As a new first time home buyer in a highly competitive housing market, we were anxious about purchasing our first home. After submitting several offers only to be beaten out by higher offers, we finally had an offer accepted. Our realtor, whom we trusted, recommended a top local home inspector and off we were. The greatest concern with the property was the swamp of a backyard where it was obvious that grading was an issue and water was puddling.
The inspector was from the Home Inspector Experts of Long Island and seemed to do a very thorough inspection spending almost about 3 hours for a small cottage. He also army-crawled into the crawlspace for which we gave him kudos certain that not many inspectors would have done the same.
As predicted, the biggest concern was the grading in the backyard and the need for a sump pump to draw water out and away from the house. He provided us with a lengthy report, including numerous pictures, and suggestions for remediating the water issue.
Overall, however, the house passed. There were no issues with mold, although termites were found necessitating the house be covered by a tarp and completely fumigated. We felt comfortable closing on the property given the tremendous attention to detail the inspector had clearly given and his thorough report.
Not two months after moving in, however, the water heater blew. Given that the inspector had given it a clean bill of health, we were surprised but called a plumber. The water heater had rusted underneath – an issue the plumber informed us should have been detected in even a cursory inspection.
We telephoned our agent, who in turn got the inspector back to the house. Both the agent and the inspector carefully examined the water heater which would need to be completely replaced – an expense we weren’t thrilled to cover given we had just purchased our first home.
To the home inspector’s credit, he admitted it had been his oversight. He took complete responsibility for the mistake while he apologized profusely. He returned the fee he’d charged us and offered to help pay for the water heater. He admitted to having been concerned by the water issues under and around the house and he’d not given as much attention to what appeared to be a water heater in good condition.
After several more purchases and homes since that first home, we’ve learned that a good home inspector isn’t just as good as his work but as his word and liability. A good inspector will own his mistake and make fair reparations as that inspector had done for us. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. It’s how we react to those mistakes which establish our reputation