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  1. #1
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    Default Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    I know what the standards are for inspections. I also believe that most of the inspections that are being done are for real estate transactions. What about for "maintenance inspections"? My thought is to go in and do a technically exhaustive inspection. This would include having the various trades do a thorough cleaning, inspection, and servicing of the respective units. This would also include IR scans, completely checking everything as much as possible. Then do a follow up on a regular basis to see if anything has changed.

    I know everyone has opinions on this. Does this type of inspection still fall under the SOP for state?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    It might depend on the State.
    For instance, In SC....
    SECTION 40‑59‑560. Inspection reports; form; disclosure of scope and limitations.

    I don't know what happened but, The sponsor... Home Gauge, Hijacked everything I had posted and replaced it with "inspection Reports"

    Why do you allow this to happen, Brian?

    Last edited by Victor DaGraca; 06-29-2008 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Hijacked
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor DaGraca View Post
    I don't know what happened but, The sponsor... Home Gauge, Hijacked everything I had posted and replaced it with "inspection Reports"

    Victor,

    The way to stop that is to spell it out as in$pection reports, the same thing happens with the word in$urance. Use the $ sign for the 's' and that will not happen.

    I don't blame Brian for doing what he can to support and make money off his site (that is, after all, why it is here for us), but, we just need to learn to make slight adjustments to account for those things.

    When one slips by you when you post, just click 'Edit' and go back and change it.

    Click 'Edit', replace the 's' with '$' and it should be okay.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Ok... instead of cut n paste... I'll type it out.

    Section 40-59-560 paragraph B

    "nothing in this section may limit a home inspector from performing a home inspection beyond the scope of information contained in the commission approved form"

    Critical Home Inspection Services
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Thanks Jerry;

    There's usually a back door.

    Critical Home Inspection Services
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    My thought is to go in and do a technically exhaustive inspection.
    If you are like most HIs, you state that your standard home inspection is a 'visual inspection' and is 'not a technically exhaustive' inspection.

    First, a standard home inspection is *anything but* a "visual" inspection, however, be careful of how you define a "technically exhaustive" inspection and applying it to "maintenance inspections" as that will become your defacto *technically exhaustive* inspection standard, and it could come back and bite you in the butt later.

    This would include having the various trades do a thorough cleaning, inspection, and servicing of the respective units.
    It should also include a structural engineer to review the structure *in its entirety*, an electrical contractor to review the electrical system *in its entirety*, same for HVAC, plumbing, roofing, appliances, et al.

    Then think of what you would have to charge to not only cover all of the above persons, but to cover your for your liability for all of their work (yeah, they will cover *some* of that liability, but your hired them, so you will serve as the umbrella liability person).

    This would also include IR scans, completely checking everything as much as possible.
    Add that to the cost of the above.

    One of the reasons for doing all of the above, for a technically exhaustive inspection, is to discourage your clients from having a technically exhaustive inspection, thus encouraging them to 'limit your liability' by 'their choice'.

    Besides, now that you have arrived at a cost for a technically exhaustive inspection, how many people do you think will be willing to pay that much.

    By the way, I certainly hope that your technically exhaustive inspections started out somewhere around $5,000 and up ... otherwise you are really putting yourself in the line of direct fire from the shotgun.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    If you are in a licensed state and you are required to perform under state SOP for an inspection, you will need to abide by those regulations. This is not to say that you can't exceed the state requirements. Just be sure that you can show that you also did the minimal requirement.

    When I do EW work that involves a home inspector this is the first thing that is looked at and researched. Were the applicable standards followed! I would say that 75% of the time it is found that they were not followed in some shape or form. Or it can be shown that the "Standard of Care" was not performed.

    As Jerry said, I would think that the market for an all inclusive technically exhaustive inspection would be extremely limited due to the price for such an inspection. Not to mention that your liability exposure would be increased 10 fold.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    OK. Does anyone do Maintenance Inspections? How detailed do you get? do you follow later?


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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    What would be the limits on a "technically exhaustive inspection"? Would there be a limit? Who could afford one. Who could afford the liability?

    Sounds like exceptionally thin ice to me.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    First, a standard home inspection is *anything but* a "visual" inspection,

    however, be careful of how you define a "technically exhaustive" inspection and applying it to "maintenance inspections" as that will become your defacto *technically exhaustive* inspection standard, and it could come back and bite you in the butt later.

    It should also include a structural engineer to review the structure *in its entirety*,

    an electrical contractor to review the electrical system *in its entirety*,

    same for HVAC, plumbing, roofing, appliances, et al.

    Then think of what you would have to charge to not only cover all of the above persons, but to cover your for your liability for all of their work (yeah, they will cover *some* of that liability, but your hired them, so you will serve as the umbrella liability person).

    Add that to the cost of the above.

    One of the reasons for doing all of the above,

    for a technically exhaustive inspection,

    is to discourage your clients from having a technically exhaustive inspection, thus encouraging them to 'limit your liability' by 'their choice'.

    Besides, now that you have arrived at a cost for a technically exhaustive inspection, how many people do you think will be willing to pay that much.

    By the way, I certainly hope that your technically exhaustive inspections started out somewhere around $5,000 and up ...



    otherwise you are really putting yourself in the line of direct fire from the shotgun.
    Could not agree more....


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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Mitchell, I think you have a great idea that needs to be reigned in a bit to actually work. As stated by others the way you have presented the idea opens you up to too much liability, makes the insp too expensive and doesn't provide a clear service. Also the way you are presenting the service would steer a customer to an Arch. or SE, since it appears that for the most part you would be a middle man service provider.
    I do some of what you are asking. Generally, (for me) it is commercial or rehab related.
    Who would want that service and why? I'll give a couple examples that relate to my work.
    On the commercial side: Client has a warehouse, large building etc. and knows it needs maintenance work but isn't really sure what it needs or how to best spend his new formed maintenance budget. He's leery of just calling in contractors without knowing some real info. He knows he needs masonry work. Should he replace heating now or does it have a few more years. Etc.
    On the residential side: Client is new to property management, has an 18 unit building and doesn't know how to spend maintenance funds.
    Client wants to buy 18 unit building but has concerns about certain portions of the property.
    For all scenarios, I'm not really doing an HI. I'm really providing insp and consulting services. I don't tell the customers how to spend their money but what their options are and pros/cons of each strategy to maximize results. I spent 6.5 years as a property manager for small res buildings. That experience helps me understand the needs and concerns of the client in such deals very well. I will bring in outside contractors for more technical evaluations at times when necessary.
    Our HI regulations apply to 1-4 units res. Anything over that is considered commercial and does not fall under the HI rules. I still apply the HI SOP as a baseline regardless.
    There are people who need this service. Often times Arch's don't want to deal with it anyway.
    Who is your client? Referrals and newbies
    How can you make their decision process easier?
    The experienced property owner most likely won't want your service because he/she already knows everything.
    I'll stop now, more later probably.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Ok, I can't help myself.
    'Technically exhaustive' is the problem with your idea. There's almost no real point/need for it. Unless it is an EW or warranty type case. Who would want a technically exhaustive insp and for what? It doesn't make sense.
    If the bldg, components, systems etc are fairly new; there's no real need, unless as stated above.
    If the """"""""" are really old; you are going to recommend replacement anyway. Are you going to do a technically exhaustive insp and a 20 year old system?
    If the """"""""""" are in the middle somewhere as far as age and deterioration; you can check for general conditions etc. What will the TEI accomplish? If the flame on the furnace is orange, who's going to verify the heat exchanger? Not you I hope.
    What would be the point of a TEI?
    Believe me please, I'm not trying to piss on your parade. The TE just bugs me. I think it is a marketing pitfall you should try to avoid.
    Fire away gentlemen.
    Markus

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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Hi Markus,

    In a previous post you indicated...."Our HI regulations apply to 1-4 units res. Anything over that is considered commercial and does not fall under the HI rules".......

    This is incorrect. The Illinois HI Act does not have a "stop" at 4 units and has no such language indicating more than 4 units is commerical. 6 flat, 12 flat, 100 units, the Illinois HI Act still applies.

    The HI Act would not apply if there was no real estate transaction (of any kind) occuring. If a single family home owner wanted to hire an HI to do an inspection (maintenance inspection, TEI, whatever) and the home was not up for sale, lease or other type of transfer, the HI Act would not apply and you could do want you want.

    Sincerely,

    Corey


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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Thanks Marcus, you made some very good points. I believe that I may not be using the correct terminology as you said. What I am trying to do, more or less, is to do an inspection more for maintenance purposes than anything else. Of course if a client wants me to look over every inch of the property and they have the money, I sure have the time!!
    While I am licensed in NC I do not do home inspections. I do look at various properties or specific items for my clients, but I do not get very detailed. This, like you, is probably more on the consultant side of things. I am a licensed general contractor but I am looking more to the future where I would rather be more of a consultant with hopefully less headaches. I also have other ideas of inspections or documentation for lenders, architects, engineers, etc.
    What I am basically trying to cover is more of a maintenance inspection. Inspect a property now, including having the proper technicians service the respective units along with their documentation, and then check back at various times looking for anything that might be out of place. Leaks that may be developing but not yet showing, missing shingles, ...well, you get the idea. I may perform a regular inspection on a property in the future for a very good and close client, but I am leaning more to referring these out to other HI in the area that I plan on working.
    Performing maintenance inspections is just part of the grand scheme of what I am in the process of developing. I, like everyone else here, want to limit my liability as much as possible, so therefore I want to make sure I am using the correct terminology when marketing.

    On a side note, hope you and Corey have not had any run ins with the blackbirds up there. I am taking my family up to Chicago around the first of August to do some sightseeing. It will be 25 years, the first of August, since I have been up there. I hope the birds are gone by then!


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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Corey, I'll re-read the IL HI act and see what the deal is.

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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Corey, after re-reading the Act (since I haven't in a long time). My position still stands as stated. Your position is correct in the assertion of the lack of limiting language. It also however, lacks an overall understanding of RE transaction in IL.
    From the IL HI license act: (225 ILCS 441/1-10) "Home inspection" means the examination and evaluation of the exterior and interior components of residential real property, which includes the inspection of any 2 or more of the following components of residential real property in connection with or to facilitate the sale, lease, or other conveyance of, or the proposed sale, lease or other conveyance of, residential real property."
    The operative word being "residential", not real property.
    - Chicago and Cook county consider 1-4 units residential for zoning, tax, trash collection, etc. purposes.
    - Most suburbs I am aware of consider 1-4 units residential for the same purposes; some consider up to only 2 units residential
    - Mortgage lenders throughout IL consider 1-4 units residential and provide single family mortgages on such properties, (with exception)
    Above 4 units is not generally considered residential, but commercial, in standard IL real estate transactions.
    It is my understanding that some Federal guidelines allow upto 6 units to be considered residential under various conditions.
    This interpretation of the statute is not solely mine. The interpretation of the statute was first presented as such during licensing. Since then, I have discussed this with numerous other inspectors and attorney's who also believe 1-4 to be the operating range. From discussions with others in the field I do not believe the legislature intended to provide the broad scope of licensing that you imply.
    The lack of numerical limitation within the statute does not provide for unlimited license application.
    Under the same section "Residential real property" is defined as: real property that is used or intended to be used as a residence by one or more individuals."
    I guess under the lack of specificity of this definition your position that a 100 unit building falls under the HI act is possible, but doubtful. Wouldn't it then be called the Building inspector's act? In commercial transactions the parties are deemed to know what they are doing and are not afforded the same protections as 'homeowners'.
    If you are aware of amendments to the Act or other relevant info, please share.
    Markus

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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    To help with this little thread drift about HI licensing vs Commercial. What Corey has stated is true and consistent with what many other states have in their license laws. Unless it is spelled out in the law what is considered to be residential, say 1-4 family units. Then that law pretty much covers commercial applications as well.

    Whatever a county or city considers is a moot point when it comes to a state law. The state law will trump the local regulation.

    FYI, a handful of states do require a special license(not a HI license) to inspect commercial properties.

    Just contact the state and ask for a clarification, it might take a while but the licensing board will respond.

    Last edited by Scott Patterson; 07-01-2008 at 07:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    While waiting for the home inspector licensing board to respond, I think people are getting hung up on what words mean and do not mean, and incorrectly hung up on their definitions.

    Markus,

    Just because there are more than 4 units does not make a property "commercial", nor does have 4 or fewer units make it necessarily "residential" either.

    That (the number of units) does not even address as to whether or not you apply a IRC (or equivalent) or the other codes (commonly improperly thought of as 'the commercial codes').

    If you are discussing/inspecting "dwelling units", then that would be "residential". If you are discussing/inspecting "non-dwelling units", then that would be ... "non-dwelling units". Not "commercial" as it could well be "educational", "industrial", "governmental", etc., and none of those relate to the building codes as such.

    Think "residential" = "dwelling units". That would be my suggestion.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Hi Markus,

    As a point of clarification, you originally posted the following….”Our HI regulations apply to 1-4 units res. Anything over that is considered commercial and does not fall under the HI rules".......

    I was simply stating that this is in error and the HI Act says no such thing. Your research and comments confirm this.

    The HI Act is its “own thing”. Although it has to be lawful, it does not have to jive with other requirements that may exist in other applications especially local ordinances that can be changed on a whim.

    You said….”Chicago and Cook county consider 1-4 units residential for zoning, tax, trash collection, etc. purposes” This statement has no merit to the HI Act.

    As much of a surprise to Chicago and Cook County as this may be, they are not the State of IL. Chicago and Cook can do what ever they want for zoning, RE taxes and trash pick up. So what?

    You said…. “ Most suburbs I am aware of consider 1-4 units residential for the same purposes; some consider up to only 2 units residential

    Right there is your proof… “Most” and you go on to say “some consider up to only 2 units”. Again, the HI is a state wide and not city by city or county by county.

    You said….”Mortgage lenders throughout IL consider 1-4 units residential and provide single family mortgages on such properties, (with exception)”

    Please show me in the HI act where it states that private business (lenders) dictate and control the definitions of the HI act or how an HI should do their job at any given property? What if these lenders change their minds tomorrow and say up to 24 units is residential? What if LaSalle uses 4 units and Citibank uses 6 units as the determining factor?

    I’ve purchased single family homes for investment. Lenders would only do the deal as commercial (simply more money for them). Are you saying since a lender considers it commercial (because I didn’t live there) an HI would not have to follow the act?

    Any law could use some clean up of language and better definitions. I’m sure laws are written poorly by design in order to give lawyers something to argue about.

    It’s not called the Building Inspectors act simply because (right or wrong) this profession 30 years ago was dubbed “Home Inspection” and the name stuck.

    The IL HI Act doesn’t apply to commercial since the act is written as consumer protection.

    Scott’s and Jerry’s comments are equally valid.

    Hey, how ‘bout a beer and we can solve the world’s problems? Mitchell’s coming to town, we’ll get him to buy. Scott already owes me a Steak-n-Shake.


    Best wishes,


    Corey


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Well, as much as I hate to be wrong ... my lack of humility allows me to admit when I am wrong. So Yes, Corey you are correct.
    I spoke with the IL HI Act Admin today and she confirmed that the number of units doesn't matter as far as the State is concerned as long as they are res units. She was quite helpful about the question. She said she gets this phone call on an on-going basis.
    My interpretation of the Act was steered by an education provider who made the claim and I accepted it coming from that source. I will be placing a call to discuss this with him.
    Yes, it is true that those of us from the City proper believe this place to be the relevant part of the state. Never mind the vast bread basket expanse of the rest of the State that feeds us.
    Meet and greet sounds good to me.
    I shall now finish eating my crow and calling others to inform of the new info.
    Markus

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    "Hey, how ‘bout a beer and we can solve the world’s problems? Mitchell’s coming to town, we’ll get him to buy. Scott already owes me a Steak-n-Shake."

    Hey, I had nothing to do with the HI Act. How did it end up I had to buy the beers? Scott, I am assuming you are going up too to take care of Corey at Stake-n-Shake?

    Now we go back to our regular programming....


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    While the discussion about Illonios laws is certainly fair game for discussion, it may not apply to Mr Meeks in North Carolina.

    North Carolina does define a home inspection as inspecting 3 or more systems. It does define residenital as 4 or less units. I think the bigger issue is going to be 3 or more systems inspected.

    If you have an HVAC contractor only inspect the HVAC, then not 3 systems. If you have a handful of contractors each inspect one system but you only provide one report, did you inspect more than 3 systems or did each only inspect one system?

    My guess would be the licensing board would probably see the single report to the client as inspecting more than three systems and therefore fall under their juristicition (if a residential structure and not commerical).

    Call Don Warner and ask him. He can give you an interpertation and then you will know for sure.
    Donald C. Warner
    Executive Director
    dwarner@ncdoi.net

    NC Home Inspector Licensure Board
    322 Chapanoke Rd., Suite-115
    Raleigh, NC 27603
    (919) 662-4480
    (919) 662-4459 (fax)

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    (if a residential structure and not commerical).
    Bruce,

    You mean "if residential and not ... " non-residential.

    Does your HI license define structures which does not fit the "residential" tag as "commercial", or does it simply address the "residential" tag and leave the other out?

    The others would not necessarily be "commercial", as I explained in my other post above.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    "Hey, how ‘bout a beer and we can solve the world’s problems? Mitchell’s coming to town, we’ll get him to buy. Scott already owes me a Steak-n-Shake."

    Hey, I had nothing to do with the HI Act. How did it end up I had to buy the beers? Scott, I am assuming you are going up too to take care of Corey at Stake-n-Shake?

    Now we go back to our regular programming....
    Yes, I will take care of the Stake N Shake! If I recall they have one off River Road in Rosemont!

    Looks like I might be in town around mid October or so, I have a little EBPHI business to take care of. Now if any of you are in the Nashville are prior to then I'll be glad to treat you to a dinner at the Loveless Cafe! Or if you must we also have Stake N Shake!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    While the discussion about Illonios laws is certainly fair game for discussion, it may not apply to Mr Meeks in North Carolina.

    North Carolina does define a home inspection as inspecting 3 or more systems. It does define residenital as 4 or less units. I think the bigger issue is going to be 3 or more systems inspected.

    If you have an HVAC contractor only inspect the HVAC, then not 3 systems. If you have a handful of contractors each inspect one system but you only provide one report, did you inspect more than 3 systems or did each only inspect one system?

    My guess would be the licensing board would probably see the single report to the client as inspecting more than three systems and therefore fall under their juristicition (if a residential structure and not commerical).

    Call Don Warner and ask him. He can give you an interpertation and then you will know for sure.
    Donald C. Warner
    Executive Director
    dwarner@ncdoi.net

    NC Home Inspector Licensure Board
    322 Chapanoke Rd., Suite-115
    Raleigh, NC 27603
    (919) 662-4480
    (919) 662-4459 (fax)

    In NC, three or more systems is correct but the actual rule also states "for pre-purchase home inspections", maintenance inspections (as long as the client is the owner) do not technically fall under the rule. As we all know, this could change or be interpreted as desired on a case by case basis.

    An interesting fact is that the word "pre-purchase" was left out in the old proposed batch of changes that the governor shot down.


    here it is:
    (d) Written reports required by this rule for pre-purchase home inspections of three or more systems shall include a separate section labeled “Summary” that includes any system or component that:

    Last edited by Bruce King; 07-02-2008 at 08:47 AM. Reason: sp

  26. #26

    Default Re: Technically Exhaustive Inspections

    "(d) Written reports required by this rule for pre-purchase home inspections of three or more systems shall include a separate section labeled “Summary” that includes any system or component that:"

    My interpretation of the above quoted statement is that all inspections, including maintenance inspections, fall under the NC Standards of Practice. The above rule only states that a Summary section is required when an inspection is for a "Pre-Purchase" and not required for other inspections. I personally hate the summary and don't put one in my maintenance inspection reports since there is no RE agent that needs hand holding. It’s just repeating what is already in the report anyway and I want my client to read the full report.
    Also, I would guess the market for a $5,000.00+ inspection is extremely small. It’s hard enough spending the time to convince clients to spend $350.00 for an inspection.


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