November 14

Are home inspections needed when buying a home?

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Are home inspections necessary when you're buying a home?

What is a home inspection anyways?

In this article, I cover all there is to know about the importance of requesting a home inspection when you're buying a home.

To help, I interviewed Leo Cannyn, who is the Principal Project Manager at Beryl Project Engineering.

You may view the home inspection interview on YouTube where you're able to jump directly to each answer.

Leo Cannyn - Beryl Project Engineering

Me: Leo why don't you go ahead and give us a brief intro about you and your company and what it is that you do?

Leo: Well, thank you. My name is Leo with Beryl Engineering and Inspection.

We're a residential home inspections slash engineering firm.

So what we could do for the clients is, in addition to the residential pre-purchase inspection, 4 point inspection, wind mitigation inspection - the package you would need to get insurance on your home.

We could do a WDO [wood destroying organism] inspection.

We could do a mold assessment.

And that's just on that one this small area.

We also as an engineering firm can, if there's expired permits, we can close those out. If an appraiser says this inspection "subject-to an engineer looking at the home", we can close that.

We can do 203K or homestyle consulting, which is where you're putting a renovation loan inside of your home mortgage purchase and we could even do those designs.

You need to have those designs done...you wanna do a remodel, renovation, room addition? We can help you through getting through permitting by giving you the set of plans that contractors gonna need.

Me: So just above and beyond just regular homeowners, you're working with investors.

Leo: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I don't know if I could name drop a local REIA, which is a real estate investment alliance, but we are pretty, pretty big with some of the local REIAs in the Tampa Bay area.

Do inspectors need to hold certain credentials?

Home Inspector Credentials

Leo: Oh definitely. In the state of Florida, everyone doing a residential home inspection that's calling it a pre purchase home inspection, they have to have a license from the state of Florida and home inspection.

So all of our staff that are doing those have that license. Additionally many of them have a wdo or wood destroying organism license.

I hold an engineering and Mold assessment license as well.

And then the other license we're pretty big on here at Beryl is the drone flying license or the remote pilot license, so we can fly drones over those bigger roofs.

Just give it more thorough roof inspection.

Me: Flying drones requires a like almost like a pilots license.

Leo: It's called a remote pilot license and I like bragging that I have a pilot license and grilled on it. Oh, it's just a drone. But it does. It says FAA pilot license on it. It looks legit because it is.

Me: So let's start from the very beginning, we're talking so in this in this video we're targeting homebuyers specifically, first time home buyers.

What is a home inspection?

What-Is-A-Home-Inspection

A residential pre-purchase home inspection is basically...you're hiring a firm like ours to be a generalist, to go through and inspect 9 different systems.

You want them to inspect the roof, the attics, the interior and the exterior, your HVAC, your plumbing, your electrical, and your basement slash crawl space.

You want someone to just go through and they're looking for what we call material defects, and those are defects that come out to the inspector that are more than just cosmetic.

If your paint’s chipped in a room, that's not going in a report.

But if your window doesn't open, that will, that's just an example.

 It's more than that.

We're testing all the faucets, returning everything on.

We're taking the electrical, it's called the dead front on the panel box.

We're taking that off.

We're looking at the wires...not to the level of like an electrician or plumber...just something that we're using our experience to find problems. 

And once those problems are found, we then recommend they are addressed or fixed by those licensed trade professionals.

Home Inspection Process

Home Inspection Process

Me: Who initiates the phone call with you if the buyer is working with a real estate agent? 

Does the real estate agent work with you, directly, or does the buyer reach out to you?

Leo: It's sometimes both. I feel...I have a strong opinion about this. 

If you are a first-time home buyer and you know nothing about home shopping, other than what you before you go to bed looking at Zillow's.

You're really relying on your real estate agent to guide you through the process and I know there are real estate agents out there who don't recommend home inspectors. 

And we love those agents because that's how we get some buyers contacting us directly.

However, I strongly feel that if you're a real estate professional and you have a team of resources set up to aid a buyer, you should use that team.

And on that team there should be a a backup appraiser. There should be a home inspector, a wdo, there should be a roofer, an insurance agent.

There should be these common team members.

So if your buyer is confused, you have all the resources ready to go.

So while I do love the buyers that come to us because their real estate agents saying I have to remain neutral. I really love the real estate that presents a team.

And it doesn't have to be a single source like real estate agent can say here are two or three inspectors and we know if that person calls the first company and they have a good conversation, they're not calling the other two.

We realize that.

So we wanna be the first name in that list of three referrals that the agents are giving out.

Me: And So walk us through the process? You get the phone call, sales calls initiated. The inspection is scheduled. You're at the property. Now what?

Leo: So yeah, so when initially when they call in, there's a whole process we go through.

We try and find out information about the property.

But we do that other inspection firms don't is we're going to look up that permit history while we're scheduling.

We wanna know if they're expired permits.

We wanna know when the roof was replaced, when the water heater was replaced.

We wanna know all this up front at least for a better inspection.

So after, after you've scheduled with us, we do everything electronically, you'll get your agreements, you'll get your invoice electronically, we’ll even send you a whole e-safe book, we call it, on how to how you make your home safer

Then when it's time for your inspection, we’ll show up to the property, we’ll greet ourselves to the buyer and to the real estate agent.

We like to conduct a mini interview.

We like to really find out if there are any hot topics.

Did they notice something that they want us to take an extra look at?

[For example] A 100-year-old home, that's gonna be the crawlspace.

Slab on grade home with a pool, that's going to be the pool.

I mean there's different things…Hurricane Ian just passed, so they're gonna want to know more about the roof.

So we want to find out those things to cater the inspection.

We're still going to do with the whole inspection, but if we know what their hot buttons are, at least we know we can put an extra emphasis on that in the report.

And then from there we're gonna do our inspection.

It's a 2 or 2 1/2 hour inspection. We're gonna, as I say, tear that house apart looking for defects.

And then at the end of it, we're gonna do a walkthrough with the buyer if they're there to show them what the major defects were...and most of them are maintenance items.

Reasons why an inspection is highly recommended

Leo: This is sometimes considered a trick question, but at the same time, I really consider it common sense. 

The home is probably the largest asset you're going to purchase in your life.

I mean, I've seen people spend hours doing research on which sound system they want, like a mini...one of those recording things…or they want the one from Alexa or Google or do they want the one from Apple? 

I've seen them spend hours doing that level of research and then they're about to drop $400,000 or $500,000 on a home and they just think everything is gonna be OK?

So, it's really...

  1. You need to know what this largest investment what are you getting into, what are you buying? That's the number one reason.
  2.  The number two reason is going to be for insurability. Insurance companies are getting to the point now where the home is more than 20 years old, they're requiring something called a four-point inspection, which is, we call it home inspection light, but it breaks down your roof, your electrical, your HVAC and plumbing into a separate report...and that's a pass/fail report. We're saying if things are satisfactory or unsatisfactory, where the home inspection reports just [reports] your issues. And you need that second report to get insurance, so it's becoming less about you should know what you're buying is your largest asset, and more of the state is requiring it so you can qualify for your Citizens Insurance policy.
  3. And after that, I mean, a strong reason I I firmly believe, especially first time homebuyers, your largest asset that you're gonna buy, you should be there for the inspection. I mean, you wouldn't buy a car sight unseen and a car is going to be a tenth of the price of the house.

So yeah, be there, plan to be at the inspection.

You can't be there the whole time, at least show up towards the end of the inspection for that walk through.

Should The Home Buyer Attend The Home Inspection?

Leo: 100%. I mean, we as inspectors love it when there's no one there.

They could do their own thing and they're just in the zone and just inspecting and they're done, they're gone.

I love it when the buyer’s there, I want the buyer to like if we see major things we wanna be able to point them out to the buyer at the end of the inspection.

We want the buyer to spend an hour or two in the home and might be the longest time they're in the home.

Some of them start measuring 'cause they wanna do slight remodels, change the kitchen around, wanna know where they're putting their furniture, and some of them just really need to know what's going on with the house.

So yeah, 100% to the point where we try to bribe our clients into showing up 'cause we have a book about home maintenance that we published with InterNACHI

We give them that at the end of the inspection.

So that's our bribe to showing up to the inspection.

We're gonna give you a literature on, explains the whole home inspection process, explains how to maintain your home, explains common defects and common maintenance issues that happen overtime.

What are the different types of home inspections?

Different-Types-of-Home-Inspection-Reports

Me: Speaking of inspections though, what are the different types of inspections that Beryl engineering provides? So you sent one, you know you hit on the normal residential inspection, what else?

Leo: So yeah, we got the normal residential suite of inspections, residential pre purchase which could be a presale, doesn't have to be pre-purchase.

The four points in the wind mitigation, which you need for insurance.

The wind mitigation is going to say how your house was built to withstand winds and the four point is going to be used to qualify you for insurance.

Wood destroying organism. Are there termites, is there boring beetles? Is there fungus? 

Above and beyond those, sometimes other inspectors say go get an engineer to look at this. Or your appraiser says “subject-to” an engineering inspection. 

We do that inspection.

If you're buying a mobile home and you're using FHA financing, you need an engineering inspection. 

If there's a permit that's found through the title company that's expired, we do that inspection to help close out the permit.

So we really can offer a full suite of services to our clients.

Especially if the ones that are doing renovation loans, we can help you with, it's called consulting, but we can help you with that consultant process of finding out what your home needs to have done to meet the minimum property standards. 

What you wanna do above and beyond to get it built the way you want it - help you find a contractor, help you put together a bid tab, and then help you after the loan closes by periodically coming out and making sure the contractor is doing what they said they will.

When is an engineer needed during a home inspection?

Using Engineer During Home Inspection

Me: At what point does an engineer need to be at the property? So that the home inspector does not necessarily need to be the engineer or most likely not gonna be the engineer. There's gonna be somebody else that comes out there and looks at the property, correct?

Leo: Correct. And the way we operate is our home inspectors are trained by Anthony Maselli and myself, Leo from Beryl Engineering.

We are, we're training our guys on structure.

So a lot of them can do the structural reports.

A lot of them do these engineering inspections and that data comes to me with the report or with some notes and then we put the report together and I sign and seal it using an engineering seal and publish.

So most of the time, our home inspectors are doing that level of engineering inspection.

When is when is thermal thermal imaging used?

Thermal-Imaging-During-Home-Inspection

Leo: I laugh a little bit when you say that 'cause to me thermal imaging is like having a screwdriver or like having a head flashlight.

It's another tool that we use.

But what it actually is, it's an advanced piece of technology. It actually helps us find what are called thermal gradients. Its temperature differences.

Where we use it?

We can see window seals are broken.

We can see if AC ductwork is leaking.

We can see if the roof is leaking, or if you have any interior water stains that you don't even know about in your ceiling from a roof leak or from duct work.

Home Settling Cracks...Is It Normal?

Home Interior Wall Settling Cracks

Me: Because of when homes are built, a lot of settling occurs and then you see the cracks on the exterior of the home's. Is that normal? And then at what point would an inspector say you might want to get that checked out?

Leo: There's several pieces of that question.

Homes are gonna settle over the first five to seven years due to something called minor settlement.

It's just...houses are built on sand.

Underneath the sand there's clay, underneath the clay there's limestone.

So your house is just gonna get cozy and settle in like you do on a pillow. Kind of sticking to your pillow before you go to bed at night.

That happens in the first five to seven years and you get these minor cracks, very minor cracks around the house.

Or if you've got these kind of arched vaulted ceilings, your drywall, you might start to get a crack in the dry wall there.

That's called nominal settlement. That's nothing.

However, around the same time, at seven years, your paint is at the end of its useful life.

So now, you're starting to get water intrusion cracking.

And, what you normally see there is, coming off the windows...you kind of see this kind of diagonal wave coming down a crack. 

Or you'll see it near a door doing the same thing.

That's not from settling, that's actually from paint after the end of its useful life.

The building needs to be painted, seals around the windows need to be replaced, need to do caulking. It's just a maintenance activity. 

So that's the transition from...and we come out there a lot in that sweet spot between, is it settling or is it bad paint?

And that's when a lot of the other home inspectors in town, they’re just gonna say you have cracking, go get a looked at.

Where we're gonna say you have cracking, it's bad paint or you have cracking its nominal settlement.

And then occasionally you have homes built that either have true heaving or they were built on a bad pad, they actually have moderate settlement. Then you need like pinning and grouting and stuff like that.

Most of it is just bad paint.

What To Look For In A Home Inspector?

Me: At what point when buyers are looking for an inspector, what is it that they should be looking for before they hire an inspector?

There's a lot of inspection companies out there.

And it's like you said, they're getting recommendations, and a lot of this is from liability purposes on the realtor side.

So we'll send the buyer 2/3/4 suggestions. 

How should they narrow that list down? What are they looking for?

Leo: So what are you looking for in home Inspector?

I would say at a minimum you're looking for a multi-inspector firm.

I mean, most of our competition out there is a semi-retiree and their significant other. The significant other is watching the phones and that semi-retiree is the one doing the inspection. 

Are they competent? Probably. They've got 20-30 years of experience. 

Are they reliable? Well, they're the type that's gonna have scheduling issues. 

They're the type that's gonna have other possible issues pop up where they're not going to be able to service you as well.

Also find out about the report style.

There are three different types of [inspection] reports that are generated in this industry, and each report has a different price bracket. 

There's the report you get it's just a simple checklist.

The inspector walks around with a clipboard and a checklist. He's got like five or six boxes on it. Like acceptable, not acceptable, not inspected, not present. Or I forget what the 5th box is, and they're just checking boxes and they're scribbling notes down and you get handed that at the end of the inspection and that's it.

The next tier of home inspection is, we're going to do the report and it's the same checkboxes, but at the end you're gonna get 50 to 60 pages of photos and you may or may not get captions on it.

It's really hard to see what the defects are 'cause you're on page 6 where it says shingles damaged on roof and you have to go to page 50 to find the picture and you're not sure if that's all the shingles or some of the shingles. So that's Tier 2.

Tier 3 is the one I recommend to everyone uses, and that's the tier we're in.

You're gonna get a photo report, you're gonna have your defects and photos next to each other.

There's gonna be boxes around the defects or fingers pointing to be really clear and easy to see what the defects were and where they're located.

And that's that third tier home inspection company.

So...

  1. find a multi inspector firm; 
  2. find one that's using that tier that I just said, the easy to read reports;
  3. The other thing is find out more about their licenses. Do they do wdo? Do they have engineering, mold assessing? What else did they bring to the table? 

The home inspector that was a handyman for 20 years is going to be really good at siding and painting defects.

The engineer is gonna be really good at structure and building and roof.

A person that was an electrician for 15 years, he's gonna be good in electrical.

That's where they're gonna shine.

We're going to be generalists in all these categories, but we're still gonna shine in certain categories.

So if you know you have like 100 year old house, you need a firm that has an engineering background.

If you've got a house from 1980 with copper plumbing, you might need someone that's got that plumbing expertise.

And that's the way you kind of start qualifying these home inspection companies even further, asking about what else they have in their backgrounds.

Me: I notice that it can be a headache if you're trying to schedule two separate companies, one for a home inspection and then another one for a wdo. So it can cumbersome, of course. 

Are General Contractors allowed to perform a home inspection?

Are-GC-Allowed-To-Do-An-Inspection

Leo: Well they’re allowed to perform inspections but the residential pre purchase home inspection, I can't even do it as an engineer. You have to be a home inspector. 

I mean there's one of the trade organizations, one called InterNACHI, it's one of the three big ones. 

They lobbied really hard to make a home inspector license happen in Florida and to carve out that work just for them.

So if you're an engineer doing these, or you're a GC (general contractor) doing these, you're not allowed.

You're just simply not allowed.

Now when it comes to these four points and wind mitigation inspections, general contractors, roofers, plumbers, electricians, they can do those.

Well, the four point the roofers, the GC’s and the engineers and architects can do the wind mitigation.

So yeah, just be warned if you're hiring a GC to do your residential pre purchase home inspection, and they call it that, they could be in trouble.

What's Included In A Home Inspection Report?

9-Areas-of-Home-Inspection

Leo: Well, that home inspection report is going to breakdown the nine areas: 

  1. Roof 
  2. Attics
  3. HVAC 
  4. Interior of home 
  5. Exterior of home 
  6. Basement/crawl space
  7. Plumbing 
  8. Electrical 
  9. Chimney

It's gonna take each of those categories, it's gonna have a different disclosures on what we're inspecting and how it's gonna have potential defects with photographs.

And it's gonna break it down into each section.

Then we're gonna give you a summary.

So we're gonna have that quick summary...that's just the defects of the locations...broken out if they’re maintenance or if they're major defects or they’re structural. And then you'll have your text with supporting and then defects and photos.

So the summary report’s what you can hand someone to us to your seller. Saying hey, I need a discount on my price because of these major defects.

Or a contractor saying hey I need a price to fix this.

And then you've got the media report for the well, "where is the faucet with a leaking sink?" And then you've got the photo and it calls out word room it's in.

What's NOT Inspected During A Home Inspection?

Leo: Yeah, I mean, there is a lot of things that we're not supposed to look for.

It has to be accessible.

So we use thermal imaging to help us see behind walls, but we're not actually seeing behind walls. We're not cutting.

Like for instance, if we have a home where the stucco was placed there was too thin and there's spider cracking going on, in the second floor stucco, and I'm sure we've seen that if you looked at enough homes and you've looked up at the second floor of a subdivision and you've got all this stucco cracking happening all over the place, it's because the stucco was put on too thin.

We're not going to core, which is drill a hole in the wall, to confirm that. We're going to say you have probable stucco defects, have a second inspection.

We're not gonna be looking for Polybutylene pipe plumbing.

We're not gonna be looking for, we're not gonna be testing knob and tube wiring, which is stuff they used 70 years ago to see if it's active.

We're not, if your crawl space is all buttoned up with lattice and fencing, we're not gonna remove that to go underneath.

It's an accessible inspection.

It's not technically exhaustive.

We're not gonna spend 20 hours in your house.

It's not invasive.

We're not cutting holes in the walls. We're not removing things. We're not moving the washer 5 feet out to see if there was a leak behind it.

These are things that we just don't do.

What common problems do inspectors look for?

Problems That Home Inspectors Look For

Leo: I mean, the biggest, the biggest money issues on a house is gonna be it's foundation, followed by its roof, followed by its HVAC.

Those are the three in order. 

Foundation could be $30,000 to $40,000 to fix.

A roof could be $10,000 to $20,000 to fix and your AC is going to be $5,000 to $10,000.

So really if you look at those three things, you've covered the big-ticket items.

I mean occasionally, you'll end up with polybutylene plumbing, or you'll end up with cloth wiring or aluminum wiring, or a Zinsco panel, which is an electrical panel that's under recall. 

Then you're either re-plumbing or re-electric-ing the house. That can get up towards $10,000 as well.

So those become the next tiers of categories.

And [the] structure we're talking about are doors and windows as well, because windows, you know, in a wind zone can be really expensive to fix, especially if you have to replace them all at $2,000 a pop...you might have 10 to 20 windows. 

So that fits in that structure category.

What Are The Common Home Inspection Problems Found In Hillsborough County?

Me: Are there common issues that you find in Hillsborough County? I know there are certain pockets for example, say you know sink holes are prevalent in this area. I notice that in this community roofing is an issue because the homes are old?

Leo: Well, definitely. I mean, like if you're in Tampa Heights, Ybor or Seminole Heights, your homes are 100 years old.

They have crawl spaces. They're gonna have wood rot damage.

They might have some crawlspace peers that have shifted.

They might have rot underneath there.

Same thing for historic Kenwood.

If you're in Valrico or Brandon, you've got builders, subdivisions. So we're looking for settlement, we're looking for poor construction practices out there.

Same thing in Wesley Chapel, we're looking for rushed construction.

So that's where the stucco defects are gonna pop up.

That's where your bad paint is gonna pop up.

That's where improper electrical wiring is gonna happen. we'll have outlet testers, we’ll put them in the wall, we’ll hit test buttons, and you'll be amazed at what happens when we get test buttons.

That's all gonna come up in these different zones.

So you're right.

There are like, I would say if you're in Sarasota or Manatee or Ellenton right now because of Hurricane Ian, we're gonna find roofing issues now.

We're even gonna find roofing issues here in Tampa.

Roofing I think is going to be the big issue for a lot of our inspections moving forward just because the entire state of Florida was impacted by hurricane Ian minus the Panhandle.

Do you recommend an inspection during new construction?

Home Inspection On New Construction Homes

Leo: 100%. Not only we recommend our inspection package during new construction, where we're coming out there five times during key milestone events during the construction.

Right before they pour the slab, we wanna make sure that the rebar is properly tied, lifted.

The matting is there, the vapor barriers down before they put up the drywall.

We wanna make sure the trusses were installed correctly.

We wanna make sure the proper hardware was installed.

Your rough end which is the putting the pipes in the walls and the electrical in the walls.

We wanna make sure that's all in place.

We wanna make sure the windows are there in the blocks were were put properly.

After the drywall is on, we wanna make sure that initial finishing looks good. Did they mud and tape it correctly?

Have they started to install appliances correctly and then right before they get their certificate of occupancy, wanna make sure they're complying with Florida building code.

Cause a lot of these box builders are gonna have their own engineer that sits in their construction trailer that's signing off on all this work.

It's not the city and county that's coming in and that's what people don't understand.

It's a guy or girl who's or they that's supposed to be impartial, but they work out of the construction trailer and their whole job revolves around this builder building houses.

So are they really unbiased?

And we find a lot of issues with their inspections.

We constantly do, it's because they're biased.

They know that if they rag on the builder too much, they're gonna lose their job.

The builder will put someone else in there who's willing to turn an eye.

And these builders nowadays, we've all heard about the labor shortage as the skilled laborers are retiring.

Their builders are picking people up from Home Depot, they're picking up day laborers. They're picking up word camp people.

Picking up whoever they can do all this work on their job sites and they're making them do skilled labor when they have no idea what they're doing.

So we find a lot of issues and during actual active construction. and the last inspections, your punch list inspection, and that's where we go through with blue tape and go crazy on all the little minor things that need to be fixed.

Me: That was a very thorough answer. Thank you so much.

And I think one of the a lot of buyers, when they're buying a new construction, they feel exactly like you said that the builder is gonna send out their inspector engineer, that sort of thing to look at the things that you just mentioned whether it's piping, slab, when the drywall goes up, that sort of thing and they just rely on them to give them to give the OK and everything is cool so they overlook the pre inspection from companies like yourself.

Leo: Yeah, well, we had a builder that was really scary to us.

They, actually like it when their clients hire us to do these interim inspections because they're like, good, now we'll have extra supervision on the job. I

'm like, that's not why we're out there.

Don't rely on us to catch all your errors.

You should be watching your own jobs.

And he put that in an e-mail and the client and called me like, should I be concerned? I'm like, yes, you should be concerned. They're not watching. He just admitted to not watching his people.

And we found a lot wrong on that inspection.

Common inspection issues found in new construction homes

Leo: Examples on that one in particular, the masons rushed an entire wall.

Your your masonry is supposed to be their blocks. In between the blocks there's a glue called mortar and if that mortar is too thick those individual blocks are going to settle.

It's gonna cause a whole bunch of cracking. And that was too thick. 

And then they rushed the concrete pour. They had a truck show up really late, so it was two separate pours and the crack started to develop in the middle of the slab to separate the two pieces of the slab.

Framing, they put the trusses on backwards. So the trusses come in, you have a truss plan. They didn't know how to read it properly. They were installing some of the trusses backwards, so you know the trusses...if you look in your attic...you've got a bunch of triangles connected to wood.

They need to go a certain direction so they're matching the roof slope so you can put your roof on correctly, or just so that they're moving the weight to the end walls properly.

Well these were channeling the weight to the center of the house that didn't have a support wall, so they created a load bearing wall where there shouldn't have been one.

They actually installed two windows backwards on that one.

It was a mess. I'm really glad we came out there.

The drywall it, it was such a mess.

The buyer that had to back out of the contract.

Who coordinates the inspection process between the home builder and inspectors?

Leo: So we ask the buyer to be our eyes and ears for the timeline. 

We say these are the points in time we need to be there because the buyer’s checking in with the builder once a week or once a day and the buyer is going to go out to a property once every other week.

That's just what they're doing.

They're curious.

I mean, if I was building my own new home, and I was a first-time homebuyer, I'd probably be out there once a week taking photos just so I can make a photo album.

That's typically how it starts.

And then those same people who need that support for litigation against the builders said, well, I took all these photos during construction, thought it was a photo album, but in reality it was documenting your poor work.

So basically when the buyers know we’re near those milestone marks, they let us know and we send someone out.

What does a home inspection cost?

Me: Is it gonna be different on a pre-construction or new construction home versus an existing home?

Leo: Definitely, I mean for pre-construction we have set prices for the different milestones.

On the home inspection itself, the final one or the standard residential repurchase to be based on age of home, square footage and extra features.

You're looking anywhere between $400 and $600 typically.

Me: How about on a new construction, those different milestones?

Leo: They start at $300 and then work their way up to $600.

The last inspection is going to be based on the square footage.

The most important one is that framing inspection, 'cause that's where we're going to find the most problems that get covered up, so that one tends to be closer to $500.

Why Do Some Inspectors Ask Buyers and Agents Not Show Up To The Inspection?

Leo: I just think it sets a bad stage 'cause what also ends up happening is we give the buyer 100 page report.

They might not read it.

If I know they're at the site and I know we've walked them through and shown them major defects, even if they don't read the report, they at least know about the really big stuff, right?

So I highly recommend.

And like I said earlier, our inspectors would prefer no one be there.

It's easier. They’re in the zone. They do their thing, they're gone.

That's not what we prefer here at Beryl.

We want the buyer there.

We want the buyer engaged towards the end of the inspection.

It makes for a smoother process.

And the other thing too is you get an 80-page report with all these defects.

Most of them are going to be maintenance defects. They're gonna be minor defects, but there's a lot of them.

It can scare a buyer.

If they already met the inspector and they've had that walkthrough, they have that rapport, they're not as scared when the report comes in 'cause that's what we're hired to.

We're hired to make the house sound like it's falling down.

We're gonna find everything.

I have friends that won't let me come over for wine and cheese because I'm constantly looking around and pointing stuff out.

It's just it's just what I do.

So yeah, to that end, we want the buyers present. We definitely want the buyers present.

At our inspections, we hand you the one that outlines the inspection process and maintenance of the home.

But the Safe Home is a great one. It's cradle to grave really. 

Safe Home Ebook

Safe Home Ebook from Beryl Engineering

It's got baby proofing in there. It's got eldercare got ladder safety attic safety.

It's got 13 chapters on how to be safer around your house and like I said, cradle be grave.

Everything from baby to aging in place. We have a whole checklist on aging in place in that book.

Final Thoughts

Leo: I would just say I teach this on the CEs when I teach real estate agents on major defects, don't expect the sellers to disclose everything. 

They're either gonna intentionally lie to you, unintentionally lie to you or they're honestly not gonna know.

So here's an example of what they're not gonna know.

We did an inspection for someone, all elderly couple.

The house was too big for their needs.

They didn't even go into half the house.

They just closed; they had no issues.

These people aren't climbing on their roofs. These people didn't even use half their house.

Turned out they had a hole in the roof they didn't know about. There was a bathroom completely covered in mold and you could see daylight.

They didn’t even know about it.

That's what I would call an unintentional lie.

They said, hey, this home is fine, but in reality it's not.

And that's why we say walk your homes. Get with a real estate agent that has a team of people to support you and be present at your inspections.

Those are the things that I can't stress enough, those three things.

How To Contact Beryl Engineering?

Leo: You can call us at (813) 616-3301.

You can find us at Berylprojectengineering.com or Berylhomeinspections.com. We have both of those.

Me: And you service Tampa Bay. Is there a certain geographic area that you work in?

Leo: Yeah, but primarily from downtown Tampa our core territories now are out in either direction.

For other inspections we do go an hour or hour and a half out, that'll take us into Hernando and Citrus.

That'll take us down to Manatee, Polk and Sarasota.

For engineering inspections or design, we really travel everywhere in the state [of Florida].

I have people in the Panhandle, Daytona, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach.

The only place we really try and stay away from is Miami and Broward County.

Me: Leo, thank you so much man. Great information. I learned a few things from you today. Hopefully we'll get to work together soon.

Leo: Awesome. Thank you so much Randy.


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