walking through a minefield

David Weaver
I didn't know much about home inspectors until after I'd used one. Mine got me the documentation that I needed to have $10,500 of costs land in the sellers' laps after I'd already negotiated the price of the house.

My realtor is no longer in business - she was conscientious and probably too honest (or maybe she moved). She allowed me to pick a home inspector, and I followed online reviews to a guy who spent two solid hours here looking at everything in the house and picking at things that I thought were minor, but he found two major things and gave me in writing enough to put those things on the seller or walk.

Shortly before that, a friend used a home inspector in the city that his realtor recommended. The guy spent about a half hour on site and talked down an unstable chimney as being something one should only worry about if they shouldn't be looking at older houses.

it accelerated its self-disassembly two years after he bought the house and he was left with about the same cost as I saved. Nothing in my house was as bad as the issue his inspector blew off. But his realtor got the sale done faster, and I guess that's what counts.

I learned a lesson about plumbers, too - one of the issues found in my house was a drain that was still going to the sewer - in the garage. Someone didn't do a dye test that they claimed they did with the prior sale 6 years earlier. It turned out to be the same plumber that the seller hired to fix the issue 6 years later (when I bought), and they expected some deference (or the plumber taking some responsibility). The plumber blew off the last test "we may have missed something, but we're not responsible for it" and then tried to charge the owners $7,000 for a half day's work for a plumber and two helpers. (knowing that the prior owners were in a bind trying to sell). They "settled" for taking only 3500 for the work and installed about $300 worth of equipment. nice guys. :\ Instead of paying a going labor rate, they pay the site plumber a commission on all work done (presumably on top of a reduced rate).

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