Are your doorhandles upside down? What would that have to do with a blog on more information on home inspections. Well, read on and you'll find out.
My husband and I were very pleased with the response that I got from my last post that we decided to do a follow-up with a little more on what you want to look for in a home inspector.
Not only do you want the home inspector to write detailed information on his report but the choice of words, use of language and the way the information is presented can be equally if not more important than what the inspector finds. Even the use of a comma in the wrong place can change the context of an entire sentence. The wrong use of language makes it easy to turn a molehill into a mountain.
Like Realtors, most home inspectors are friendly competitors. Again, like Realtors, some inspectors have more difficulty expressing themselves than others. This can have a huge impact on your transaction. For example, several years ago, an inspector we know of literally killed a deal by making a major issue over a single failed Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). He emphasized the safety feature of this electrical device so often and with such vehemence that the buyers came to the conclusion that the whole house was electrical money pit and walked away from the deal. If he had only explained that a GFCI is an important safety feature, but is also just a $25 repair, he would have made his point and the sale would probably have gone through. The morale of this story is that it is often not what one says, but the way that one says it.
To put this in context, the other day my husband pointed out to me that some of our door handles are on upside down. Now we have only lived in this house for almost two and a half years, but my husband knows me well enough to know this would have been a big thing to me, and I would have most likely insisted they be fixed prior to closing. Realistically, an inspector would most likely want to report that fact about the door handles, but, at the same time, he should emphasize that it is a cosmetic issue only and does not affect the function of the door.
My husband never bothered to remark on the upside down door handles to me because we were going through enough stress at the time, and he knew that it really would not make any difference - the doors do open and shut the way that they should. And most likely no one except for him has ever noticed. But now that I know it will probably drive me nuts . The first thing I did after he told me about the handles was to go around and count how many were put on wrong - it turns out there are four.