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.
No house is perfect, not even new ones. The day I find a perfect house, I’ll know I’ve died and gone to heaven.
So, home inspections are not about whether the house has issues but about how houses compare to one another. For that to work, every house would need to be inspected and that is exactly where the home inspection profession is currently headed. They’re called pre-listing inspections but they’re just home inspections with a different name.
Home inspectors now serve all parties involved in the transfer of residential property but that doesn’t mean all inspection reports are the same for a given house. Inspection reports are often influenced by the interests of the party that commissioned the inspection. If you’re a home buyer, your stake in the condition of the house is far greater than any of the other parties. Choose your own inspector, subject to your own scrutiny.
The best tell on an inspector’s ability to read a house and to write about it on paper is reports that he has already done. Authors are judged this way, and so can home inspectors. Ask family, friends and co-workers for reports done by inspectors. The more of them you read, the more you learn what to look for. Having done that, ask your prospective inspector for copies of recent reports. If he hasn’t any, look elsewhere. Few and far between are the good ones.
Don’t be fooled by inspector membership in trade associations, certifications in mold, infrared, Master Certified Inspector, Certified Professional Inspector, etc. The vast majority of these are sales gimmicks. They help the inspector, not you.
Newly constructed houses are seldom the ones in the best of condition. A 24 year-old house I inspected just a few days before this writing was in better condition than the vast majority of newly constructed houses I’ve seen. The building codes are just minimum standards, much is not inspected by the code authorities here, much can go wrong and, based on my long experience, much does go wrong.
By affiliation with InspectedHouses.com, Sherlock offers a type of pre-listing inspection not available from anyone else in south-central Louisiana. This inspection includes a yard sign with the information needed for drive-by prospects to instantly download a sanitized copy of the inspection report for a nominal fee with just their phone. This fee is forwarded to whichever party paid for the inspection, and the agent on record at InspectedHouses.com receives a text lead on the new prospect with contact information. Prospects are given an opt-out choice. For more information contact me directly at my text number.
My inspections are thorough, my reports brief and easy to read, rarely exceeding 14 pages. Twelve pages is 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 any of them, I either treat them 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 16 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.