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Insurance is Important

Additional Information

Michael J. Turner Home Inspections L.L.C. 

Carries the following Insurances to protect you and the public!


* Workman's Compensation

* General Liability

* Errors and Omissions

* Surety Bonds are available - Residential & Commercial

Learn More

Make Sure Your Inspector Carries... Workman's Compensation Insurance

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Video Plumbing

Not usually. The home inspector will run water using normal controls. We will flush toilets, fill tubs and sinks, check for slow draining and leaks where visible and accessible. Looking inside the pipes require a video pipe inspection. Specialized equipment and training is needed, and you should always hire a third-party video inspection company with at least 5-10 years of experience and with a plumbing background is encouraged. 


Some people like it when licensed master plumbers perform this task, however many feel this is a conflict of interest.  When hiring a third party video pipe company who does not carry a plumbing license than it's no benefit to them if the line is broke or not - since the third party cannot make any repairs. I find you keep the honesty when not hiring a licensed master plumber. If the third-party inspection company's does find a break in the line - by all means hire a licensed plumbing company to make repairs.

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Termites - "Wood Destroying Insects"

Some home inspection companies provided this service but is usually separated and not part of the home inspection.  You would have to call a licensed pest-control company for this service and one who is licensed as a "W.D.I.R" wood destroying insect report technician and one who can treat using liquid / bait treatments. There are (6) six wood destroying insects all can cause damage. W.D.I.R inspections are highly recommended and sometimes required by your lender.  Michael J. Turner Home Inspections, L.L.C. - can provide this service.

Video - Active termites can cause serious damage!

Dirt Tubes and Active Termites

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Suspected Mold

 The home inspector should alert you of any visual signs of suspected mold growth that was found in your home, where accessible. Pay attention to the inspectors report where it's mentioned "not all areas were visible". Many times obstructions and restrictions can hinder the inspector from viewing tight areas and corners of attics and crawlspaces. Remember, if it wasn't visible or if there was no access than it was likely not inspected. Some inspectors will have you sign a document stating the home has mold before they even show up. Proper mold testing is a specialized service that requires special training and equipment. We can provide sampling of the suspected mold which is sent to a lab for testing.  This will determine the type of mold present so a third party mold remediation company can treat properly. This may include but not limited to scrubbers, dehumidifiers, abatement, removal and other treatments.

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Cost / Value

For a few hundred dollars, a quality home inspection will provide an independent look at the conditions of your home which can reduce the risk of “surprise”. It may allow room for some negotiations. Your professional Realtor can help you make this transition. An inspection can reduce the anxiety by screening for problems and identifying them in a well documented report. 


A home inspection with the right individual offers the buyer an excellent opportunity to take an inside look at their new investment otherwise gone unnoticed to the untrained eye. 



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How Much Is a Home Inspection?

 The cost of your inspection will vary from house to house. Many factors are considered when determining fees. Most inspectors begin with a flat rate price and usually based on the homes total square footage. Other contingencies such as the age of the home, the size and complexity, if  the home rest on a concrete slab foundation or if it's raised off the ground, if the home has multiple HVAC systems and other circumstances. You can expect to pay on average somewhere between $300 and $500 for an average sized home of 2,000 square foot, depending on other determining factors mentioned above. Some will include a termite W.D.I.R (wood destroying insect report), and some may not. A termite inspection can cost upwards to $100 if not part of the home inspection. Be sure to inquire about the full cost before you hire an inspector. Choose the most qualified inspector first than compare price. 

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Septic Tank Inspections

Not usually. Most inspectors focus on the home. Most states require a certified and licensed master plumber or company to certify the septic system is in good working order. This is a separate inspection and you should contact this specialized and certified trade. An experienced licensed Realtor will likely have a number on hand. 

Home Inspector - Video Pipe Inspector - Termite Inspector and Septic Tank Inspection

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How long does a home inspection last?

It depends on the size of the home and the experience of the individual inspector(s). Other cost to factory in is the age, if the home is raised, if the home has multiple central heating systems or multiple water heaters, if the home has a garage, detached buildings, multiple attic openings, two stories and other contingencies. It can take anywhere from two to four hours for an average home of approximately 2,000 square foot.. If the inspector types the report on site and delivers the report before leaving - expect to be there much longer.  Some inspection companies will send two or more inspectors. This can be helpful when time is a constraint for both You and Realtors, alike. No one enjoys sitting around the home for hours, and if the home is occupied - keeping the owners or tenants at bay for long periods of time is very inconvenient! We work smart and efficiently to get you the best report delivered to you ASAP, usually the same day or within 24 hours after inspection.

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Advantage vs. Disadvantage

 When the inspector(s) arrive, he/she/they will begin examining the home inside and out. Once the inspection is complete, the inspector(s) should review any major discrepancies found with you, verbally. The inspector will usually email / deliver a copy of the report to you. Many times your licensed Realtor will receive a copy unless you specify otherwise. The inspector has 5 days to deliver the report to you according the the Louisiana Standards of Practice however, we always exceed the minimum standards and get you the report the next day (time is of the essence). Some inspectors will provide the report immediately after the inspection, while other inspectors take the report back to the office and type. This allows the inspector to evaluate each photo and research on your behalf thus producing a quality, detailed and thorough report. Your job is to read the entire report! Your professional experienced Realtor will usually help you with negotiations so your transition goes smoothly. Many Realtors are already prepared for some discrepancies since no home is perfect not even new construction.

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Who pays for the inspection?

Buyers Inspection

The person who is buying the home usually pays for the home inspection since its designed to protect you and no one else - although most buyers will share the inspection report with their real estate agent who is assisting them in this transaction - it is always the responsibility of the buyer to pay for the inspection, accept when contingencies exist.


Sellers Inspections

When the seller/owner of the home wants an inspected before listing their home on the market than the owner/seller of the home would pay for the inspection. The advantage is to prevent unforeseen circumstances. Having a home inspection before listing your house is a wise choice. Sellers usually have the benefit of asking a higher price for their home and will likely have little to no deficiencies if the buyers hire an inspector.  The seller will usually submit documentation of licensed professional contractors who made repairs.


Contingencies

Sometimes power, gas, and water is off at the home being inspected. In this case a re-inspection fee would apply. If no fault of the buyer than the re-inspection would usually be paid by the seller/owner/contractor on behalf of the buyer. Your licensed Realtor has likely experienced circumstances such as this at some point in their carrier and will take necessary steps to protect you from these unforeseen added expenses.

Pass or Fail

Pass of Fail

 

Home inspectors do not “pass or fail” the home - unlike code enforcement inspectors for the parish or city. 


Every home has good qualities, but may also have safety concerns, needed repairs and deferred maintenance items. All homes have problems, and many can be avoided through preventive maintenance. Your inspector should inform you of little problems before they become large concerns. 


A problem with a home is not necessarily a reason to walk-away. The seller/owner(s) of the property has no obligation to fix or repair anything however, most licensed professional Realtors will negotiate major deficiencies and non-functional equipment and sellers are usually understanding and negotiate specific problems. 


Any major deficiencies usually finds itself in the report and on a summary page for quick reference. Remember.... Always read the entire report!


Deferred maintenance items will likely not be placed on the summary page but under a category of general comments, upgrades or marginal. 

For example, upgrading plumbing where corrosion was noted in the report will prevent leaks


Use your inspector to help identify maintenance concerns. 

Think of your home as a car – you need oil changes, tire rotations and tune-ups every so many miles. Your home needs ongoing maintenance, as well. 


Inspectors do not provide an appraisal or code inspections - although home inspectors who are licensed in other trades can and usually do provide code and repair estimates but usually for an additional fee (this may be why the initial inspection fees are higher than  others). 


In conclusion, home inspectors do not pass or fail a home but report the conditions of the home through the use of visual means where accessible at the time of the inspection.



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Should I be present for the home inspection?

  

As the buyer, you should be present for the inspection. That way, the inspector can point out any major discrepancies.


Being on the job with the inspector and licensed Realtor you can get the feel of the inspectors’ physical actions, which sometimes speak louder than words. 


Being at the home is also a great way to take measurements for furniture and window treatments. 


We understand your needs and it’s not always possible to be on site. Many of my clients who are physicians, attorneys, first responders', and military aren't always available, so we change our strategy to suite your needs.


We deliver the report the next day - allow a few days to pass so you can read the report and then contact you or vice-versa "when you are ready". We will go over the report in detail until you fully grasp the information. You may not see our body language, but you'll hear our voice. 


It is difficult to read a report especially if you are a first-time home buyer. Reading a report alone is scary! 


It’s kind of like sending a text - no emotion or feelings involved! But when spoken – It sounds much better and can bring comfort.


The old saying stands "Seeing is believing" so we make sure you have clear photos in the report that point you in the right direction.

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90 DAY LIMITED HOME WARRANTY

Some inspection company's or inspectors offer a 90-day limited warranty with the inspection. Why don't everyone offer this warranty?


First: Any warranty provided by an inspector or inspection company is basically an insurance policy in which the company or inspector will have to purchase through various agency's or vendors. The cost will likely be passed down to you "the buyer" though hidden fees. The inspector will likely have higher fees than others who do not offer this program.


Second: After various carries who market my company and who make outrageous statements that it covers this or that. I finally took the time to read word for word (2) two policies that offer this 90-day Limited Warranty and I found it's not worth the paper its written on and would not benefit you. Put it this way - I would not purchase this for my own daughter.  


Third: Our company are professionals and we do our job right the first time and have no need to exploit our clients to propaganda.


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Can you get out of a contract based on the home inspection report?

 Yes, if you include such a contingency in your purchase agreement. Working with a professional Realtor - many of their contracts will likely have this clause. This allows you to back out of the contract if the inspector finds something that is unacceptable to you or if the seller/owner is not willing to make proper repairs. 

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Can the seller attend the home inspection?

Technically, yes. It's their house after all. Most of the time, the seller/owner will usually leave before an inspection begins. It's usually just the buyer(s), their agent and the inspector(s). 


Sometimes the listing agent is present as a courtesy for the owner/seller and beneficial at times since its easy to ask questions while on site. 


It's a small world! Over the past 8 years in business many Realtors in the surrounding New Orleans area know our name or call us for services, so many times we will likely have some type of professional relationship.  This does not hinder our obligation to you! Our reports are consistent time and time again and does not make any difference who is present. Our reports reflect the conditions of the home (bad or good) and that's it. This is one of many factors that makes us great! We do not cater to anyone! Our reputation of professionalism, integrity and reliability speaks loudly!


Some of my clients find it awkward if the seller and/or  listing agent are present for a home inspection.  This is very understandable... Remember this inspection is for you and you only! No one says we have to discuss our findings in front of them. We can always step outside or stop at a local coffee/tea shop to discuss important items. We never want you to feel uncomfortable.


Sellers tend to think their home is better than sliced bread until the inspectors points out deficiencies. Some seller gets very offensive while other sellers are very nice and ask how to resolve these issues for you. I have experienced both circumstances. Have your home inspected before selling to eliminate problems!


Some sellers will actually take you on a guided tour. As an inspector I definitely like more... Most sellers were not aware of what’s uncovered. Therefore, we recommended sellers have a home Inspection before listing the property on the market to deter circumstances

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What repairs should I ask for - after a home inspection?

 This will depend on many factors but usually deflects the real estate market, and the severity of the repair. 


In a seller's market, you sometimes don't have much negotiating room to request repairs. 


In a buyer's market, you'll usually have more leverage. You should always consider the cost of repairs when making any decisions.


It has been our experience and usually customary for sellers to fix items that are safety related (charred-burned wires at electrical panel) or pose immediate concerns such as a (roof leak) or the (heating/cooling system not working).


Our inspection reports reflect safety and repairs and can be found on our summary page. The summary page is the inspectors opinion of the most important items to address ASAP. We also include items that can use upgrades, improvements, and areas of the home that show deferred maintenance. 


An example of a two conditions on one component: Wood deck that has areas where nails had come loose and boards stick up would be a safety concern and another area of the wood deck that shows weathering of the wood from lack of water proofing would be considered maintenance. 


We always recommend licensed and insured contractors make any and all repairs with documentation and receipts of repairs. The invoice should include the company's name and license number performing the job. Labor and Materials warranty's should accompany this invoice.


Common items found at re-inspections when repairs were made by DIY owners / sellers: Excessive caulking, spray foam, duct tape, drywall screws, paint and anything else in their arsenal to patch the problem.

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What does the inspector look for?

 

Section §303. Definitions – Louisiana Standards of Practice states the following:


Home Inspection Report: a written evaluation of two or more of the following systems of a resale residential building

a. electrical system; 

b. exterior system; 

c. interior system; 

d. heating and cooling systems; 

e. plumbing system; 

f. roofing system; 

g. structural system; 

h. insulation and ventilation system; 

i. appliance system; or 

j. any other related residential housing system as defined in the standards of practice prescribed by the board.


Basically, the minimum guidelines a licensed inspector must follow in the State of Louisiana. If you were provided multiple brochures by your Realtor than you will notice just about all literature will state the same components. 


The difference is the efforts & experience the inspector puts into your home. Some work extremely hard to enter every possible area of a home to find defects on your behalf. The inspectors report should be:  Easy to read, organized, clear and concise with photos that show the deficiency.


All inspectors are not equal and as a buyer - you need to know! Price, should not be your only determining factor.


Each inspector has various skills, education, training, licenses and experience. It is required by the Great State of Louisiana that each home inspector undergo 90 hours of training, 30 hours of platform training and perform 10 live home inspections with a board approved licensed home inspector. Continued education is ongoing for every inspector. Anything after the above training mentioned is a plus. 


You should do your own due diligence and investigate inspectors and choose the one you are comfortable with and one who has at least 3-5 years of experience.


https://www.lsbhi.state.la.us/laws.php

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Does the seller get a copy of the inspection report?

No. not usually. As the buyer, you're the one paying for the inspection therefore, the report is your property. 


In most instances the seller/owner usually receives a property response that your Realtor will likely put together for you and after both of you have reviewed the home inspection report. 


Your repair request (if you make one) usually encompasses both the inspectors priority repairs and safety conditions and a few upgrades, and deferred maintenance items you may wish to add to the list. 


Because the report is yours, you may give the report to whom ever you feel should have a copy.  Many times family members who have a construction background can help and/or those who have had experienced home ownership and had to deal with maintenance and repairs can lend a helping hand..


First time home buyers can usually lean more on the home inspector(s) and Realtor's experience. You should collect cost estimates from various specialized contractors where the inspector recommend further evaluation. We are always available to assist and have an open ear, but we tend to stay away from providing references. We do not perform any work on homes we have inspected since we feel this is a conflict of interest.