About Strouse Home Inspections
First, let’s make at distinction, its Strouse Home Inspections, not Strauss Home Inspections. I don’t know when it got switched but it was sometime before 1900. We traced our family back to southern Indiana in the late 19th century. We have not determined if we are a part of the Johann dynasty, but we did go to his birth place in Vienna, Austria and got the picture below, just in case.
For most of my professional (and not so professional career) I have been in construction of some part or another. Everything from swinging a hammer to designing data centers for companies all over the world. The not so professional part of my career was while I was a teen and worked with my father in his general contracting business, I said it was free labor, he called it room and board. Either way, I learned a lot from him as we finished basements, built agri-buildings, homes, Goodyear stores, and hotels. I slopped a lot of footer trenches, cleaned many a concrete form, carried literally tons of drywall, and pushed more brooms than I would like to remember. But I also ran a carpentry crew and swung a hammer, ran electric, soldering copper for water, put on roofs, set trusses, set concrete forms, and did finish carpentry.
After I married and was starting my family I began to work for a major data center manufacturing company. I was involved with designing and building data centers (rooms that hold all the computers / servers that run the company) that were small enough to fit into a closet to data centers so large they were the size of football fields. That included designing the power and cooling of the space as well as the management tool to help run it all when we finished building it.
As you might imagine, I have had experience in helping many kinds of people and solving many kinds of problems both residentially and commercially. Regardless of what we built, the helping is always what I enjoy the most. That is way I am an inspector, to help people.
I still have that family, same high school sweetheart and 3 girls. So, like all of us, I work for support them and our interests. But, in our company as we help others, it makes what we do more fulfilling. From the first time home owner to the twilight couple buying their last home, they all want to make sure the money they are spending is well spent. They want to make a good financial decision. That is why a good inspection is so important and why I enjoy what I do so much.
When purchasing an inspection and evaluating the new home you are thinking of purchasing, there are a few things to consider. The “inspection” phase of the purchase is more objective than subjective. The inspection is primarily for “health and safety”. The inspection will produce more information than you expect. Your broker will help you sift through the inspection report for the most important items to be concerned about.
The inspection should be an objective look at the home. The home is your dream home or just the “right” home whatever drew you to it is the subjective part. When an inspector comes and does the inspection service, he will be as objective as he can be in giving you information about the condition of the home. He will be looking for as many defects in the home as he can find, not all will be related to health and safety. When you review the report, do so with your broker. They will help you to categorize each item in the report. For instance, all health and safety items together, all major expense items (>$15,000) together, all medium expense items ($500 - $15,000) together, and all minor expense items (<$500) together. Your broker will then discuss which items to consider negotiating with the seller on.
So what are health and safety items? Well they include allelectrical items that could potentially cause harm or fire, plumbing leaks or poor plumbing installation, roofing defects, HVAC service or installation concerns, structural issues and trip, fall or overhead obstacles. Notice a few of the items that we have seen:
Rubber grommet for a roof protrusion, the water was making it all the way to the basement
Asbestos siding and the awning was not connected to the home, both safety issues.
Scorched or over-heated wiring.
Structural issues are always a safety issue.
Roof tiles falling off the roof.
High moisture in the crawl space.
All of the above picture show health and safety items that a quality inspection should identify.
Do not be overwhelmed with the number of defects the inspector finds. Think about your own home and see if the items found by the inspector are items that you may need to give attention to. Take the items as a “to do list” or maintenance items that you can systematically work through. Regardless of the age of the home, new or 100 years old, the inspector will find defects. Categorizing them will help you to not be overwhelmed. As the inspector is performingthe inspection service ask questions or at the review ask questions to clarify the findings.
One important aspect of purchasing a new home is to know and understand your competency in home construction and repair. If you are a “do it yourselfer” you know what you can do and cannot do. If you do not have much construction or maintenance experience, be honest about your ability with yourself and to your broker. That will help to find homes that will fit your ability. It will also help you not to be overwhelmed by the report. Your broker is not an inspector, but they have good experience spotting what will fit your capabilities if you convey it to them.
The inspection as an objective report is only a part of the information that you will need to consider when purchasing a new home. It will help give you a clearer financial picture to base your decision on. As an inspector, you are our client, not the broker. We want to do thorough inspections to give you the information that lets you make the best financial decision possible.
By Strouse Home Inspections 3-23-2017