Representative Dennis Moore of Kansas is helping draft a proposed Bill in the Federal Legislature that could give federal grants of up to $1,000,000 to cities or counties to help fund improved building code enforcement **OR **to develop building code departments where none exist.
Thats a nice thought BUT,
There are hundreds of code requirements right now that are not enforced as is. If the code guys don’t enforce them, the builders or contractors don’t do them.
If the builders don’t do them and code guys approve the whatever, the builder, contractor, realtor and homeowner say “It Passed Code”.
This proposed code bill would give federal money (Mine and Yours) to citys, counties, etc to help fund code departments. Who knows - many people in small or rural areas **DO NOT **want codes **OR **stricted codes to start with. Many large well funded cities right now **DO NOT **enforce the codes they do have.
**Thats whats so scary to me about the home inspector licensing as written in Kansas. **The home inspector can now be liable for literally hundreds of problems created by others and hidden or covered over UNTIL such time as they malfunction - then we can be held responsible and get sued.
The 2rd quarter of 2008 with a down market, in Johnson County Kansas the average selling price of a house was $267,800. The average real estate commission in KC is 6%-7%. With our current down market, most builders in our area that I talk to, try to average 8%-12% profit after all expenses.
**S/P = $267,800 **(Realtors Commission - $16,068 to $18,746) / (Bldr’s Profit - $21,424 to $32,136) / Home Seller (depending on the amount of their original downpayment, the length of time in the house, any significant improvements, etc the AVERAGE homeowner could pull out $26,000 to $60,000 in 5 years).
Average** Home Inspection Fee ***for a $267,800 house in KC is *$275 to $325.
For a 1 time trip of 2-3 hrs and a fee of $275 to $325, the realtors, trial attorneys and a handful of foolish weak-kneed home inspectors going along with them have tried to make Kansas home inspectors into a $10,000 warranty policy. Their excuse was to “clean-up” the profession because of all the complaints against home inspectors in Kansas. An investigative reporter with the Kansas City Star Newspaper and a reporter with a local TV channel both checked with the BBB, the states attorney generals office and consumer groups like HADD and discovered that was not exactly true.
Seems contractors, realtors, lenders, etc all had HUGE amounts of complaints - while they found very few against home inspectors. In the KC area this past year the papers and media have been full of problems with realtors, lenders, appraisers, contractors, etc - but next to nothing about home inspectors. The majority of complaints they found against HI’s were along the lines of: “he stayed too long; the report was so big, we thought he was picky, it was like that when I bought the house and its never been a problem for me, he said it was wrong but the contractor said thats the way they always do it, IT PASSED CODE”.
Are home inspectors dumbies?? Recent Example: The Kansas NAHI Chapter polled their members and discovered all but 2 inspectors had attended a formal home inspection training program before getting into the profession. Those 2 were a licensed architect and a licensed engineer. They also found that 63% of their members were college graduates; 24% had graduate degrees; and 56% had come from a background of the building trade or skilled trades like electricians, HVAC, etc. The NAHI Chapter also discovered that all but 5 members had passed either the NAHI CRI exam, the original ASHI exam or the new NHIE exam. Some had taken all 3 exams.
In short the NAHI Chapter discovered they weren’t just good old boys with a flashlight and clipboard. Theres a very good chance that polling the NACHI and ASHI groups would render similar results. THEREFORE, if at least 3/4 of the Kansas inspectors are NACHI, ASHI, or NAHI members who and where are the DOGS.
Next question is how do the **DOGS **stay in business?? They don’t get referrals off membership sites; they don’t have 1/4 page yellow page ads; they don’t have big slick magazine ads; they don’t have flashy web sites; SO where do they get their referrals from - how do they get their business??
You know the answer to that as well as I do. In most cases, the agent played hero and saved their client $50 by referring Bozo Billy (who also happens to do quick, short inspections and doesn’t make waves).
Will the new Kansas law stop that. Not really - for every Bozo Billy it stops, we’ll get a CHEAP QUICK CHUCK, but now he’s licensed.
And the beat goes on. Whats the answer - haven’t got a clue, other than to say that the certain group of inspectors that laid down, bent over and helped the realtors make this happen should be shot or drug out into the street and horse whipped.