By: Lorrie Jackson | Category: Home Improvement | Issue: January 2007
Reed, John, Cindy and Colin Walters. It was Reed’s love of baseball that inspired the name “Home Run.”
Imagine you have bought what you believe to be your dream home. It has the perfect floor plan, the perfect number of bedrooms and baths; in fact, everything about it seems perfect. It is not until after you move in that you discover that the air conditioner is not working and the toilet will not flush. Chances are these disappointments could have been avoided if a professional home inspection had been performed.
The truth is, most people are so enamored with the home they want to buy, they often miss the small indicators of issues that could prove to be expensive or hazardous. For instance, most people can see cracks in the wall around a doorway or stains on the ceiling. Are those indicators of major issues or are they minor? According to John Walters of Home Run Property Inspections, if you want to have “all your bases covered” you need to make choosing the right home inspector a top priority in the home buying process. A trained inspector should be able to identify the issues that could pose a financial burden or potentially hazardous situation. That is why it is so important to have an expert like Walters thoroughly inspect the home so that you can know what to expect.
Walter’s inspection reports are computer generated and easy to read and understand. The report covers the age of the major appliances (heater, hot water heater, air conditioner), whether the home has single or double pane windows, and whether it is equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters. He even tries to approximate the age of the roof so the potential buyer can budget for replacement in the future.
Although he cannot make the current homeowner repair all items in order to make the home safe, Walters notes that at least buyers will have a true picture of what they are buying, which is his main objective.
“Most issues can be resolved,” he says. “But does the price of the property reflect the issues?” He also notes that realtors are usually glad to have all issues brought to the forefront as well. “I’ve found the majority of realtors to be upfront and honest,” he says. “Most of them feel an inspector is a vital part of the transaction and vice versa. I enjoy working with realtors.”
“I don’t just go in and look for defects,” he adds. “I also report on some of the extra features or amenities in the home that the homebuyer may not be aware of.” For example, in every report, Walters pinpoints the location of any water shut-off valves, the waste pipe cleanout cap and any ground fault circuit interrupters.
Since buying a home is one of life’s major investments, Walters suggests that potential property owners always examine a home inspector’s experience and references beyond just state licensing requirements. You want to look to see if an inspector is affiliated with a quality professional association. Walters offers solid experience, having worked as a home inspector at a highly respected local company for almost two years before opening Home Run Property Inspections in August of 2006. He is affiliated with NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors), which requires a member to complete 24 hours of continuing education a year, as opposed to the state, which only requires five hours. NACHI also has a host of other requirements above and beyond the state’s. For instance, members must complete an online inspector’s examination and agree to NACHI’s code of ethics and standards of practice (a copy of which is included in every report he gives).
If you are preparing to buy a home, do not cut corners. Keep your bases covered and call Home Run Property Inspections for the best and most thorough report for your money. Each report is easy to read and will include digital photos. For realtors, Home Run also includes a summary report in addition to the complete version. A sample report can be viewed at www.okinspector.com