There are certain home inspection companies in the Omaha area hiring Reputation Management Companies to generate fake reviews on Google to boost their on-line presence. To identify these companies, all you have to do is look at the dates of when the reviews were made. If a majority of the reviews were all written within the last year, then a majority of them are most likely fake. These reviews will all be written in a similar manner, there won’t be any gramatical errors, they will mention the inspector’s name and how professional the home inspector was, BUT they will never mention any specifics about the home inspection. Most importantly, there won’t be a single negative review. But if you go back before the flurry of reviews started happening for them, you’ll most likely find some negative reviews made by actual clients. These home inspection companies strive to please the real estate agents and not protect their actual clients at all. They have reputations for softselling inspections or rubber stamping them so the deals go through smoothly. Over the years, these companies had a slew of bad reviews and the public could easily spot them by going on-line to do their own research instead of relying on an agent’s referral. Now, they’ve found a dishonest way of trying to bury those real reviews and are making it very hard for the public to separate the good home inspectors from the bad on-line.
At some point, Google will catch up to them. Until then, be smarter than their unethical business tactics! Read the reviews carefully by going all the way back to their early reviews. You’ll find the truth if you look far enough back before all of the fake reviews were dumped onto the top.
The word “inspection” is grossly misinterpreted in this case. VA/FHA “Inspections” are typically performed by an Appraiser. They are on-site no more than 20 minutes with their primary focus of doing the appraisal. They’ll take note of trip hazards, lead based paint, possible asbestos, loose railings, but will not thoroughly inspect all of the major components of the home. Do not make the mistake of assuming a VA or FHA “Inspection” is an actual home inspection. It is NOT! Do not let anybody try to talk you out of a professional home inspection because the house already had a VA or FHA “inspection”.
Relying on a pre-listing home inspection is a gamble for buyers. First, you didn’t hire the home inspector so that inspector wasn’t working for you. Second, every single home inspection that we’ve performed for a Buyer after another company has conducted the pre-inspection has resulted in us finding major problems that the pre-listing report didn’t reveal. To make matters worse, certain inspection companies now will perform a Pre-Listing Inspection in which they only inspect 4-6 items. Yet, when you look at their report, you’re misled into thinking they inspected the entire home. Third, most pre-inspections are performed by companies that have preferred vendor relationships with the real estate company listing the property. Do you really think they have an incentive to find everything? See “Preferred Vendor Relationships” below and the accompanying article for real instances of pre-inspections missing major problems.
These properties scream “I need a home inspection!” They are usually in disrepair and the seller is in some type of financial difficulties OR if bank-owned listing the property “As-Is” is a tactic they use hoping you won’t have it inspected so negotiations go smoother. The Biggest misnomer out there is because it’s an “As-Is” property that there’s no point in having a home inspection. WRONG!!! Always insist in the contract to have a home inspection. If you have the property inspected and say $20,000 worth of problems are found, then you have the right to back out of the contract. You can then submit a new lower offer accounting for those problems. Finding $10,000-$20,000 of problems on “As-Is” properties is common. For more information, read “”As-Is” Properties and Home Inspections”.
New Construction Inspections
Many people believe that because it’s a new construction that the city or county has inspected the property throughout the entire build. Wrong! The Code Department typically sends out their Inspector(s) for the electrical rough-in inspection, plumbing rough-in inspection, mechanical inspection, electrical inspection final, plumbing inspection final, and in some jurisdictions they perform the framing inspection. In small towns, all of those inspections are done by 1 person. Hopefully, they are thoroughly trained. After these inspections, they issue a Certificate of Occupancy if everything “passes”. Their job is to look at those items, not everything else. The Code Inspectors are typically on site 5-10 minutes & off racing to the next inspection. With 15-30 inspections per day, it’s not possible for them to find everything. Yet, Builders are quick to point out that the house has “passed code”. Great! What that means is the Builder has corrected any issues the City or County Code Department happened to find and the City or County is stating that the home meets the minimum Code requirements of that jurisdiction. To you, that means the home gets at least a D+ rating for the building process…not necessarily an A+. That is why it’s important for you to research your Builder. Regardless of the size of home, does your builder construct the home to minimum code or do they go way above & beyond?
With that said, we’ve inspected new homes with major problems that “passed code”. We’ve come across entire walls of the foundation that settled because the footings didn’t cure long enough before the concrete foundation was poured, where a girder truss was collapsing because the Builder used the wrong nailing pattern, where floor and attic trusses were damaged, where the driveway was only 2 1/2″ thick, where the flashing around windows were allowing active water leaks inside through the drywall, where entire roofs had been nailed with the nails poking up 1/4″ through the shingles, where glue was skimped on the PVC exhaust piping during the high-efficiency furnace installation causing carbon monoxide to leak into the home…the list goes on. These homes ranged from tract built to high-end custom lakefront homes. Most of these repairs are in the thousands, some in the tens of thousands, some life-threatening.
New construction inspections are a must and need to be done prior to close! If the home inspection reveals problems, you can make the repairs contractual with the Builder. If you have the home inspection performed after your closing, then you’re at the mercy of the Builder or his subs to fix the problem if and when they feel like it. If the Builder’s quality control is poor, we’ve found more wrong on a brand new home than on a home 50 years old. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a cookie-cutter home or high-end custom built home, everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes can be costlier than others. You always want to have the home inspection before you close. The following article is a real case of what we found on a 4-year old home: “Why New Construction Inspections Are Critical”. You can also check out my photo gallery: New Construction Nightmares to get a good taste of what can be found on brand new homes. Our hope is that we perform the home inspection and don’t find much, but that’s not the reality in most cases.
If a Builder refuses to allow a home inspection prior to close, then you need to steer clear of that Builder.
Preferred Vendor Relationships
There are home inspectors in the Omaha Metro that are paying real estate offices to be on their exclusive preferred vendor lists. These questionable relationships pay real estate companies indirectly for referrals. The inspectors entering into these deals are in direct violation of ASHI’s Code of Ethics. To do your own research, go to any of the larger real estate company’s websites and if the home inspectors are listed on their website, they’ve paid to be on their exclusive list. Do you really think these inspectors are working for you? To read more, click “Omaha Home Inspectors Blatantly Violating ASHI’s Code of Ethics”.
Do You Need A Home Warranty?
Home Warranties are an insurance coverage for your house. They “cover” the mechanicals and appliances for 1 year and the cost as of now is around $450. We have “cover” in quotes because you need to read the long list of tiny print of what’s excluded. Home warranties do serve a purpose in that today’s appliances are made really cheap. If you can purchase an insurance product that covers your appliances, then we think it’s a wise choice. We still prefer you to sign up for an HVAC Company’s annual service plan to properly care for your furnace, heat pump, or A/C.
Don’t get a home warranty confused with a home inspection. There’s a huge difference! “Home Warranties vs Home Inspections”.