Hawaii Home InspectorsPosted by Mike Bates on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011 at 6:07am.
Finding the right home inspector on Oahu
When a purchase contract is accepted, one of the first tasks is to decide on a home inspector. In a typical purchase contract, a buyer has 10 days to select an inspector, get the inspection done and evaluate the results.
A home inspection typically costs somewhere between $250 for a studio or one bedroom condo and up to $500 for a regular sized home. Some buyers prefer not to incur the cost of a home inspection, figuring they can do it themselves. In some cases, particularly with newly built properties, that's fine. In other cases, things may get overlooked. Saving a few hundred bucks now might cost more in the future.
Everytime I've seen a home inspection report, the inspector found something that the buyers and I had not noticed. When we're talking about buying a property for hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe paying $250 - $500 for a home inspection will be money well spent.
What Home Inspectors Do
Inspectors are usually not professional electricians, plumbers, contractors etc. They have some knowledge of all those areas.
An inspector will check the electrical panel for wiring defects, check outlets to see that they work and are properly grounded, check appliances to see that they operate correctly. Refrigerators and freezers should cool to proper temperatures, ovens should heat properly, stove burners should all work. Clothes washers and dryers should go through their cycles correctly.
An inspector will look under the sinks for leaks, check toilets making sure they flush and don't overflow, check hoses for dishwashers and clothes washers. Inspectors also look to see if sinks and tubs have stoppers. What's so important about a stopper? Well, if a piece of plastic, such as a cap from a shampoo bottle goes down a drain too far, there could be a big problem. That piece of plastic will block the pipe and it won't deteriorate. That could result in call ito a plumber to snake it out and it's not always an easy job. If the plastic is lodged tightly and won't budge, the pipe may need to be removed. What if the pipe is buried in concrete? It might get expensive.
Inspectors also check cabinets, floors, walls and foundations for cracks, water damage etc. There's more, you're getting the idea though.
Do Buyers attend home inspections?
Buyers typically do attend inspections when they are here in Hawaii and have flexibility with their work schedules. The better inspectors are busy and often work seven days a week. Their weekends tend to be booked so they have to do a lot of inspections on weekdays. Buyers from the U.S. mainland, Canada, Australia and other countries typically won't fly in for a home inspection and will rely more upon the home inspection reports.
Hawaii residents, this may surprise you - we've worked with many buyers who have relied on the info we provided and bought sight unseen, other than the photos and videos we've sent them. I've already done three deals like that in 2011. We want all of our buyers to be happy with their home purchases and highly recommend home inspections.
If you are "on island" and able to take an hour or two off from work and attend a home inspection, it will be a rewarding experience. Inspections take anywhere from 3-5 hours. You don't need to come and watch the entire process. That will be boring because the inspector spends a lot of time typing things into his computer.
Instead, come to the inspection during the last half hour (the inspector will tell us what time to show up) and he'll walk us through it, showing us what he found.
Here are some inspectors we've worked with. We've listed these inspectors based on the number of inspections they've done for our clients:
- Joey Meyers - HomeCheck Hawaii. (808) 372-1948 e-mail Joey tends to charge less than most inspectors. He e-mails his report to you and follows up with a hard copy in a binder sent by mail.
- Mike Stewart - American-Certified.Com (808) 864-1879. Mike is high tech, when the inspection is complete you can get a copy of your report by visiting his website and downloading it in PDF format. Mike's reports include photos which help buyers see issues, especially useful when a buyer is not available to be at the home during the inspection.
- Martin Di Antonio - Hawaii Inspection Services (808) 261-3805. Martin is known for his thoroughness and has a great reputation.
- Danny Kato - (808) 235-1877. Danny's been in the business for many years and his reports are thorough.
- Wayne Blackburn - C51 Hawaii (808) 258-9268. Solid inspection reports.
Please keep in mind that the home inspection is paid for by the BUYER. Payment is due when the home inspection report is delivered.
Termite inspections are normally conducted near the end of the purchase process and they are paid for by the SELLER.
Now that we have the home inspection process understood, let's go find that home for you!
Michael Bates (RA)