Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

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Minden1906
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:18 pm
Location: Minden, NE

Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by Minden1906 »

Our dilemma: The pre-purchase house inspection missed some important items, and was (frankly) done poorly. The things missed or poorly reported will cost several thousand dollars to repair or replace. (Al this was brought out by various contractors we had in to examine and bid on repairs or replacements.) We've communicated with the inspector, but he says he did nothing wrong, and "pooh-poohed" our concerns. We would have bought the house anyway, but would have negotiated a lower price due to the repairs needed.

What recourse, if any, do we have? I'd thought of contacting his certification board for arbitration, but I've also had someone say, "Talk to a lawyer first".

Anyone have experience with this? Any advice or comments?
Mike
USMC (Ret.)
Minden, NE
1906 home

beachbons
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:57 am

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by beachbons »

If all lines of communication have failed, I agree with your idea to contact his board for arbitration. Check with the board to find out how binding their decisions are. Make sure that all decisions are made in a timely manner so that you may pursue any civil action within its time parameters, if necessary. Find out if home inspectors in your state are required to carry "errors and omissions" insurance. Did your inspector have such insurance if he was required to carry it?

Use an attorney after exhausting the above avenues, but, do this quickly. I had $8,000 in repairs after buying a relatively new home, 12 years old, in 2001. The inspector moved out of state just weeks after the inspection and I had little recourse without knowing where he went.

I was just reminded of my misfortune this morning when I was up in the attic doing some preventative work and I spotted some more faulty wiring, spliced wire outside a junction box, that the inspector failed to spot.

Best of luck to you.

Minden1906
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:18 pm
Location: Minden, NE

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by Minden1906 »

Thanks for the advice. I'd thought of the board, but didn't know about the errors & omissions insurance. We'll get on it and report back on our progress; it might be useful to others on this forum site.
Mike
USMC (Ret.)
Minden, NE
1906 home

mross_pitt
Posts: 745
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:37 pm

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by mross_pitt »

What were the issues?
If it wasn't directly visible, they won't remark on it.
Usually the paperwork prevents you from most any legal recourse in those instances.

At my current home, II found my entire attic has spliced/taped/repaired/cut off active ends etc. of knob and tube wiring.
Did the inspector see it? No. It's buried and covered by insulation(which is another issue in itself).

At my previous home, there was a board in front of the firebox. It was just leaning against the bricks. The inspector wouldn't move it. Another room had a drop ceiling. The inspector wouldn't lift up a panel to see what was above it(where he would have found lots of romex cable randomly resting on the ceiling panels..

jeepnstein
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:16 am
Location: Sciotoville, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by jeepnstein »

It all depends on the scope of the contract between yourself and the home inspector. If you are going to put thousands of your own dollars on the line upon the recommendation of a third party, you'd better know exactly what that person intends to do. For what purpose was the inspector hired? Was it to appease the mortgage company or was it to give you bargaining leverage?
"Pure Stinking Genius, that's what that is. Hey, can someone get me a fire extinguisher?"

Renaissance Restorations
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:56 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by Renaissance Restorations »

One house I worked on had 2 home inspectors do inspections on the house, and missed things I found when I went to work on the house, and I'm not a home inspector. There are some inspectors who will just work on older homes also.
Renaissance Restorations LLC
35 Grove Ave
Leominster, MA 01453

http://www.renaissancerestorations.com

q. rious
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by q. rious »

We had a bad home inspection too, to the tune of a broken sewer line within three days of moving in, a chimney with rotted flashing and severely rotting windowsills beneath storms (total cost, $4k).

However, lawyers start at around $220/hr, where I live. And they seem to read and work very, very slowly.

It's a learning experience. Next time I buy a house (if ever, because after I sink all this money into this house, I may never be able to move), I'll get two inspections (and find my OWN old-house-specialist inspector) and also get a contractor to weigh in on how much it costs when an inspector says, "Oh, it's no problem, you can JUST do xyz," as if xyz didn't cost 50K. I seriously had nooo idea at many of the fixes he was suggesting.

melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

House inspections

Post by melissakd »

This is no help to the original poster, but---

We were blessed to have an inspector who had gone over the house my husband lived in before we got married. That experience showed that the guy was honest and competent, as my husband had the opportunity to compare what the inspector said with what turned out to be the case in the long run.

Anyway, I wanted to say I'll give his contact info to anyone who might want or need his services in the northern Indiana/southern Michigan/northwest Ohio area. Just send me a private message.

MelissaKD
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The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

carol ny
Posts: 534
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:10 pm

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by carol ny »

The amount of recourse you have depends upon where in the country you live and what standards the inspection services in your area are held to.
If you still have a copy of your inspection I'd pull that first and read it thru especially the fine print on the bottom, you may find after reading it the inspector is covered no matter what he does or does not write down in his report.

HouseNut
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:00 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Lousy house inspection - need advice on how to handle

Post by HouseNut »

I have no doubt that US laws are very different from ours but up here when you hire a home inspector you sign a contract releasing them from liability, totally and completely.

I wasn't aware of how one-sided the contacts were until I sat down and read the small print. It's crazy. They can screw up totally and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

If you signed a contract, I'd say read it over. It would be a good starting point at least.
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Rebecca
1820's Urban Farmhouse in Eastern Ontario
(The picture is the "before" picture... before the PO's bought it and destroyed it. We're still trying to get it back to that.)

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