Every house has its own story, even before the first folks move in. As someone who reads houses, I learn that story so you can make a more informed decision on whether to purchase the house.
Beware of agents who refer you to home inspectors. Agents and buyers have an adversarial relationship when it comes to choice of inspector and the inspection report. Agents have an interest in protecting their commission. Buyers have an interest in knowing as much as possible about the house. An inspection report cannot do both at the same time.
Not that agents are bad guys, just that the mechanics of the many conflicts of interests in real estate are understood only by a few. If an agent hands you a name or even a list of names of inspectors, don’t act on it immediately, but rather check out each name for an online sample report, or just call them and ask for one. An inspector’s inspection report is the best litmus test there is to gauge his knowledge of houses and ability to express on paper what he has found. If he doesn’t have a sample report, don’t take a chance on him. You’re not buying a bag of groceries, or even a car. You’re buying a house! You can be seriously damaged by issues not reported.
There is no educational standard required of home inspectors, by any state regulatory body, certifying agency or home inspector trade association. There are requirements of course, but none of them specify what an inspector has to know about houses or about report writing, before he can be issued a license or certification. Even the ‘Certified Master Inspector’ designation, has little value. It’s available for purchase to any inspector who meets the requirements and pays the specified fee. There is no educational standard attached to it. So beware. The range of what you can get from a licensed and certified inspector varies greatly. From eye opening to practically nothing.
I don’t solicit agents for inspection referrals. That leaves me with your interests alone to serve.
No house is ever perfect, not even new ones. The day I find a perfect house, I’ll know I’ve died and gone to heaven.
Even newly constructed homes are not perfect. The building codes are just minimum standards, much is not inspected by the code authorities, much can still go wrong and, based on my experience, much does go wrong.
I don’t make things up in my reports. It’s either common sense or I back it up.
I’m licensed locally in electrical and AC/heating service. My 15 years as an inspector was preceded by 14 years self-employed in the trades, serving all major trades but plumbing.
My expertise as a home inspector is almost entirely homegrown. The State Board of Home Inspectors has never adopted an educational standard. They require 120 hours of instruction but without an educational standard, that instruction has no legs to stand on. It’s been that way for 19 years.
My inspections cover what I can see and what I know. I research what I don’t know. My inspections run from 1 to 4 hours, averaging about 2 1/2 hours onsite. The customized report writing is done offsite, and takes the rest of the day. Reports are Emailed within 24 hours of the commencement of the inspection.
My inspections are thorough. They’re brief and easy to read, just like this web page. I don’t waste your attention, I write only what you need to know and what you want to know.
My name is Marc LeBlanc. I own Sherlock Inspection, serving south-central Louisiana with integrity since 2003. You want me as your inspector because of my dual expertise in inspecting and in reporting, and because I tell you exactly what I find.