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Old 07-06-2016, 08:34 AM   #6976
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?People are buying blind:? Home inspections drop drastically


I think it's crazy how fast people these days complete a real estate deal. When I bought my townhouse 5 years ago, I basically had to put an offer in the day after I spent 30 minutes walking through the unit. Yes, it was contingent on the home inspection, but that was about it.


Comparatively. the last time I bought a used car, I test drove the car, did carproof, had a mechanic do an inspection, and then thought about it; the whole process took over a week - for something that was worth 1.5% of what my townhouse was worth!

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Old 07-06-2016, 08:38 AM   #6977
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back when i was looking people were taking their home inspectors with them during open houses so they can put their offer in while still getting an inspection done.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:51 AM   #6978
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does an inspector assume any liability at all with their opinion? or is it a purely superficial thing?
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:59 AM   #6979
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back when i was looking people were taking their home inspectors with them during open houses so they can put their offer in while still getting an inspection done.
What's to stop them from saying no inspections during the open house?
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:02 AM   #6980
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does an inspector assume any liability at all with their opinion? or is it a purely superficial thing?
they have insurance, as to how many get called on it by home owners coming back after them, no idea.

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What's to stop them from saying no inspections during the open house?
i suppose nothing. if inspectors aren't allowed to climb up on roofs or in to attics then i guess they can only see what the eyes can see. which kind of is all they can do anyway right?
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:06 AM   #6981
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does an inspector assume any liability at all with their opinion? or is it a purely superficial thing?
They go to great lengths to absolve themselves of any liability.

When I bought I honestly don't know why I bothered spending the money on getting an inspector. His report didn't tell me anything that I didn't already see or figure out for myself.

Mind you, I know what I'm looking for. I guess there's a lot of people that have no clue when it comes to things like that.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:07 AM   #6982
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does an inspector assume any liability at all with their opinion? or is it a purely superficial thing?
Before you hire them, they typically require you to sign a waiver that basically frees them from any liability.

I would take what they find/say with a grain of salt. They cannot do anything intrusive, so they're not going to cut up walls, or start unscrewing panels, etc. You'll always find out more about the home after you get the keys.

For a house, it's probably wise to hire one. For a townhouse, if it's over 10 years old, I'd probably hire one, especially if it has an HVAC system other than baseboard heating. For a condo, it's probably not worth it if you have access to the depreciation report and minutes.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:09 AM   #6983
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That's your example.
Then you have people paying XXX dollars and buying ITR's and NSX's and other cars online.

You can still buy a house with subjects, but it just means your offer has to be one that the sellers cannot refuse.
Offer them $5M for a $1M tear down. I'm sure they will let you do a full home inspection on it.
Actually, we're talking about the same thing.
Say, $50K for a NSX
$5M for your teardown example.
That's 1%.

In this market, good luck trying to buy a house with subjects.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:13 AM   #6984
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not in the slightest, i have a vested interest in vancovuer (my family, my better half's family) - i am connected to the city whether i like it or not.

i will have spend part of my retirement in vancouver (the sunny months)

it comes down to this - i know what vancouver was, how great it used to be. since that time when it was a humble town, it has become a lot worse but people keep on shouting how great it is.
after having lived in 4 countries on 2 different continents and having traveled extensively around the world, i can conclude that the average person is close minded and keeps on banging on about how great what they know is - the thing is, it may be great, but you don't know what else there is until you make that decision to open your eyes.

i'm just the devil's advocate here, trying to open the eyes of people who are blinded by the atrocious local media and blind mindset of the average person (best place on earth, vancouver is different, real estate only goes up, china is an endless supply of money, everyone wants to live here).



and how does all this tie back to van real estate: well, just look at the UK, an event has happened (Brexit), real estate will go down there, the GBP has already cratered. It only takes one thing to create uncertainty for the whole house of cards to come crashing down. Will UK real estate crash down? well, it's not as inflated as vancouver's, so perhaps valuations will just get better, but vancouver's real estate is built on stories, bad government, and general BS - it will end (perhaps when the NDP are voted in).

nothing, ever, in the history of the world has ever been a sure thing (other than death and taxes (in the modern world - taxes were brought in to pay for the war effort))
I would have hoped traveling aboard and seeing the world would make one more humble, more open, and more appreciative of the diversities of nature and humanity; instead, it has made you more close-minded, more bombastic, and more contemptuous.

You simply cannot accept the fact that people are content with Vancouver and all its beauty, however expensive it is.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:13 AM   #6985
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Before you hire them, they typically require you to sign a waiver that basically frees them from any liability.

I would take what they find/say with a grain of salt. They cannot do anything intrusive, so they're not going to cut up walls, or start unscrewing panels, etc. You'll always find out more about the home after you get the keys.

For a house, it's probably wise to hire one. For a townhouse, if it's over 10 years old, I'd probably hire one, especially if it has an HVAC system other than baseboard heating. For a condo, it's probably not worth it if you have access to the depreciation report and minutes.
I have a 10+ year townhouse with a boiler, hydronic heating. I got a inspection done before purchasing but it was pretty useless.

Basically, it was a canned report in a standard binder. The guy did take a look at the attic and the mechanical room, but he didn't tell me anything I didn't know. You'd think he would at least look up the serial number of the boiler to tell you how old it was, but nope.

It was more a general description of everything.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:17 AM   #6986
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Well I'd imagine the inspection would feel useless unless they found something that would have costed you thousands of dollars to fix, which is kind of the point. A lot of things you can see for yourself but it would be pretty shitty to buy a place and then find out there's mold in the attic and the roof needs replacing.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:19 AM   #6987
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I have a 10+ year townhouse with a boiler, hydronic heating. I got a inspection done before purchasing but it was pretty useless.

Basically, it was a canned report in a standard binder. The guy did take a look at the attic and the mechanical room, but he didn't tell me anything I didn't know. You'd think he would at least look up the serial number of the boiler to tell you how old it was, but nope.

It was more a general description of everything.
That's shitty. At least our inspector provided serial numbers and found a slow leak in our hot water tank.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:22 AM   #6988
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The condition of my furnace was the last thing on my mind, they can usually be easily replaced (Mine's fine, but what's a new average gas furnace cost? $5K?)

I was more worried about Foundation conditions, Perimeter drains, Wiring etc, you know, shit that could cost tens of thousands and involve tearing up the house & yard to fix.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:40 AM   #6989
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OK. On the other hand, what is making Vancouver so appealing to the masses then? Of the city's listed, it's not the only one in Canada. It's not the only one on the west coast. It's not there only one attracting foreign money. It's not they only one with iffy real estate practices going on. Some keep on harping that Vancouver isn't a special place and downplaying what the city has to offer. You can't blame it all on the stupid fools, because they are also located in every other city. Despite this, prices keep going up? So what gives? I don't think it's as simple as you make it out to be.

Also keep in mind, a city doesn't develop a major economy overnight. These changes and permutations take years and decades to develop. Look back at Van 25 years ago, night and day difference from where we are today. Sometimes we become so tunnel visioned in our own lives and livelihoods we become blind to the changes happening around us. Not to say I have the answer, but at least I'm willing to keep an open mind.
Because of our immigration policy, this city is a money laundering haven.

Here's another example, why do you think there is so much money that is moved over and invested in the States of Wyoming, and South Dakota?

Do you think they do it because of the beautiful corn fields, or their robust economy? Of course not, it's because both states are tax havens. The similar issue is prevalent in this city, international investors see this as a safe place to dump their money, without government intervention. That is the No 1 factor why this city's real estate has come to this level. We need to start calling a spade a spade here, it has nothing to do with how beautiful you perceive this city to be.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:55 AM   #6990
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there's several "drive-by" inspectors out there, i guess to go with the level of RE agents flooding the market. my 1st home used such inspector (i was ignorant), my 2nd home i had more experience so i went to about it differently to find a better one.

the guy i used walked us through the entire home and described what he's looking for, what he expects, what he's doing to test it. showed us the instruments he used to look for etc. found several things for us to keep in mind in terms of repairs or to negotiate so we should choose (doubt you get to do that anymore these days).

while it's true they cannot be intrusive they can use meters to detect mold and moisture, and also conduct tests to try to flush out leaks. water damage is the scariest thing for me

that being said after going around with him once, it makes sense what to look for, minus owning the instruments for moisture.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:14 AM   #6991
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that whole article regarding inspections is all bullshit.

Its only come to front because the inspectors are crying about losing business when people realize they arent really needed, especially in the current climate of sales with no subjects.

Inspectors CANNOT see or tell you the real deep down problems a house may have, period. They can assume a house built prior to 1993 has materials such as Asbestos, Vermiculite, etc. but they cannot confirm this. There isnt time, even if they had a week. Also no one is going to let some inspector cut holes in your wall and take bagged samples out.

As Great68 pointed out, as a buyer your main concerns are structural and drainage. If a house is 40 years old, it's going to have its warts, but if people are currently living in the home, and everything is working, thats about as much as you can ask for.

An inspector does not dig holes in the ground, he doesn't open drywall, etc. So he is using an eye test on 98% of the items in the house, Want to know if the foundation is ok? look for cracks, performance standards set by HPO say anything over i believe, 1/4" is troublesome and should be repaired, however, the "repair" is basically chipping out the crack, parging and patching, and ensuring a water proof seal. A homeowner who knows what he's doing can fix this problem for > $100

Want to know if your draintile is working? open the lid on the sump, look for water penetrations on the basement walls, have a look down rain water leaders to see what they are flowing into in the ground.

and hell, even if your draintile is fucked, the vast majority of properties in Vancouver going without subjects do not have basements. Therefor your draintile is a relatively easy fix. I have a receipt in my hand for work done on our house which was a full excavation, re and re on draintile and a new sump, $6200.

now, $6200 is still $6200, but if you're paying 1.3+ for a 60 year old house, it's peanuts.

another myth inspectors try and blow up is the possibility of mold and moisture. They can provide such little information on this matter that it's almost a determent to yourself to take their advice on it. AT MOST, they can stick a moisture meter in a wall, and if it was my house i was selling id say no thanks, see you later, youre not making holes in my wall. Moisture in the walls can be a sign of mold, mildew, etc. but without opening a wall and seeing the membranes, insulation, etc. behind the wall, as well as the exterior envelope, it's almost impossible to tell. The only true way of taking full account of the air quality is essentially opening a wall, taking samples, AND taking air quality readings over days/weeks.. yea like thats gonna happen with any seller, regardless of subjects or not.

And in terms of multi-family units, condos, townhouses, etc. the only thing you need to look at is the depreciation report, period.

huge long term headaches and big $$$ repairs, the odds of an inspector finding them are slim to nill imo. unless it is blatantly obvious such as major structure problems, etc. You'll never really know what kind of skeletons your house holds until you start opening up walls

i'm not saying inspectors dont have a place, if you have the time and can have a reputable one through, you might as well for the $300-$400, it's piece of mind and the vast majority of people do not know anything about their home so it's a good starting point to go off. It's far from the end of the world in buying without one though, and like i said, 20-30k to fix a house that is 50+ years old seems like pretty good value to me.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:31 AM   #6992
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there's several "drive-by" inspectors out there, i guess to go with the level of RE agents flooding the market. my 1st home used such inspector (i was ignorant), my 2nd home i had more experience so i went to about it differently to find a better one.

the guy i used walked us through the entire home and described what he's looking for, what he expects, what he's doing to test it. showed us the instruments he used to look for etc. found several things for us to keep in mind in terms of repairs or to negotiate so we should choose (doubt you get to do that anymore these days).

while it's true they cannot be intrusive they can use meters to detect mold and moisture, and also conduct tests to try to flush out leaks. water damage is the scariest thing for me

that being said after going around with him once, it makes sense what to look for, minus owning the instruments for moisture.
Phone any sort of reputable company which does haz mat testing, the honest ones who arent just looking to fuck ignorant home owners over will tell you air testing within a home does nothing because mold spores and mildew are not present in the air you breathe most of the time. They are trapped in the walls and on insulation.

And even with mold present, only a few certain types are dangerous in terms of air quality etc. and again, this cannot be tested to be certain without a sample of the area. So cutting open drywall, removing vapor barriers, getting a sample, having a lab test it.

Building new builds we've had many different moisture meters, and with this comes many different readings. The best moisture meters are quite expensive ($600-$800) and even some of the higher end ones do not give an exact reading but rather a range. So an inspector tests in an area which sees considerable moisture such as a bathroom, kitchen, attic space, etc. moisture which can escape or dry over time is not an issue, as it will not create hazardous conditions, however if this reading gives a red flag to an inspector, you might have just loss the house of your dreams on a sample taken in an area which dampens and dries constantly.

Building envelope and the inner structures of walls in homes are not there to completely "seal" the home from outside elements, this "seal" is what created the leaky condo crisis.

Building envelope is developed as such to let moisture come and go, but never get trapped.

Some of these house in Vancouver are over 100 years old, still standing, still solid structurally. Even though they do not have modern day building assemblies, something is obviously working correctly within their structure.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:12 PM   #6993
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Sure to some 30k of unexpected repairs may be peanuts, to the others who just maxed themselves out to get in the market that's not a fun feeling I'd imagine.

There are lots of people who wouldn't know a problem if it slapped them in the face, in which case an inspection would definitely help.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:33 PM   #6994
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Some people just take an inspector along with them when viewing the property.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:36 PM   #6995
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The condition of my furnace was the last thing on my mind, they can usually be easily replaced (Mine's fine, but what's a new average gas furnace cost? $5K?)

I was more worried about Foundation conditions, Perimeter drains, Wiring etc, you know, shit that could cost tens of thousands and involve tearing up the house & yard to fix.
Another major one would be oil tank removal.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:38 PM   #6996
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Home inspections only matter if u buy them to live in and who the heck is buying them to live in LOLZ
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:40 PM   #6997
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Home inspections only matter if u buy them to live in and who the heck is buying them to live in LOLZ
I've been reading your posts lately. Do you actually have anything constructive to contribute to anything here? Or are you just trying to be a dumb shit-starter like gululu but failing miserably in every conceivable way?
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:07 PM   #6998
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Another major one would be oil tank removal.
Yeah, that's a big one especially if it's an in-ground tank. But you're average home inspector is not going to be able to find those, you'd have to bring in a specialist scanning contractor.
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Old 07-06-2016, 02:07 PM   #6999
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Sure to some 30k of unexpected repairs may be peanuts, to the others who just maxed themselves out to get in the market that's not a fun feeling I'd imagine.

There are lots of people who wouldn't know a problem if it slapped them in the face, in which case an inspection would definitely help.
Buy what you can afford and save an extra 10-20K for minor renovations and necessary repairs when you receive the keys.

Or, apply for a home equity line of credit at the same time when you apply for a mortgage so you have funds available just in case.
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As insane as the market is, and as heavily leveraged as people are getting themselves, if you're buying a house that's 30-100 years old and not budgeting for repairs, you're insane.
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