Real Estate

Understanding Home Inspections

Jeff Summerlin with Summerlin Home Inspection definitely makes our preferred vendor list of inspectors. His knowledge, focus on details and client relations give us the peace of mind to refer him to our clients as their inspector. We sat down with Jeff to discuss the home inspection process. He filled us in on his road to becoming an inspector as well as what home buyers should look for when having an inspection.

Where it all started

Jeff got his start with the inner workings of homes in 1999 when he started renovating homes. In 2004, he decided to begin the process of becoming a licensed inspector. The process started with a school, which covered the basics of an inspection. Jeff had previous knowledge on how things should work from his days renovating homes. He explains that sometimes renovating requires going as far as contacting county building inspectors, giving him further knowledge on the subject. Jeff is licensed in both Georgia and Alabama. He has required continuing education to keep his license in good standing. He also has to pass national exams as well remain an active member of an accredited association. Jeff is required by the state of Alabama and the City of Columbus to carry E & O insurance.

The Home Inspection Process

To give our clients a better sense of what an inspection is, we discussed with Jeff the home inspection process. Jeff says “A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation, that is provided in writing to the client identifying the defects that the inspector both observed and deemed material. This report helps the client make a more informed decision during the buying/selling process.” Inspection reports are full of information on the home, so we talked to Jeff about what key things buyers should pay attention to. He says “My reports have a defect summary which lists the defects in the front of the report. They are also listed as safety concerns if in fact they are. However, it is highly recommended that the buyer read the entire report to completely understand the findings. Some findings may not be “defects” however they will be important for the client. What type of heat, gas or electric, what type of wiring, plumbing, etc. These reports are long and have lots of information.”

Why we choose Jeff

As Realtors, we always encourage our clients to have a home inspection but we wanted to know why an inspector felt it was so important. Jeff says: “I would send people to my website to look at the sample reports as well as the photos page to help them when deciding on whether or not to have a home inspection. They’ll be able to see the defects found in some of these homes I’ve inspected. Even with new construction I feel an inspection is important. I have found improperly installed wiring in service panels, burnt wires, and reversed wiring at outlets. I’ve seen gas lines not buried deep enough, plumbing valves installed backwards, all in brand new construction.”

We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with wonderful people like Jeff who care for the client and their new home. If you have questions about the home buying and inspection process, we would love to talk to you about it. 

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