Home Inspection Fee Nearly 2% of Asking Price

By
Home Inspector with EKAN Home Inspection CPBC #69177

No it’s not a misprint. The buyers needed a property condition assessment on a 1972 mobile home that would take them beyond their initial first impressions and contracted my services for the home inspection. I don’t shy away from mobile home inspections as this is a viable housing option for many folks, especially when the average cost of housing in the region is above one million dollars.

This particular property was located in the Vancouver region, in a well kept age restricted +55 park, the lowest priced property within 100 km of downtown Vancouver. My client was looking for a residence, not a ‘fix and flip’. 

A realtor had purchased it from the estate for a quick flip. It had not been lived in for a while. It was listed for several months. A ‘’stink bid’ had been previously received and rejected. Power and heat were turned off on a cold January day. Floor rot below the kitchen counter and around the hot water tank. Rodent droppings throughout. Bathroom could easily pass as a movie set for ‘Animal House’. Avocado kitchen stove that appeared to have never been cleaned. Carpeting with Rochart Chart staining.

Obviously the property was in distress. Here is what I looked for beyond the obvious. 

  • Original condition - Yes. This is a great starting point as there has not been any attempt to apply lipstick. 
  • Signs of abuse - No. Whoever the original owner was, they did not have an anger management problem, or a need to  ‘bash-in-the-drywall’ or just for fun ‘kick-out the door locks’ or a pet with incontinence. 
  • Electrical panel - Passed. Breaker panel with spare capacity. 
  • Water Damage - Yes. Unfortunately the subfloor will have to be replaced in the soft spots. However the damage appeared to be localized. 
  • Roof Leak - No. There was no staining anywhere on the ceiling. 
  • Windows operational - Yes. There was no signs or rot or staining around the windows. 
  • Natural gas forced air furnace condition - Unknown. 
  • Hot water tank condition - Failed. Replacement required. 
  • Kitchen & bathroom cabinets condition - Acceptable. Surprisingly the doors and shelving units could be readily reconditioned. 
  • Floor coverings condition - Failed. Replacement required. 
  • Nose test - Passed. No detectable mold, mildew or pet smells. Yes it’s subjective but based on experience, I do not discount it. 
  • Crawl space - Passed. Too many issues to discuss in this post but suffice to say that it was acceptable for the age. 
  • Exterior steps and balcony condition - Passed. 
  • Exterior parking surfaces and underneath mobile - Passed. Asphalted throughout. 

Overall I considered the property redeemable with a major allowance for the unknown. The buyers proceeded with the purchase because the price was right and had budgeted for the renovations.

Lesson learned - When a purchasing decision is not obvious and takes you outside of your confort zone of understanding, it's appropriate to pay for knowledge and a skill-set that you do not have. In this case, a professional home inspection can provide a buyer with much needed data to support the final decision.

 

Posted by

www.ekan.biz

EKAN Home & Property Inspections

Sunshine Coast, North Vancouver, West Vancouver 

Comments (8)

Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

I really appreciate this post Eugene Kanciar . I have never asked the inspector I use to view a mobile home. Great idea.

Jan 14, 2017 09:26 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Most inspectors are too big to get into crawl space these days. I stick my head inside the hole look and showed to them. Can I get a copy of your photos...

Same with attic. Lots of disclaimers from some companies. Now, I hire the smallest guy who can crawl and inspect roof.  I hold ladder to make his day.

Jan 14, 2017 09:35 AM
Eugene Kanciar
EKAN Home Inspection - West Vancouver, BC
Our Experience, Your Peace-of-Mind

On occassion, the mobile home buyer may be least able to deal with the cost of surprises after the purchase. My focus is to uncover as many of those surprises as possible, before the deal is completed.

Jan 14, 2017 09:36 AM
Eugene Kanciar
EKAN Home Inspection - West Vancouver, BC
Our Experience, Your Peace-of-Mind

Sam, as to holding the ladder, well, that's the gold standard of an agent-inspector relationship.

Jan 14, 2017 09:42 AM
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE SIGNATURE SERVICE - Mississauga, ON
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Greetings from Toronto Eugene... Thanks for that information.  I was not aware, or did not think that home inspectors did this kind of inspection.  It is always recommended that a home inspection be done with whatever type of home you are purchasing, even a new build. I always advise my clients to do so... 

Jan 14, 2017 09:53 AM
Eugene Kanciar
EKAN Home Inspection - West Vancouver, BC
Our Experience, Your Peace-of-Mind

Hi Gloria, yes mobile home inspections are very common here in BC. Even West Vancouver, one of the wealthiest enclaves in Canada does have a MHP.

Jan 14, 2017 09:56 AM
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I haave used inspectors for years when dealing with a mobile style home.

Jan 14, 2017 11:12 AM
Eugene Kanciar
EKAN Home Inspection - West Vancouver, BC
Our Experience, Your Peace-of-Mind

Hi William, thanks for the feedback. Sometimes just because it's a fraction of the price of a house, buyers think a mobile home inspection is not worth the cost. However repair and replacement costs are just the same as for a house. If money is tight (and whose isn't), then it's well worth the cost of knowing what needs attention and to address it in the negotiations. I find that mobiles often take longer to sell and a buyer has the time to do due dilligence without fear of a bidding war and the seller is usually receptive to making price adjustments.  It only makes 'cents' to negotiate price from a position of strength, based on the results of an inspection.

Jan 14, 2017 01:34 PM