Power User Conference


Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default One lawers take on Inspections

    This may be of interest to you, esp. those in TX. Anyone know this guy?
    Although not in Texas, I sent him a reply that he posted on his blog.

    See his article Seller or Realtor Fraud and Construction Defects

    ***edit
    I dont know why the title appears as such, the actual Title of his Blog entry is "Beware of Home Inspectors"
    end edit ***

    Similar Threads:
    Inspector Lab

  2. #2
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Thumbs down Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    Ok, so now how do we dispute the fact that this lawyer has no idea what the he double toothpick he's talking about. Maybe it's different in Texas, but I usually do rough estimates on the AC tonage to see if it is undersized. Also any HI will know if the system is leaking, it usually WON'T cool the house as well as icing etc.
    Wow this attorney is putting this stuff in writing, he better get his facts straight.


  3. #3
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Nettnin View Post
    Ok, so now how do we dispute the fact that this lawyer has no idea what the he double toothpick he's talking about. Maybe it's different in Texas...
    Maybe it is, but here was my reply, which he did post.

    From: Owl Home Inpsections [mailto:rick.maday@owlhomeinspections.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 11:16 PM
    To: evin@housedefects.com
    Subject: HI Blog

    Evin,

    I'm sure you have received many comments from Home Inspectors about your latest blog entry. I find it deplorable that you paint an entire profession with such a broad brush and with incorrect information.

    Specifically: (Your blog in blue, my comments in Bold)
    A home inspector is a waste of time for a lot of reasons.The first reason is that they do not do what you think they do.
    Then the inspector has not done his job upon the initial consultation - any good HI will make sure his client understands what will and will not be done during the course of the inspection.
    You think they are there to find existing or potential problems in the house Yes, they are
    so that you can decide if you should or shouldn't buy the house
    many factors go into a house buying decision, with the inspection and resulting report being one of them.
    You could not be more wrong about what they do.
    Assumes facts not in evidence.
    You should understand that a home inspection is nothing more than a "feel good moment" for you provided courtesy of the Texas Real Estate industry.Unless you find one of the rare inspectors that actually understands home construction and what problems normally beset homes,
    And you would be wise to do your homework before picking anyone to work for you, be it Real Estate Agent, Inspector, Accountant or lawyer
    This next part is especially irresponsible - I challenge you to find one report that *only* states if there is a dishwasher, a fireplace and if the plumbing "works"
    you will probably receive a 5 to 20 page report that will tell you if there is a dishwasher, a fireplace, that the plumbing works, etcetera. The etcetera encompasses many things here - foundation/structure, roof, grounds/grading, electrical system, HVAC, water heater, interior, etc - also these systems may have many individual components that need to be evaluated.
    The Texas Real Estate Commission licenses home inspectors, but don't be fooled.
    If you have a problem with your state's laws, then put forth some energy into making it better.
    Often, these "inspectors"have NO prior experience in home construction or repair.In Houston, after Enron failed, several former Enron employees became home inspectors.
    Again, you would be wise to do your homework before picking anyone to work for you, be it Real Estate Agent, Inspector, Accountant or lawyer. However, a construction or repair background does not automatically make a good inspector - what if they've been lousy contractors to begin with?
    A home inspector is only required to tell you one of four things:
    • That an item is present
    • That an item is not present
    • That it was inspected
    • That it is damaged or needs repair
    You are certainly more well versed in Texas RE law than I, however what is or is not inspected and what is and is not reported is really up to TREC. The Inspectors are bound to follow what TREC has laid out and "defined" their scope of work. If you have a problem with that I suggest you title a blog "Beware of TREC"

    So in the case of the air conditioning system, the inspector will say if it is there or not; that he inspected it and as long as it blows relatively cool air when turned on, he will not note or report that it is damaged or in need of repair.
    Guess the word "relatively" is meant to demean the inspection process, but wait...

    But wait- if the a/c system is ten years old and does not cool sufficiently due to a leaking compressor, will he tell you that?NO.
    Again, false and inflammatory statements. If it does not cool sufficiently then it is in need of repair. Also with a leaking compressor.

    What if the a/c system is not even sufficient to cool the space involved?He won't tell you that either.
    Some HIs do indeed test systems for efficiency, however it is beyond the scope of a standard Inspection as defined by your lawmakers. I would also venture to guess that if it was not sufficient to cool the space that it would be pretty evident at the time of the inspection and thus be documented as in need of repair.

    All he is required to do and all that he typically does is turn things on and see if they appear to work.There is no evaluation of how well they work or whether you may be incurring repair expenses or replacement in the near future
    Again, not true. Many Inspectors will let their clients know if systems or their components are at of beyond their normal expected lifespan and to be prepared to repair or replace various systems in the future. If this is not allowed by TREC, once again you should take it up with them.

    What can you do? Hire a licensed air conditioning repair service to evaluate the system.It is money well spent.
    This may be the most inane comment in the entire blog. First off, a "licensed air conditioning repair service" as you suggest would not be impartial and would probably find something wrong with the A/C that they could fix. Secondly what is a "licensed air conditioning repair service" going to tell you about the roof, plumbing, electrical, structure, soil, etc..

    Mr. Dugas, I have never attended Law School, but I am under the impression that the first rule of lawyering is "Never ask a question you don't know the answer to". Seems rule #2 should be "Get your facts straight before you start speaking of something you know little about" And Rule #3 perhaps, "Do not paint with such a broad brush".

    I find your erroneous and slanderous blog to be unbecoming an Officer of the Court. Perhaps you've had a bad experience with one or two Home Inspectors that were either deceitful or ill-equipped to perform their task. However, that should not be portrayed as the Home Inspection Industry in general. I do know that there are some Inspectors who may not be "up to par" and need to either get re-educated or changer careers.

    Probably like that with lawyers too, huh?

    Rick Maday
    Illinois Home Inspector


  4. #4
    Richard Stanley's Avatar
    Richard Stanley Guest

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    Like many bottom feeding, ambulance chasing lawyers, this guy is only fishing /chumming. Any response only fuels his success and elevates his site rating. Is this a great country or what? Like they say - its like mud wrestling with a pig - the pig loves it.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, KY
    Posts
    532

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    Rick,

    It shows up like that because that's the title of the webpage. See the blue bar at the top when looking at it.

    Erby Crofutt, Georgetown, KY - Read my Blog here: Erby the Central Kentucky Home Inspector B4 U Close Home Inspections www.b4uclose.com www.kentuckyradon.com
    Find on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/B4UCloseInspections

  6. #6
    Mike Boyett's Avatar
    Mike Boyett is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    In a parallel effort, several of us (15 Texas HI's & other states) drafted a response to Mr. Dugas' blog. Here is the e-mail that was sent to him & he did post it yesterday:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    As with any other service that one might procure, perhaps even the services of an Attorney, it is advisable to select or choose your Home Inspector wisely. An old adage comes to mind, “you get what you pay for”. On the other hand, to suggest that a home inspection is a waste of time or that one should be wary of Home Inspectors in general is not an accurate statement, is not indicative of the superior service that most Home Inspectors provide and is not supported by the current available data. For instance, in the year 2007, Licensed Texas Home Inspectors completed an estimated *175,805 home inspections out of a total of †270,469 single-family property sales in the state. Of those 175,805 inspections there were a total of ††5 (five) Texas Real Estate Commission actions against inspectors in 2007. This translates into an actionable complaint rate of 0.0028%. One would be quite challenged to find a comparably low rate for any other service industry in the Nation.

    Home Inspectors across Texas and Worldwide save their individual clients thousands of dollars on real estate transactions regularly and millions of dollars cumulatively by identifying defects that are in need of repair or by identifying minor problems that can possibly turn into big problems if not corrected promptly such as plumbing and roof leaks, moisture intrusion and the like. Home Inspectors provide leverage for clients to negotiate repairs as a condition of the sale or repair dollars out of the final cost of the home. This would include instances where Home Inspectors provide information that might lead a buyer to decide to cancel a contract on a home they have determined is a “money pit” as a result of an inspection. Home inspections are not perfect every time, nor are they intended to be technically exhaustive, but a Home Inspector is your best advocate and best choice to go through the home and provide you with a snapshot in time of the general condition the home so that a buyer can make an informed decision. You would be hard pressed to find a better qualified professional to assess the condition of an entire home within the typically imposed time constraints of a real estate transaction at a comparable cost.

    Home Inspectors are better equipped than Engineers and Architects for their ability to report on all home components and for their cost effectiveness to consumers. This is not a slam on any given profession. It’s just a fact. Where Engineering is the application of science and mathematics and Architects are involved with design and superintending construction, neither credentials suggests specializing in observing and reporting with which the Home Inspector excels.

    In the case of an air conditioning system, the credentials of a licensed HVAC technician supercedes those of the Home Inspector acting as a generalist, but you have to ask yourself this question; Do you go straight to a Cardiologist, an Oncologist or a Neurologist for a physical checkup or do you see your general practitioner first and take action upon her/his referral(s)?

    The common sense approach during a real estate transaction would be to seek the advice of the Licensed Home Inspector before that of the Licensed Electrician, Licensed HVAC technician, Licensed Plumber, Roofer, and Structural Engineer etc. Consider the limited amount of time for all of these different trades’ people to be contacted and scheduled, the amount of time to compile their data and write their reports and get them to the client and their agent in time to respond to them before the contingency date of the contract expired. Consider the need for someone specialized in each of these areas to read and explain the variously formatted reports in layman terms to the client, agent and seller.....and then, the fees that would probably range in the (conservative) area of a total of $1500 to $2000 instead of the typical $300 to $500 fee for a home inspection. The economics of the transaction dictate what the consumer gets. The Texas Real Estate Commission could write Standards of Practice that dictate a detailed, technically exhaustive and specialized inspection, but this is not acceptable to Real Estate Agents and their clients (the home buyers and sellers). The consumer is getting what they have demanded; a qualified, competent, well trained and dedicated Home Inspector.

    In summary, licensed Texas Real Estate Inspectors and Inspectors Worldwide have proven themselves overall as a group to be trustworthy to consumers as evidenced by their performance in the field and for the value that they provide in return for the minimal cost of an inspection. More and more well-informed home buyers are choosing to hire and consult with inspectors during the home buying process each year. To suggest that a home inspection is waste of time is potentially damaging to any home buyer that may choose to follow that course of logic. Mandatory educational requirements, proctored examinations, background checks, continuing education, conformance to industry Standards of Practice and Ethical Codes combine to help safeguard that a consumer is more likely to find and hire a competent and professional inspector, than not. Protect your self interests during the purchase of a home. Understand fully the condition of the home you are going to purchase. Do this with confidence by carefully selecting and hiring the Professional Real Estate Inspector of your choice




    * Based on 65% total home sales 2007
    † Data from Real Estate Center at TAMU
    †† Data from TREC reports

    Last edited by Mike Boyett; 01-18-2008 at 06:47 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    WESTMINSTER CO
    Posts
    990

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    mike great responce-----thanks for speaking for all of us

    know how you get a lawyer out of a tree



    cut the rope


  8. #8
    Eric Barker's Avatar
    Eric Barker is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,276

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    To some extent, the attorney is not far off the mark. I've seen useless reports that state that there's a furnace, a roof, a basement etc but no comment as to whether or not there's correct function. I was at a "continuing ed" meeting about 2-3 years ago where the speaker, a 10 yr member of ASHI, was saying that we should NEVER mark a furnace as satisfactory - his approach is to find something, anything, wrong and then tell client to get HVAC contractor to correct. He said that if looked like someone even spit on the basement floor he'd write that basement was prone to water entry. What a bunch of crap. Basically he is so scared of being sued he writes this junk and places burden on someone else to give an approval to conditions.

    What the attorney is pointing out is that we have a problem with such reports being written for clients - it's not his fault that the situation exists. Where I fault him is his insinuation that it applies to all inspectors. Many inspectors have examples of their reports on their websites. Spend some time looking at them and see what they say and don't say.

    I couldn't even guess how many times clients have told me that previous inspectors they used were simply worthless.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  9. #9
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    To some extent, the attorney is not far off the mark. I've seen useless reports that state that there's a furnace, a roof, a basement etc but no comment as to whether or not there's correct function. I was at a "continuing ed" meeting about 2-3 years ago where the speaker, a 10 yr member of ASHI, was saying that we should NEVER mark a furnace as satisfactory - his approach is to find something, anything, wrong and then tell client to get HVAC contractor to correct. He said that if looked like someone even spit on the basement floor he'd write that basement was prone to water entry. What a bunch of crap. Basically he is so scared of being sued he writes this junk and places burden on someone else to give an approval to conditions.

    What the attorney is pointing out is that we have a problem with such reports being written for clients - it's not his fault that the situation exists. Where I fault him is his insinuation that it applies to all inspectors. Many inspectors have examples of their reports on their websites. Spend some time looking at them and see what they say and don't say.

    I couldn't even guess how many times clients have told me that previous inspectors they used were simply worthless.
    Eric,

    I agree with everything you've said - esp what I highlghted. That's why I emailed him.

    Rick


  10. #10
    Ben Christianson's Avatar
    Ben Christianson Guest

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    Rick,

    Thanks for such an elequent rebuttal to his blog post. I'm lucky to get three words to make sense coherently in a row sometimes.

    I found his reply to your rebuttal interesting. IMHO, he just reiterated his original position, just a little less stridently.

    Unless its just too soon, I haven't seen the second letter from HI's posted on his blog. Since its his blog, can he choose to not post it?

    Ben Christianson


  11. #11
    Eric Barker's Avatar
    Eric Barker is offline Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,276

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    I sent an email to this attorney and got a reply back. He agreed that he fired a pretty broad shot across our bow and that he has heard from quite a few inspectors about it. He also mentioned that he was surprised by the integrity of those that he heard from.

    While I have not read his follow up comments, it seems as though he's a decent enough guy who spoke a little too soon and now realizes that he may have been a little harsh. I think that his view has been changed for the better.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
    Andy Cox's Avatar
    Andy Cox Guest

    Default Re: One lawers take on Inspections

    I've found that there are many people like this guy - he may have good intentions, but people forget that there are good and bad in any industry... even the legal profession!
    I'm not the most experienced or knowledgeable, but I will always work toward that goal. I take my profession and responsibility seriously. I don't like when a "professional" lowers him/herself to make broad statements about the inspection industry like he did. I felt like it was just an attempt to stir the pot and get some hits on his blog.
    That was the best way to respond, though, seriously, in a professional, non-confrontational manner.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •