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What to Expect From Your Home Inspector: An Interview with Michael Goewey of Property Facts Home & Energy Inspections

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Property Facts Home & Energy is a full service inspection company established in 1993. Our foundation is having a good reputation with past clients who refer us, as well as in the real estate industry. We want agents to know that they can trust us with their clients. As the owner, it is my responsibility to see that our client(s) receive the service they need and would expect when it comes to all their home inspection needs. As an inspector it is my job to provide our clients with a thorough inspection that is backed up with a detailed and customized inspection report on the home, so that the client(s) are well informed of the home and its condition at the time of the inspection.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We provide home inspections for people who are buying or selling a home, or simply wish to maintain their home. Some of the other services we provide are:

Commercial building inspections
Energy audits
Radon testing
Environmental services: radon and lead testing upon request
Carbon monoxide testing- included free with a complete paid inspection
Indoor air quality and safety inspections
Termite and wood boring insect inspections
Septic, well, and water testing available upon request

What should a standard home inspection cover?

A full inspection includes:

Electrical, plumbing, and water systems
Heating and cooling components
Doors, windows, and skylights
Major appliances
Walls, floors, and ceilings
Insulation and ventilation
Basement, crawl spaces, and attics
Termite, wood boring insects, and other pests

Structure and foundation
Roof and chimney
Gutters and downspouts
Siding, drainage, and grading
Garage, carport and outbuildings
Driveways, patios and fences

How much experience should they have with residential inspections?

When it comes to performing a home inspection, the inspector must have a good working knowledge of residential construction along with all the main mechanical systems of a home. It basically takes years to become a good home inspector, but with good training one can become a good inspector through inspection schools and mentoring programs. The National Association of Home Inspectors along with some of its state chapters helps to provide this type of education as an additional support for its members. Continuing education is key to being a good inspector and to stay in good standing with NAHI.

How long should it take to receive my inspection report? What sort of information should the report provide?

Our reports are emailed to our clients either same day or next day within 24 Hrs. Most real estate transactions provide a 48 hour time frame for people to make a decision after the inspection. Our reports provide everything from basic maintenance, repair now or near future, of if something requires further evaluation by a qualified contractor in that field. I believe a good inspection report should also have helpful information to help people maintain the maintenance of their home as well.

Should a quality home inspector provide repair work? What is the danger of hiring an inspector who does repair work as well?

I personally believe that that is a conflict of interest and would be in violation of the National Association of Home Inspectors code of ethics which states; An inspector shall not, directly or indirectly and for compensation, perform and or recommend contractors to perform repairs on any component of a system included in the inspection under the NAHI Standards & Practice. An inspector may recommend or offer ancillary inspection services. Therefore, let me ask this question. Would you hire say an insulation or a window contractor to come into your home to perform an energy audit?

Considering there are many states that do not require certification, what is the benefit of hiring a certified and trained home inspector?

Number one, you get the benefit of working with a professional. Buying a home is a large financial investment. The inspector knows what to look for and I think most importantly knows how to communicate their finding during the inspection. Not to mention, this is all backed up in a well-written report.

What if the home inspector misses a major defect? Can I hold them liable?

Anyone can sue for damages if the inspector is found to be negligent. If you hire a qualified inspector that is much less likely to happen. My advice is to get a good feel for the inspector by asking questions about their experience and the type of report they will provide, along with their qualifications. Also ask if they are insured, do they carry Errors & Emissions Insurance?

What is the best way for people to reach out to you or your company?

I like people to go to our website first. There they will find qualifications, a sample report and lots of other consumer information as well. If the consumer likes what they see and wants to know more I would be happy to talk with them personally so they know what they can expect from us and ask or express any concerns that they might have.

Michael D. Goewey
Certified Real Estate Inspector
Member, NAHI

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