Why home inspectors aren't all there cracked up to be

If you had seen my earlier post with the issue in the attic then this post will back even more sense. If not, short version, my inspector missed alot of problems that I am finding. To start with, the bathroom fans were not vented correct, I had an entire wet wall in the laundry room that had to be replaced, new ice line run, my a/c unit was not sealed correct, and the new discovery - -My second floor bath is rotting out the floor and the ceiling below and there is major water damage to the lower wall were water has been slowly running down it. I think at this point it is time to follow up with the inspection company and get this resolved. One more thing, I found out also that my hot water heater is rusting from the inside out. Any suggestions if this is worth going after the inspection company, file with home warrenty or better go after previous owner for not putting on disclosure form. It is very clear that there was some previous hide the problem work done.
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Did you expect the guy to climb inside and check it for you? You bought an old house with an old water heater - should have looked at the mfg date - even that would not tell you the condition, as it depeneds on the design and water you're getting. Have you flushed the WH at least once, since you're owned it?
RichK
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cheaphomeowner wrote:

Not easy to hold professional home inspectors liable in most states. Also not easy to go after previous owners that have no construction experience.
Best place to start is by making a few phone calls to real estate attorneys. You can call your real estate agent and curse them out if it makes you feel better, but it won't get you anywhere.
Sounds like some of your repairs need to be done immediately. Get professional estimates and take lots of pictures.
The entire home-buying process makes little sense. Most people spend more time on purchasing a car than buying a house. There is too much money to be made by realtors, inspectors, title companies, local, county, state govts and of course the banks for anything to change. Even a 10% drop in home sales would mean billions in lost revenue, why would the politicians make the process fair to all involved? They just want the titles changing hands rapidly so they can pull in more ca$h.
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DItto RayV ! Good to see another curmudgeon online.
Housing, at least in the US, is in large measure a scam. Even if you have your own realtor as a buyer's agent they will do everything they can to slam you into a house. Appraisers go with the flow so that they get repeat business from the real estate agents. By 'go with the flow" I mean they deliberately pad their assessments.
First time home buyers are like lambs to the slaughter.
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Up to a point, that's quite true.
BUT the appriaisers also work for the lenders. If an appraiser gets too carried away the lenders will no longer accept his reports and he will be stuck with the small amount of business he gets from buyers with more cash than brains.
If there is a true falsehood or a gross error in the appraisal he and his insurance company are on the hook. Otherwise, if you read the appraisal you can decide for yourself whether the judgments are reasonable.
For example, the report might make the assumption that the prices are going up 15% each year and also find comparibles that are a year old claiming that's the best he can do. It's easy to check that kind of thing out.

In theory, you are correct.
In practice that first home purchase is usually the best decision that person or couple has made insofar as his long term finances are concerned.
Most folks who buy before interest rates go crazy or "creative financing" is the norm, usually do OK.

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I think that if you missed it and the inspector missed it, the previous owner can easily say they were not aware of it either. You only have to disclose what you know.
As for the inspector, who knows. They will probably claim it was hidden damage. For example, if the exhaust fan sucked in air and blew it out the other side, that's about it. What is in the wall is in the wall. As for an ice line, the old one put out water, that's probably the test. You problem is that you corrected a bunch of stuff. So to some extent, you may have "destroyed the evidence".
It's probably worth contacting the inspection company for no other reason than to rant and blow off steam. To pursue it, you make need a lawyer and you know what that means ....
OTOH, if you lender required the inspection and "suggested" the company, you should talk to them.
Good luck.
cheaphomeowner wrote:

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Reading the contract you signed with the inspector would be educational.
Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid says...

That's not unusual. The inspector typically has, at most, a few hours to look at the house, and isn't supposed to cause damage looking into concealed spaces. A good inspector can take a close look at exposed areas and sometimes see signs of concealed damage, but not always.
If a slow plumbing leak inside a wall has caused lots of rot inside the wall but hasn't caused any staining or deformation on the outside, how is an inspector going to find it? The seller isn't going to allow an inspection that involves cutting holes in all the walls for interior inspection -- if you decide not to buy, he's left with a house that looks like Swiss cheese.

Can you prove the previous work was done with the previous owner's intent to hide the problem? Or will the homeowner defend himself by claiming he was taken advantage of by a handyman who claimed to have really fixed the problem?
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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It would be worth hiring a lawyer to find out your rights and hopefully get some compensation: however, if to go to trial, you may end up spending as much money as it would take to fix the problems with uncertain results, at least spending the money on fixing the problems will get certain results. Also did the previous owner sign a discloser of known problems.
is Joshua Putnam

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You mention a home warranty; that would be the first thing I would investigate. Probably cheaper than a lawyer, and more likely to pay off than the other options.
Jo Ann
Jeff wrote:

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On Mon, 19 Jun 2006 14:40:38 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@spam.invalid (cheaphomeowner) wrote:

I've been through five home inspections over the past four years. My current home - I waived the inspection (no regrets). Ever inspection was as different as the inspector himself. The best one was recently when the inspector reported an item, that only I knew about. Others nit-pick, because there was really nothing broke or failed.
If you have a warranty, file with them on the water heater. The inspector probably looked at the date and determined there were no changes that were out of code, plus, the water got hot.

Or someone accepted their own poor work.
Oren
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(cheaphomeowner)

I was called to look at a furnace in a house that wasn't lighting off, per the inspectors report. Amazingly enough, he was right!
Even more amazing, he missed at least 4 major code violations, a countless number of minor violations, and a nearly completely plugged up condenser coil on the outside unit. He did catch about 6 or 8 missing screws from light switch plates.
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HeatMan wrote:

How is that amazing? It seems about right from my experience. That's why the contract usually says the inspector is not responsible for the accuracy of the report nor liable for any problems that they missed.
Best regards, Bob
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countless
You got that right, Bob.
"Oh, I missed something and your house burned down. Sorry." Next customer, please.
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Sold a home recently 2 different inspectors first buyer backed out.
2 inspections looked like they were on diferent homes:( I KNEW what the issues were they missed some while creating others.
One inspector wrote up no GFCI on sump pump, so I installed one
Next inspector wrote up GFCI that it shouldnt be on a sump pump
wish 60 minutes would do a investigatrive report on inspectors the industry is messed up
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IMO if you are already somewhat "handy" then you should do your own "home inspection." You can do the mental calculations as to how much to deduct from your offer to cover repairs.
One real estate salesman I dealt with claimed that he knew a case where a "home inspector" spotted some plywood in the roof that had been subject to a recall. If your inspector (and his company) keeps on top of these things then it might be worthwhile but once you know what to look for, your can look for yourself. If the inspector doesn't know he is useless.
Unless the inspector is stupid he will find SOMETHING wrong. The home inspection gives you a change to withdraw your offer without penalty if your offer has a home inspection clause. That's the BEST reason to pay for the inspection.
When it comes to HVAC stuff, if you are in the right season, you can just "fire it up." Since good HVAC techs make more than "home inspectors" if you want a HVAC system checked out right you call in a HVAC company.
So long as you are selling into a hot market, the home inspection is something you can just ignore. When I sold a townhouse, the inspector tore up a indoor/outdoor carpet to show that the patio slab was cracked (duh! WTF do you think the previous owner put down the carpet?). His other "findings" were that the roof at leaked at sometime in the past (old water damage found in a closet) and a knob on the stove was broken.
If the market isn't hot the buyer will use the report to get you to cut your price. You have to use your own judgment as to whether to cut the selling price. The only repairs you want to do when selling are those the lender demands. To the buyer, you just offer CASH.
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On Sun, 25 Jun 2006 02:37:25 -0400, "John Gilmer"

If you poke around on the HI sites you will find the checklist they use.
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