Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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No Inspection? Don't Take New Construction For Granted

I spoke a week back at a John L. Scott Real Estate class for new home-buyers. One well-intentioned student asked the realtor instructor if there was, financially, any justification to spend money for an inspection at a new property.

The realtor said a resounding "yes" and, when my time came, I further elaborated on that statement.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, I can think of a major reason to have an inspection at a new home. Sure, there are the run of the mill things -- insulation not installed, insulation packed around the B-vent, heat ducts that are not attached, plumbing vents that are not flashed or are plugged with caps so they do not breathe. Again, those are the minor, common, things.

The photo below shows one of those minor issues but, look closely at the picture and you will see a much bigger problem than a disconnected heat duct. This crawl space was full of water. This was, honestly, one of the dry spots. An estimate, of pooled water, put that quantity of water at over 700 gallons. Think about it, 700 plus gallons to evaporate up into the crawl space and the interior of the home.

This is a problem you really want to catch going in because, and I say this from experience, builders usually do not point out that problem to buyers. In fact, some builders downplay it. I had a client say that the builder told him "there is water there but it never gets high enough to get up on the structural wood or to lead to water intrusion through the floor -- not that much of a problem, being a crawl space and not a basement." Boy, that is really bad coaching, but the builder had a big financial stake in selling the property.

My advice -- New homes, get them inspected. 

 

 

 

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 

 

        

 

 

 

 

Comment balloon 84 commentsSteven L. Smith • August 29 2008 11:28PM

Comments

As a friend of mine likes to say, "The Trojan Horse was new but someone certainly should have inspected it."

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 10 years ago

I'm thinking of buying a new little rent house.  Guess you and Charlie will have to come and inspect it for me.  There is no crawl space so that eliminates a few problems.   This one is really nasty.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Best advice to your buyer: Always get it inspected no matter what - it's well woth the expense.

Posted by Jim Curry, Realtor (Re/ Max Achievers) about 10 years ago

Thanks for the memorable advice Steven! Your example really drove the point home for me.

Hope you're having a great day!

Nancy

 

Posted by Nancy Clark (Bass Agency GMAC Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I agree with you Steve, I've seen inspectors point out simple issues and also catch some really big ones like structural errors that building inspectors missed. 

Posted by Brian Brumpton, Boise Idaho Real Estate (Keller Williams Boise) about 10 years ago

Steve, good blog as usual----there just is not difference in the need for a home inspection between old and new----none

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

It still amazes me when a client just refuses to get an inspection.  Regardless of the age.   CYA documentation in triplicate.

Posted by Richmond Virginia about 10 years ago

Barbara,

Ask the beeman about his new long distance "psychic" home inspection. You get on the cell, put on the overalls, and he psychically does it with you from his hot tub. You walk the walk, do the crawl, he does the talk. Then you send him the check. Beeman is not a stupe at marketing.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve, this is proprietary information-----how did you find out about this?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Bee man,

Now you will have some competition I bet. Psychic inspection is a time that has come.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

The cool thing as I am able to use the "invisible pdf" tool for cranking out the report and then sending it by email----people don't even know when it arrives it is so fast!

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

One of these days you will get electrocuted in the tub. That will be a big shock Mr naked smarty pants.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

You two guys are at it again.  Psychic inspection indeed....  : (      And I thought you liked me!!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Barbara, I am changing my business name to "House Whisperers":)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Well, Charles, you do need a better logo if you want to compete with the King.  Being an artist should qualify you to do something.  My new home inspector friend stands beside his sports car and there Steve has his sports truck behind him with his shades on.  You could have Casper the Friendly Ghost or some such behind you to indicate your ability to do inspections from the comfort of your hot tub.  Steve and I can testify to your questionable  good character for the right amount of pay-off.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Barbara, does this work?

horsewhisperer

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Big problem here, when photo is enhanced.  I see that ain't a house. That is the beeman outside a motel door on Aurora Ave in Seattle. You know, rates by the half hour. Such a curious inspector.

 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve, do you know something about Aurora that I don't?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

I can't read what's on the shirt.  And you may need to put a glass to the wall so you can hear better but otherwise I like it.  : )

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

charles buell inspections

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Okay.  Now what's the symbol above? 

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Can't qutre get that. Is that "Chantell Bull Inspections"

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Barbara it is just my logo

Steve, looks like you can't quite spell either.

Why am I commenting like this is my blog?----I have better things to do:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Barbara,

The symbol is a lotus, some sort of fertility thing. He got into that with the psychic inspections.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve, do you know something about Aurora that I don't?

 

Probably, I am an old radio guy.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

I've got it!!  Your new logo can use that symbol and twist it into a bull!  You will be Charles Buell, the Bull House Inspector!!!!

We all three need to be paying more attention to our work!!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

I booked three inspections while sitting here in the past hour, humoring the Beeman. I think that works for me. One was from online. AR strikes again.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

That's great, Steve.  I have piddled in this office and got some work done.  Now I'll go home and tune in again later. 

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Barbara,

I think if we keep working we can turn him into a marketing wunderkind, be it an old one, before long. How about Charles Bull, legal name change, the "bullish" house inspector.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Beeman,

You tell me you did not know about this? How long you been in the jet city.

 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steven, you've done it!!!!  Fabulous!!!  The "bullish inspector" is brilliant!!  Start the paperwork.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Great Post - I always tell new construction buyers to get an inspection. Most of the time things are OK but there has been a couple of times some major things were found and saved my clients a ton of money.

 

Posted by Linda Breeding (Keller Williams Realty ) about 10 years ago

Steve,

I have heard agents suggesting to their buyers when purchasing a new construction to skip home inspection. Don't they get a Certificate of Occupancy from the town that everything is in good shape?

Posted by Rosalinda Morgan, "The Rose Lady" about 10 years ago

Steve, nice blog to get featured:)  Looks like the House Whisperer will get some good press too.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve, you got a good sense of humor. Nice post. I am for the inspection, especially by a professional home inspector with a good sense of humor. Too bad you are at least two hours' away (I mean by plane).  How far away are you from Spokane? 

Posted by Sherry Peckhoon Sim, Broker/Owner, Covering the Beautiful Central Coast (Sims & Company) about 10 years ago

So true!  Good catch! I also suggestto my clients that they get another ispection right before their warranty expires:)

Posted by Courtney Cooper, 206-850-8841 (Team Leader/ Investor for Brand New Keller Williams North Seattle Office) about 10 years ago

Sherry, if you send him enough money to buy food for his squirrels he will basically go anywhere for free:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Huh,

I had no clue it was featured. My new employee had some comments.

 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve, That craw space looks quite "Damp". I bet you had a heck of a mess on your cloths after wallowing in that mud doing your inspection stuff.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

Sean,

I was a mess. Had to wring out the green outfit.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Sherry,

Only trips to Eastern WA have been teaching classes for the Tech College in Pasco. Also a trip to Walla Walla. I hear that the licensing board will be meeting there once. Charlie is right, I work for squirrel food. They eat a lot.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve,

Is your employee, Mr. Squirrel, posing for the picture or marking his territory?

Sean Allen

PS: Congrats on the feature.

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

Rosalinda,

The certificate of occupancy is so cursory as to not mean much in real life. The municipal inspectors are too busy and do not get down and dirty anyway. Having a certificate stating the house is in great shape, from the municipal inspectors is about like getting full physical from the dentist. Seriously.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Sean,

Neither. He was just getting his dander up as I told him that Charlie said he was, and I quote -- "nothing but a rat with good PR."

Then Charlie Emailed me recipes....squirrel meat loaf, squirrel souvlaki. It was a huge insult to the rodent population in general and that was one po'd rodent when that photo was snapped.,

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

That picture of Charlie ..... Must be how he checks for termites....puts his ear to the wall to listen for them chewing on the wood.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

HHHHmmm, I use to squirrel hunt when I lived back in Kentucky (that redneck thing), but I couldn't kill one today, too cute. Squirrel meat, like a lot of wild game, taste like chicken.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

Sean,

Nice thought but, honestly, where he is hanging the termites are probably the last thing he is paying attention to. 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Sean,

It is late here. What are you doing up at this hour Florida time. Out on a midnight squrrel hunt?

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Question for Charlie..... What is that tree trunk looking thing in the background of your "house wisperer" picture? Looks like a rot-iron pipe.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

He will have to answer that one

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Snipe hunting. They be in season right now. Had to come in and get me a pillow case for catching them.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

Ya'll got Snipe in Washington? They get a little cantankerous when you try to catch them.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

I'm impressed Steve, a Feature post with over 50 comments and 90% of the comments have nothing to do with the blog topic. Shame you don't get points for all these comments now.

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

People build homes.  People make mistakes.

Builders make mistakes while building homes.

Buyers make mistakes by not getting new homes inspected.

 

I don't know if that logic flows correctly, but it sure works for reality...

Posted by Bill Sauneuf (Preview Properties Skagit LLC) about 10 years ago

Steve, congrats on the star. You are absolutely right about getting new houses inspected. They can sometimes be my worst inspections...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steve,

You may recall I wrote a piece recently on having a new home inspected. I found numerous problems with this new house which are presented in the blog. Some of these defects were missed or overlooked by the muni inspector. You can check out this example of a new home on New Construction, No Inspection Needed, New Home Tells All

By the way my beloved old Italian grandmother used to cook those tree rats, I mean squirells and serve then in tomato sauce over polenta.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

Steve, while I was sleeping, you were squirrellin' around getting featured!  It was a good blog if some folks we know hadn't stuck his picture all over it!  Congratulations!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

I couldnt agree mor. All homes should be inspected so you know excatly what you are buying.  It amazes me people buy used cars and have them inspected but homes!!

Posted by Chris Canzano, Billion Dollar Broker - Cape Coral, FL (Villa Realty Group, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Sean that thingy in the background in my kitchen is a piece of a Madrona tree:) (no termites either, by the way)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Thanks for the comments.

Barbara, I would have banned Charlie had I known it would be a feature. You know him, he is a real publicity fiend. He has his mug wall papered all over his bathroom. I guess it keeps the rodents away.

James, glad in my trips to Italy I have not had tree rats for dinner....at least I think not. I hope.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

I've sold a few new homes and every one of them really needed to be inspected.  And they were... and the inspector found problems, items not meeting code and defects.  I actually recommend two inspections unless buying standing inventory.  I like for my buyers that are having a home built to have it inspected before being drywalled... in addition to the final inspection.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) about 10 years ago

Sean and Barbara, this is from a recent cookout at Steve's house,

cookout

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Cambodian rat butcher Louch Savoun holds up a handful of the ...Steven, You have heard of mystery meat? Here's a little food for thought next time you're ordering Asian food. That ain't beef she's holding.

 

 

 

 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

It is obvious that Steve didn't have a crowd show up for the party.  OR, if they did, they left hungry!  I assume that is squirrel on the grill...

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

You know, Steve, thumbing down through this blog takes 3 minutes now with all the comments, but a fast scroll makes Mr. Buell look like a Dr. Buell with his doctor's outfit and listening to someone's heartbeat.  So we may be able to put Dr. Bull, the bullish home inspector, once we get the name changed.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 10 years ago

Barbara, for Steve it was a "normal" number of guests:)  Its always squirrel----tends to keep the numbers down if you know what I mean.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Charlie and James,

You are both a pair of big meanies. You have my new employee so distressed that he almost fell off a power line today doing the inspection of the service entrance, where it passes through the trees.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Steven, In some parts of the world or for that matter in some parts of the United States, your employee would be considered a tasty dinner. That is unless the person were a vegetarian. I suggest he not venture to far from your side in some of the more rural areas of your inspection range.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 10 years ago

Steven:  Would have reposted this on my blog, but you have not allowed it.  I speak these words to buyers EVERY day regarding the necessity of inspections on new construction!

Posted by Steve Homer (The HBH Group (Keller Williams affiliate)) about 10 years ago

I couldn't agree more with you.  There can be shortcuts taken and it is glossed over and the buyer doesn't find out until later.

Posted by Greg Adelman (Midwest Home Center) about 10 years ago

Steve, Did not realize that setting was turned off. If you still want to do so, I turned it on for re-blogging

James, you are pushing the envelope here as far as good taste. My employee is becoming extremely agitated with you and Buell.

Greg, thanks for the comments.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

James and Charles,

Thank you, both of you, so much. Now my employee has gone into apoplexy. He is totally useless thanks to both of you.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

squirrat

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Okay Charlie B and James,

You two hotshots will not be able to counter this. Thanks to the brains and dexterity of my new employee, I am able to now go way beyond the normal standards of home inspection. I would like to see EITHER of you guys do actual flexibility and stress tests on telephone and cable wires. This is service. Remember, he with the best employee gets the first and the last peanut.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Jean,

You are a wise lady. By the way, as we discussed, I added you to my online list of agents I work with in the PNW. You are with Windermere on the page, only one in your area on the list.

http://www.kingofthehouse.com/realestateinfo.html

Steve

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Uh Oh,

Better watch out Charlie ..... It appears that Steve's NEW employee is a former SEAL or Green Beret..

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) about 10 years ago

Sean,

You got it. If it came to betting on Charlie or my employee, Charlie's better half better buy some Daisys.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

That picture says a thousand words plus!

Posted by Larry Lane, Homes for Sale in Wichita KS | Lane Team, Wichita Homes for Sale (Your Agents in Wichita | Wichita Homes) about 10 years ago

The photo does get the point across. Thanks.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

You know I don't think any house should not be inspected.

Or every house should be inspected. I think overall its in everyones best interests. 

It builds confidence in the seller knowing we can market a good product.

It reasures the buyer they are making a good decision.

Win win.

Posted by Shane OnullGorman, Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell (Eau Claire Realty, Inc.) about 10 years ago

Shane,

What you say makes a whole lot of sense.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

You guys are too much!

I recommend that people buying new construction have the inspector come through twice - once before the drywall goes up.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 10 years ago

I think that basically, we are on the verge of a civil war, in AR, about squirrels and their benefits. By the way, since I hired this one, he no longer gets public assistance benefits.,

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) about 10 years ago

New home or not get an inspector.  As a realtor, we need to protect ourselves as our clients need to protect themselves with an inspector.  Aloha!!!

Posted by Kengo Ueno, (R) (Prudential Locations LLC) about 10 years ago

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