Earlier this month I wrote an article entitled "Inspection, Objection, Rejection... Oh My!" in which I outlined the reality that emotions play in the inspection negotiation process between both buyers and sellers of residential real estate. In this piece, I layed out a few practical things to keep in mind as you enter into this process, and I promised an interview with a home inspector.
Matt Matzdorf was kind enough to give me his lunch break earlier this week and let me ask him a handful of questions about his profession.
Chris-"Matt, how long have you been a home inspector here in Pagosa Springs?"
Matt- "We have lived here for about 16 years, I have been a certified inspector for about 5 years."
Chris-"Is there a licensing requirement for home inspectors? "
Matt-"You do not have to have a license in the state of Colorado to be a home inspector. About half of the states require licensing and I believe Colorado will follow suit in the not to distant future. Currently it's just like General Contracting, there is no certification and no license required. However, I do carry a certification, It took me about 6 months to get it through American Home Inspectors Training."
Chris- " I understand that inspections are not used to deal with cosmetic issues but issues that could be of structural or hazardous nature. What are some of these potential issues and how do you uncover them?"
Matt-" I carry a bag with about $3,000 dollars worth of tools that I use for detecting hazardous gases and materials. Combustible gas sniffers, Carbon Monoxide detector and a microwave leak detector to name a few.
Typically a home inspection is to identify major deficiencies with the structure and that can include anything from weak roof framing, structural issues or bad grading in drainage causing heavy moisture infiltration into the crawl space."
Chris- "When is a good time to get a home inspection?"
Matt-"Home inspections are usually asked for by the buying party as a part of the buying contract process. I also do a lot of Pre-Listing inspections for the home seller before they put their home on the market. This shows conscientiousness on their part, and allows full disclosure to potential buyers."
Chris- " What kind of issues do you commonly see that can really be a big dollar item to correct?"
Matt-" It does not come up a lot but obviously structural foundation issues are a biggie because the house is sitting on top of it. If you have some weak framing members in the attic or up in the roof system it's relatively easy to get up their and brace it...but when you've got cracked footers or bowed stem-walls that's a big one, that's gonna cost a lot of money."
Chris-" I know from my perspective the last 18 months or so has been particularly slow in real estate sales, how has that corresponded to your business? How busy are you right now and how do you see 2008 shaping up?"
Matt-" It looks like we are hopefully right on track to have a good year. In the last 3 weeks my business has picked up dramatically."
I have used Matt for inspections and found him to be highly professional and his work very thorough. You can learn more or contact Matt at his website Matzdorf Inspection Services.