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Home Inspection Nightmare

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Home Inspection Nightmare | What is that mortar SCREAMING? Can you hear it? You would if you use my home inspection checklist. Copyright 2022 Tim Carter

Home Inspection Nightmare - There are So Many

Not all home inspectors are equal. Many are sub-par and they haven't had the proper training to find all major flaws in a home.

A home inspection is very important because you need to protect yourself from buying a lemon.

I was one of the first home inspectors in Cincinnati in the late 1970s and early 1980s before it grew into its own industry. Before you make an offer on a home that contains a CONTINGENCY about hiring a home inspector, use my home inspection checklist to discover deal-breaker items on your own.

Today there are any number of home inspection associations that allow a person to look like a real pro. Beware of fancy acronyms behind a person's name on a business card because some associations have minimal proficiency requirements.

Read this email from one of my newsletter subscribers about the different associations:

Hi Tim,

I retired as a home inspector after 20+ years ( I made it to 81 years of age before the body gave out concurrently with, but unrelated to, the arrival of COVID.)

ASHI is, if not the oldest home inspection organization, one of the oldest. Keep in mind there are several associations. I belonged to ASHI but left when they changed the membership rules in the middle of the game to support their branding effort.

I joined the now-defunct National Association of Home Inspectors, NAHI, and there was almost no difference in the SOP,  COC, or CE requirements.

As NAHI failed, I moved to InterNACHI (formally NACHI) because it was not only less expensive to join but also offered so many benefits including free online CE courses. Once again there was almost no difference in the SOP,  COC, or CE requirements. It is my understanding that InterNACHI is now the largest association by far.

As far as best home inspectors, their quality is dictated more by their individual work ethic rather the association they choose to join because there just isn't much difference in SOPs or COCs.

Your buddy,


An Ask the Builder newsletter subscriber shared this nightmare about an inspection gone wrong that cost him tens of thousands of dollars:

Hi Tim,

This was nearly 30 years ago. When we were first house hunting and were close to buying, we went with a highly recommended inspector. With our second home purchase, our agent convinced us to use her inspector.  It was a huge mistake.

    • Out of code deck (piles of problems).
    • Gas hot air heating system with cracked heat exchanger
    • Electrical panel (100 amp) failing apart.
    • Framing in one corner of the house was non-pressure treated going down into dirt and cement.
    • Asbestos tiles on an outside wall in poor shape (though not dangerous).
    • Leaky windows.  Rotted out framing under a window.
    • Garage door opener hooked up with speaker wire for power, bare copper in spots.
    • Layers of carpet.
    • Cheap paneling over chopped-up sheetrock installed when expanding a closet.
    • "great room" downstairs had actually been a big room plus a bedroom.
    • A door frame from that bedroom was up in the attic.  No idea how they got it up there.  Also found some doors in the attic.
    • Attic entry through a tiny opening in MBR closet.
    • The roof was not in great condition.
    • Crumbling 3-strip concrete driveway.  There was snow when we toured the house.  

BTW, 29 years later we're still getting their junk mail.
There was more, but I thought this would give you a good laugh.  Feel free to use it, just don't put my name on it.  We have long since fixed most of it.


Name Withheld

Finally, here's another subscriber story. In this case, he should have turned on all the appliances himself not depending on an inspector:

Tim – Let me tell you my story!

In 2015, we made an offer to purchase our 1995 vintage Hallmark manufactured home which was ‘ground set’ in a subdivision SW of Tucson, AZ in an area known as Tucson Estates.  I contacted ASHI in Tucson to find one of their best inspectors to do a home inspection prior to purchase for us.  Yes, he did come out and did his inspection and provided us with his beautifully done report. 

Once we closed escrow and I began the remodeling process (it was known by the neighbors as the ‘smoke house’ as the Sellers who were the original owners, were heavy smokers!)  I soon discovered that the 20-year-old GE oven/microwave combination (see attachment) did not function and the display was hardly readable!  Replacing it with a similar new unit would cost about $2,500!!  I called this to the inspector’s attention and all he did was refund my inspection fee of about $500 and called to my attention, that this guarantee was included in the original inspection agreement!

Too bad that there aren’t any better inspectors out there other than ASHI.



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