In the present state of the real estate market, multiple inspections occurring on the same house has become common. For one reason or another, and I take those reasons with a grain of salt, a house doesn't make it to the closing table with a previous buyer(s). In this month alone I have inspected two properties that had previous buyers and inspections. One of these homes had two buyers and two home inspections.
With both these houses I was informed of the previous inspections by the listing agent. This information was said in such a way as if to say, "your inspection is just an exercise, you won't find anything wrong." On the contrary, there were things wrong. Obvious things, big issues that in my opinion should have been found previously.
On the twice inspected house I found issues with the roof. These issue could not be seen from the ground and I doubt through a pair of binoculars. Since the house was about 20 years old with an architectural style roof, most of which are manufactured to last about 30 years, there may have been some assumptions made as to the condition of the covering.
Condition is the more relative parameter with inspecting most any component. Age while important, is often less significant. For instance, I have seen 30 year roofs that were shot after 10 years. One can not assume all is well based on age alone.
When I climbed onto this roof at the back where the pitch would allow, I saw more interesting sights. Loose and delaminated shingles. The shingles above the skylight in the photo have to be letting water into the house.
All is well indeed!
With the other house while inspecting the electric panels, note I used the plural, the listing agent informed me that the issues from the previous inspection had been repaired by a licensed electrician. She showed me the receipt.
I found the main panel had issues with the ground / neutral terminal, but worse, the sub panel was wired wrong. It had been put in by the HVAC contractor when the central A/C was installed. The electrician did not look at this panel because the home inspector had not cited a problem. This issue is a potential safety hazard.
Fortunately in both instances the next buyers had opted for their own home inspections. What's troubling is the other three buyers may be purchasing houses with issues that have went undiscovered. Especially electrical problems.
My question is, how many inspectors does it take to get it right?