Seemed to be a pretty striaghtforward article.
What did you take exception to, Jim?
A contractor defining what a good home inspector is.
Does Mike actually have a certificate in any trade?
If I was to say anything it would be for him to dis-close that he is a competitor in the market.
He is a vendor disguised as a consumer advocate.
Worse. He is a contractor disguised as a home inspector disguised as a consumer advocate.
He’s a fraud who backed down from a one-on-one challenge when he first started out. Maybe he has done enough inspections to have enough confidence to accept the challenge…but he was bad mouthing home inspectors when he pussied out of a challenge. I have an email from his producer to that effect, who also lobbied to have Chris amend posts on the message board.
The man is fake.
I bet he got sued for lack of experience, and he is firing back at himself.
My response to the article sent to canwest. I doubt that it will do much good but you never know . … .
There are many misstatements made in the following article. I have taken the liberty of providing an opposing point of view (in red) following Mr. Holmes statements. You owe it to your readers to provide an accurate representation of the issues that does not reflect Mr. Holmes overwhelming desire for self promotion.
Just out of curiosity, I went on the Internet to see what a homeowner might find if they were looking there for a home inspector. I found a few. I also found just about as many ads for how to become one. We all know that’s how you become a qualified professional — on the Internet!
That shouldn’t surprise anyone. The truth is, the home inspection industry in Canada is unregulated. Anyone can take a weekend course (or go on the Internet) and start inspecting houses. Got a ladder, a flashlight, a clipboard and a business card? You too can be a home inspector.
Mr. Holmes and the entire industry that has sprung up around the licensing issue cannot supply any proof that there is a problem with the home inspection industry. They simply cannot supply the proof of this assertion. In fact, a recent study by CMHC, reported that there is a .06972% failure rate in the home inspection industry. That is a failure rate the envy of most industries and certainly does not indicate that there is a problem that any trumped up licensing scheme would cure should it actually exist.
A house is the biggest investment most people ever make in their lives — and it doesn’t come with a money-back guarantee. Is your dream home purchase going to turn into a nightmare? The best way to prevent that is to have a home inspection. Hire an expert to go through your home to make sure it’s safe, it’s solid, and it’s worth every penny you’re paying for it.
But what if that home inspector doesn’t know what he’s doing? What if he misses some serious and expensive problems that you don’t have the money to fix? The sad truth is, there’s not much you can do. **There’s not much recourse if you find the home you purchased has problems that the inspector should have found, no matter how huge or expensive they might be. All you can do is sue for the amount you paid for the inspection — a few hundred dollars. **
This is absolutely untrue. Anyone can sue for what ever the amount of damages might be. To state otherwise is quite simply an attempt to frighten the public. It is exactly this type of hyperbole that serves no other purpose other than feeding the promotions machine behind Mike Holmes Inc.
Currently there’s no national licensing and no federal regulations for home inspectors. The industry is “self-regulated” by various provincial organizations for professional home inspectors. And, since membership in these associations is voluntary, many people — home inspectors included — feel that membership is really just a marketing effort.
Each province has a provincial association, with standards that have to be met by all members. Those standards aren’t the same across the country. And there are several regional and national associations, not all of which have the same qualifications required to call themselves a member. What’s a consumer supposed to do?
Again, with a failure rate of .06972%, documented by CMHC , the consumer should proceed with the fullest confidence in his inspector.
On March 31, 2009 the Solicitor General of B.C. announced that all home and property inspectors in that province must be licensed. It’s the first province to offer any kind of consumer protection that helps protect homebuyers.
Licensing provides protection for nobody. In fact, as licensing establishes a nominal base line requirement for inspectors the only point of competition becomes price. As the price for an inspection declines so does the quality. The need for licensing cannot be supported by fact. It’s institution can only harm both the inspector and the public.
It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not much. And shouldn’t all homeowners have the same protection? No other province has any requirement. No other government body exists at the federal, provincial or municipal level to protect homeowners from bad home inspectors. Why not? Who’s looking out for you?
Who is looking out for the public? Aside from Mr. Holmes attempt to cast all inspectors into an adversarial relationship with their clients, the protection comes from two sources; 1 - the inspector who honours his contract and 2 - the court system which presents the client with the opportunity to right any wrong. Nothing else is needed.
To get a license in B.C., inspectors need to be members of a professional association and have a criminal check and liability insurance, which is great. Most good inspectors welcome this registration, because they want their industry cleaned up. They’d like nothing better than getting the bad, unqualified inspectors — the “cowboys” — out of it.
Mr. Holmes has made some rather large leaps of logic. He has no proof to support his claims and labeling any inspectors who are not members of his ‘ Holmes approved ‘ licensing scheme as ‘Cow boys’ is typical of the type of hyperbole that accompanies Mr. Holmes and his marketing circus where ever it goes.
But, it also might give the public a false sense of security. Many home inspectors, both good and bad, already belong to associations, and the inspectors still make mistakes. Homeowners still don’t have any real protection if they buy a house that has major problems the inspector didn’t notice or report.
As they say “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.” It may surprise Mr. Holmes to know that the public is protected by a thousand years of British Common Law. This doesn’t make good copy of course and it certainly isn’t hyperbolic but it is the fact of the matter. To claim otherwise is, to put it politely, misleading.
In a house purchase, every step is regulated in some way by government. Everyone is licensed: the real estate brokers and agents who sell houses, the banks who lend money, the lawyers who oversee the land transfer, the insurers who cover the house, but not home inspectors. That makes no sense to me.
**It is a simple concept Mike. The industry has demonstrated through years of successful operation and through an incredibly low failure rate, that it does not need the vast bureaucracy of a licensing scheme to solve a problem that does not exist. Perhaps if Mr. Holmes stepped back from his money making machine long enough to assess the industry without the money making motive pushing him to make these ridiculous statements it would make sense. Take a deep breath Mike . . . . . . . . **
The bank will lend money — sometimes lots of money — for a house purchase, based on the buyer’s ability to pay it back. That house purchase might be based on an inspection by an unlicensed, unregulated individual. And that house might be a disaster waiting to happen. One that’s not worth a fraction of the money it sold for. What sense does that make?
In a seller’s market, when houses are going for more than asking and buyers are out-bidding each other, it’s common for buyers to forgo an inspection, since they don’t want to risk losing the house. How crazy is that? You get to pay more than the asking price for a house you have no idea about. I’ve also heard of sellers refusing to allow for an inspection, which is not a problem legally, since they aren’t mandatory. But if there are known deficiencies in the house, and the seller doesn’t admit to them in the disclosure documents, that’s maybe a different story. One that will lead to lots of work for lawyers.
But home inspections aren’t mandatory in a real estate transaction, just like there’s no mandatory certification or legislated requirement for all inspectors to take courses, pass exams, update their knowledge of house systems, even to understand building code compliance. None.
One other thing that there is none of is ‘PROOF’. There is no proof that licensing makes better inspectors. There is no proof that licensing reduces the failure rate of inspectors. There is no proof that the public is suffering at the hands of home inspectors any more than they suffer at the hands of poor contractors or over active television pitch men.
People tend to use home inspectors when buying older homes —_assuming a house 10 years or less in age won’t have any major problems yet. I can’t argue that an old home will likely have problems, but don’t assume a new house won’t. Probably every home has deficiencies, likely some serious ones that could mean health and safety issues for your family.
Some buyers still think they can use the experience of their family members in place of professional home inspectors. I don’t know if Dad — even if he’s bought houses and owned houses for years — would have the expertise to identify real problems that might be hiding in the house you want to buy.
Would he know If the home was ever a drug grow-op? If there was ever a fire in the home? If there are any structural problems? If the plumbing pipes are galvanized or copper? What about knob and tube wiring? Did any earlier renovations compromise the structure of the home? Were there any building permits pulled on the house in the past for renovations that’ll tell you if they were inspected.
Does the house you want to buy look good? Really good? Then maybe it’s a flip and maybe those cosmetic renovations have covered up serious problems. Maybe they’ve even created some serious problems that you wouldn’t ever suspect. Would Dad know that?
Mr. Holmes makes claims that the inspector should report on faults hidden by renovations, or inside walls or other hidden areas. He is obviously unaware that a home inspector conducts a ‘visual inspection’. That is, the inspector can only report on what he can actually see. Home inspectors do not have the luxury of punching walls and making proclamations about what should have been seen. That privilege is reserved for Television personalities who have little or no actual field experience.
I want you to use the right home inspector — the one who’s an experienced and qualified professional. So be sure to take the time to find a good one. And when you hire a home inspector, be present for your home inspection. This is your first chance to learn about your home, first hand.
Ask questions and listen to the answers. Especially if it’s bad news. Many homebuyers don’t really want to hear the truth because they’ve already fallen in love with the house. It’s like dating; you need to listen if your best friend tells you to run. Don’t marry it.
READ the report! Make sure you read it thoroughly and understand everything the inspector is telling you about your house and its condition.
Questions to ask your home inspector:
- Can I see your license/professional credentials and proof of insurance?
- How many years’ experience as a home inspector do you have? The business card might say 25 years experience, but at what, exactly?
- How many inspections have you personally done?
- What qualifications do you have? What kind of training do you have? Are you a member of a professional organization? What’s your background?_Construction? Engineering? Plumbing?
- What kind of report do you provide?
- What kind of tools do you use in your inspection?
- Can you give me an idea of what kind of repairs the house may need? And, they’d better not have “a friend” who can do it for you, cheap.
- When do you do the inspection? Let’s hope they don’t have a day job, and can only do them at night when it’s too dark to see the roof.
- How long do your inspections take?
- Do you take pictures of the house and add them to your report?
- Can I see some references? Make sure you ask for them, and check them.
Mike’s now shining the flashlight on home inspections and helping educate homebuyers.
Mike may be shining his flashlight on home inspections but his ignorance of actual conditions is only adding to the confusion. It is one thing to make claims and assertions it is quite another to provide proof . Opinions, even opinions of a television personality do not constitute proof. They only add to the confusion.
You should have inquired as to his certifications to interpret the data being recorded in the IR camera he was playing with.
His company is spending a bundle in my area, taking out full-page ads in all the local papers. He has an advertising budget with which I can’t compete! 2 out of 3 calls for inspections are inquiring whether or not I’m as good as Mike Holmes…of course my answer is always, " Yes!..or better.Let me prove it ! "
Hey George! I just want to say how well written your retort was. I am with you 100%.
I think he promotes Home Inspection awarness, More customers for Home Inspectors,
The ONLY THING Mike Holmes promotes - and very actively - is MIKE HOLMES!
Don’t forget about the Holmes Inspection Group in all cities possible.
This is a post revived from over three years ago . Oct 2009