Every house has its own story, even before the first folks move in. As someone who reads houses, my job is to learn that story and then write it, allowing you to proceed with the home buying process in a more informed and intelligent manner.
Home inspections are no longer about whether the house has issues, they all have issues. They’re about how one house compares to another. Newly constructed houses are no exception. The building codes are just minimum standards, much is not inspected by the code authorities, much can go wrong and, based on my long experience, much does go wrong. The day I find a perfect house, I’ll know I’ve died and gone to heaven.
Inspection reports are now the biggest obstacle to an agent attempting to close a sale and earn a commission. For this and other reason, home inspectors are now marketing their services to all parties involved in the residential purchase transaction. While I won’t go into the motives of the sellers and agents that commission a home inspection, several facts remain: these seller and agent reports will eventually be offered to the buyer in the hopes that they will displace the buyer’s own inspection/report; the buyer is the only party with a major stake in the condition of the house, the others are in it for the money; inspectors are not all the same, some suite the needs of the agent, other are better for the seller but only one sort is best for the buyer – the sort that knows well how to read and interpret houses and is willing to report everything he finds. The failure of the buyer to remain diligent by basing a purchase decision on an inspector’s report found by the buyer’s own research can result in financial damage in the form of major issues not revealed by these other inspection reports.
The best litmus test there is on an inspector’s expertise is the reports he has written. Good authors are found by reading their works, so it is with home inspectors. Sample reports are good as long as they haven’t been doctored to mislead the reader. Actual reports, not matter how old, are best. The more reports a person has read, the better he knows what to look for and how to recognize good inspectors. Don’t bother reading past page ten of any report. If you haven’t learned a great deal about the house by then, you likely won’t learn much at all from that report.
My inspections are thorough, my reports are brief and easy to read, and they rarely exceed 14 pages. Twelve is my average and by the end of page three, you’ll already know more about the house than the seller ever did. Inspections run from 1 to 4 hours, averaging about 2 1/2. The customized report is written at my home office, and takes the rest of the day. Good writing takes time. Reports are Emailed within 24 hours of the commencement of the inspection.
I don’t offer termite, infrared or mold inspections. I could, but few houses have a genuine call for these specialties. If I see a call for it, I either treat it myself in the report, whip out my infrared camera for an IR survey or refer you to a specialist, whichever is most appropriate. These specialty inspections are big money makers for some inspectors. That’s where their popularity comes from, not from genuine need.
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. I’ve worked on houses all my life.
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.