not a real estate agent. Uh, I see this from a perspective of a home inspector. Okay.

 

But the way this process works, at least in Texas, Tony, you as a home buyer, go out, you put in a contract on a house at the time that you’re putting, or you put in an offer, excuse me, at the time you’re putting in your offer, you get this form that the homeowner, home home owner filled out with all the disclosures on it. And that’s everything, you know, about the house aside from what you saw looking at it and you put an offer in, and then you’re going to get some option period, whatever you’ve negotiated five days, seven days, 10 days in very rare cases, but you’re going to get some period of time that you get to have the home evaluated, right? You’re, you’re doing your due diligence.

 

You’re making sure it’s quote, quote unquote as advertised. Right. And that’s when you pay as a buyer to go get all these inspections done, right?

 

Uh, you get the home inspection done and any other evaluation that you feel you need, or that may come up at the home inspection where it says, Hey, you should have a, another professional take a look at this thing. Right. So that puts an immense amount of pressure and strain on the entire situation, the entire process.

 

And it’s the most nerve wracking three to 10 days in someone’s life outside of maybe a birth or a death or divorce. You take those three things out. This is probably the most nerve wracking time in someone’s life.

 

Why instead would we not, if you’re selling a house, would you not just go out, get a really good thorough home inspection done and put that into your disclosure and say, here is everything that not only I know about it, but Hey, I had a third party not associated with me. Come in and like, this is everything we know about. And by the way, I took care of these two things on the report already.

 

Cause man, I didn’t know about them either. And everything else is like, this is what, this is what it is.

 

[Tony]

Right. Pre-listing a home inspection like that. It seems to me that gives the seller a little more power.

 

Maybe, I mean, in just revealing everything right up front.

 

[Brian]

Well, it takes, it does a couple of things for you as a seller, right? It helps remove that again, not an attorney, but it does help remove that liability a little bit of you hid this or you covered this up or whatever.

 

[Tony]

Hey, honestly, you know, I mean, I’ve bought and sold many homes and I know there’s times where, I mean, you fill out the disclosure and there’s things that you just don’t even think about maybe or realize or forgot about, I guess, you know, there’s a lot of people like that, that just don’t know, you know, they’re not trying to purposefully necessarily try to hide something from you, but they just aren’t real knowledgeable about what it is they’re actually doing in the disclosure.

 

[Brian]

I think exactly. And the other thing it does for you as a seller is it gives you everything right up front that you’re talking to the buyer about. So when they put their offer in, they’re putting their offer in knowing everything that’s going on.

 

And there’s at that point, there’s not really a need for an option period unless you, you know, unless the buyer for whatever reason feels like they need their own inspection in some way, or if the inspection reports that, Hey, you need to have a plumber or roofer, take a look at this specific thing, you know, then they might say, okay, well, I need, I need somebody, if you haven’t done it, I need to have somebody look at this specific thing.

 

Right. Correct. But it, it definitely makes that a much less stressful situation.

 

Everybody’s going in eyes open, knowing what’s going on. And when we do pre-listing inspections, at least I know the realtors we work with that, that like to recommend that to their clients. Many, many times we’ve been told this just makes everything go so much smoother.

 

A lot of times they’ll just skip the option period. A lot of times they’ll, they’ll skip everything, you know, associated with that. And they’ll just put the offer in knowing, Hey, these five things need to be repaired.

 

We just, we’re going to price it this way. You know, we’re going to offer it this way because of that, or, you know, Hey, here’s our offer, but we’d like you to fix these three things before we close or whatever. Like they could do all that up front.

 

[Tony]

Sounds amazing. We need to do more of that.

 

[Brian]

I know. Right. Um, and I, I do, you know, it’s kind of my soapbox.

 

I could talk about it forever.

 

[Tony]

Well, let’s move on to myth number three and that’s all companies provide the same level of service.

 

[Brian]

Oh, not true. Not true at all. So you, um, used to work with a different company and you now work with our company.

 

[Tony]

Correct. What do you think? I just think that there’s a whole level of detail and thoroughness and really just a comprehensive information provided in our inspection.

 

And that also there’s, there’s information that’s, that’s there for the buyer of that inspection to have for in the future. Um, a year from now, two years from now, if they forgot, where’s the main water shut off valve.

 

[Brian]

So a couple of years ago in Texas, we had this massive freeze come through. I mean, it was horrible. It was, we were without power all over the place.

 

It was, it was really bad. And for our area where that happens, you know, once every 10 decades, we’re just not prepared for that kind of thing. And the number of phone calls I got asking me, can you resend my inspection report so I can find my water shut off?

 

Or can you resend my inspection report so I can find out how I get my fireplace working? Because a lot of people have these fireplaces that are electronic ignition with battery backups and you know, you don’t, we don’t ever need it. So you don’t think about that until that moment, until that battery backup would be great, but not everybody, not every inspection company puts that level of detail in their report.

 

Right.

 

[Tony]

You know, I think, um, I wouldn’t understand why an agent, um, would not want that for their customer for sure. That level of detail and, uh, and just, uh, a knowledge, you know, to me, it just seems like that would be important. Maybe some don’t, but, uh, yeah, that’s where we like to be at for sure.

 

[Brian]

No, for sure. Yeah. And the other thing I would say that I think we do a fairly good job of, I mean, you can always be better at everything, right?

 

But I think we do a really good job with our clients after the inspection in making sure that they understand everything that we’ve, that we’ve uncovered, everything that we’ve observed. And really the whole process writes about documenting the condition of the house. So everything that we’ve observed, I think we do a really good job of going through that with our client.

 

And a lot of times their realtor will be there and everybody will have a chance to ask questions and things will just sort of be, um, just gone over. And we generally take as much time as, as needed, uh, occasionally that, you know, we’ve got to run off to another inspection or we’ve got a tighter schedule. And when that happens, we’ll usually get back to them later that day.

 

Okay.

 

[Tony]

Yeah.

 

[Brian]

Over the phone, over the phone or whatever it takes. Right. I mean, we even do things.

 

Yeah. We even do things, you know, over a webinar.

 

[Tony]

Well, that’s what I mean. Yeah.

 

[Brian]

Sure.

 

[Tony]

So, all right. Myth number four. So when you do an inspection, it guarantees the property is in perfect condition, right?

 

[Brian]

Well, no, um, it doesn’t certainly doesn’t guarantee the properties in perfect condition, right? Because we’re documenting the condition of the property. So, um, I think, you know, people have this perception though, that, that what it does do is if I fix everything on this report, my house will be perfect.

 

Right. Right. And it’ll certainly be closer to, I don’t know, perfect, I guess is be the best way to say it, but here’s the thing is everybody involved in building your house, everybody involved in inspecting your house, uh, everybody involved in maintaining your house, we’re all humans and humans like it or not are imperfect creatures.

 

Right. And so nothing we do while we can get close to perfection, nothing we do is really perfect. So just because you do everything on the list doesn’t necessarily mean that your house is now going to be in perfect condition.

 

It’s certainly going to be in great condition, right? It’s, it’s going to be much better, um, than it was before. And, you know, another inspector that comes out or even if we come out a second time, yeah, we might find some other things.

 

They’re going to be little things.

 

[Tony]

Good, good answer. I agree. So let’s go to myth number five.

 

[Brian]

I’m glad we debunked that one.

 

[Tony]

I don’t have anything to add to that one. I’m sorry. I think that was well said.

 

Um, thanks. Yeah, sure. Ryan.

 

Um, last one. And, and I, and I, I’m gonna, well, I get this a lot. It’s like, should I buy this house?

 

Um, is this house okay? Or is this house bad? Um, so is it a pass or fail?

 

Yeah.

 

[Brian]

So it’s not. Um, I even have this, I, I believe in this so much. I even have it on our, our website in the, I think it’s in the about section, but I have a whole thing on it.

 

Um, it’s not a pass or fail. It is simply us documenting the condition of your house so that you can make a really informed decision about what to deal with, what to fix, what not to fix. Um, you know, we have clients that will literally go through and fix everything on an inspection report.

 

And then we have clients that will say, you know, um, kind of okay living with these 20 things, but that one over there is really important to me. Right. Right.

 

And so I’m, I’m going to fix that one and I’m not going to worry about safety concerns.

 

[Tony]

Yeah. Those are always big ones.

 

[Brian]

Yeah, they are. But, but you’re right. It’s not a pass or fail.

 

It’s not a, Oh my gosh, this house is, is not gonna, gonna pass muster. Right. There’s nothing in a house that can’t be repaired.

 

I mean, everything can be fixed. It’s just, it’s whatever your appetite is as a buyer or a owner homeowner as to what you want to fix or can fix or can live with or cannot live with. Right.

 

Absolutely. If you have a hole in your roof, you probably want to fix that one.

 

[Tony]

What length are you willing to go? And then also, you know, now we can negotiate how we’re going to get, I can get these things done, right. As part of this whole process.

 

[Brian]

Exactly.

 

[Tony]

I need this fixed. I need that fixed. The roof’s got a hole in it.

 

[Brian]

Yeah. Um, and, and it’s so hard, right? You do get that question of would you buy this house?

 

Right. That happens so many times.

 

[Tony]

And what do you say?

 

[Brian]

Well, I mean, it’s different for every person. Right. But I mean, my general answer, like kind of the general theme of how I answer that is every house is different.

 

Every person’s different and every situation is different. Right. And so the things that I would look at in this report, if I were buying the home as a father of five and as somebody who runs a business and has a busy life are a lot different than the things you’re going to look at as a, I don’t know, maybe a two income working family of, you know, two or four, um, that maybe has more money and less time or less time and more money, or maybe has more knowledge than I do. Right. Like if you’re an electrician, you probably don’t care about the electrical section other than, you know, I’ve got a checklist of things I have to do.

 

Right. But if you’re a school teacher, you might look at the things on the electrical section, which are usually safety related and go, Oh my gosh, I have to have all those things.

 

[Tony]

Right. Oh yeah. And we’ve seen that.

 

I’ve seen that too. Yeah, for sure.

 

[Brian]

Yeah. And so how you look at it is, is really very dependent on your, you and your situation.

 

[Tony]

Sure. That makes sense. That’s better than just saying you should ask my wife, but I’ve heard that before.

 

[Brian]

So when I was young as an inspector, when I was very first doing this, I had somebody asked me, would you buy this house?

 

[Tony]

Yeah.

 

[Brian]

And I, I wasn’t even thinking, I just, somebody asked me the question. I just said, well, no, I wouldn’t buy this house. Why would I like this?

 

This doesn’t fit my life at all.

 

[Tony]

But yeah, but that they took it differently.

 

[Brian]

Yeah. Like this house was there and they looked at me like, why would you say that? And so I, it took me a second.

 

I realized, okay, that’s not really what they’re asking me. So I explained my answer. Right.

 

And they understood, Oh no, I’m not really asking you about your five kids in your life. Would you buy this house in the condition that’s in, is it a pass or a fail?

 

[Tony]

That’s what they’re asking.

 

[Brian]

What other myths do we have?

 

[Tony]

I that’s, that’s my list.

 

[Brian]

Have we debunked them all?

 

[Tony]

I think so. I think that, yeah, you’ve done a good job.

 

[Brian]

Well, if you are enjoying the podcast, if you’re enjoying the things you hear, please subscribe or better yet, share it with somebody, you know, we’re available on all the social channels. You can find us on all the big ones, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, all the fun stuff. And, uh, you can find us at housefluent.com.

 

If you need a home inspection, we’d love to find you over there. And if you just have questions, you can always reach out to us. We’re always available.

 

[Tony]

Is that something they can leave a comment on if they go and we’ll see that comment on?

[Brian]

You can, you can leave a comment on, well, yeah, YouTube for sure. But, and also, uh, just at housefluent.com we get those comments.

 

[Tony]

Okay.

 

[Brian]

Yeah. Good deal. That’s it.

 

Let’s wrap it up.

 

[Tony]

Okay.

 

[Brian]

Tony, what do you got going on tomorrow?

 

[Tony]

 

Oh yeah. Tomorrow’s a big day. Um, I’ve got a home inspection.

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House Fluent Inspections

House Fluent Inspections, the premier home inspection company in North Texas.