I have some time before my next appointment, so I thought I would slip this post in.
This has never happened to me before on a home inspection. My client, a former client for whom I did an inspection 10 years ago, asked me to inspect a rural property to which he hopes to move permanently in the coming years.
Built in 1982 it is sitting on 14 rural Virginia acres and the setting was just gorgeous. And the house was in pretty good shape! It was nice to see this client again and look at his new adventure.
What took me aback was a couple of comments by the Realtor.
The house has an original oil-burning boiler, with a lot of new apparatus recently installed. The original mainframe, however, is still there.
She asked me if I would please tell my client how much longer this boiler would last.
"I simply don't know. How could anybody know that?"
"Well, my home inspector always tells me how much longer to expect on appliances."
"Ma'am, if I could do that I wouldn't be doing home inspections! How can anyone possibly predict that?"
"He always does." (I'm thinking, at this point, that this inspector is a dope!)
"On your report you'll no doubt be telling us how much all these repairs will cost, right?"
"No. That would depend on many things - who is called, what materials are used, and the quality of replacement items. My job is to observe and report. A verbal approximation of repairs I might give, but do not estimate the costs of repairs."
"My home inspector always tells me how much something will cost. But you are free to conduct your business however you wish." Gee, don't you sense a put down there?
"I don't know any association, or Virginia state, policies that recommend that an inspector predict appliance life spans and determine the costs of repairs. Is this inspector a member of any associations? " She didn't know... "You don't know?" Well, the put down just got put down...
My recommendation: Your home inspector simply cannot predict the future, as much as he might like to! And don't expect him to place his neck onto a chopping block to estimate things he likely does not know.
At least I know I am not the Incredible Jaydini! "A man's got to know his limitations." Dirty Harry
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560