Mike's Home Inspector Blog
Michael Burfitt, CPI
Mike's Home Inspector Blog
Michael Burfitt, CPI
Like most home inspectors, I have read countless articles written by other home inspectors about “How to Choose a Home Inspector” that by an amazing coincidence always seem to include narrow criteria that miraculously describes the inspector writing the article! I promise to never write such a blog post, but I thought with today’s economic conditions where a homeowner or potential homeowner is being squeezed to the limit it might be a good idea to highlight the difference between cost and value.
I firmly believe that of the many home inspectors in Nova Scotia, few if any can match the level of value that I, and by extension our company provides. My extensive academic and professional background in both home inspection and building services combined with my friendly, go-above-and-beyond personality (or so I have been told) means that everyone who hires Inside Edge will get a professional, highly detailed, personalized inspection that is easy to understand. As well, thanks to my Commerce Degree and entrepreneurial experience, I am able to keep overhead costs low and pass the savings onto you.
However, while my value is at the top of the market, I make no apologies for not being the lowest priced in the Halifax area. If anyone is looking for the cheapest possible home inspectors and nothing else, our company is simply not going to be the right choice and never will be. A house is a complicated system of interdependent components, and an inspection should be performed by someone with a high degree of competency and who understands a superficial “drive-by” inspection is not an acceptable practice. Let me make it clear that I am FAR from the only competent inspector in the local market but all the skilled inspectors in our province have one thing in common: they charge more because, like your favourite home inspector, they have invested in advanced education, training and equipment and bring more value to the table.
I was once addressing a group of both new and potential immigrants to Canada. There are a lot of misconceptions from people unfamiliar with our country and region, such as the idea of homes in North America being built like tanks (trust me: they aren’t!), newer homes not needing inspections (it’s possible to find just as many issues in new homes as there are in older homes) and that flips are basically brand-new houses (all home inspectors will agree this is ANYTHING but the truth in almost all situations). One thing I made clear was that while my prices are lower than average, I warned that when choosing a home inspector, the total cost should be at the bottom of your concerns. I also pointed out that Nova Scotia, just like most places in Canada, does not require any training or qualifications to become a home inspector and there are ZERO regulations specific to home inspectors aside from the usual requirements to register your business with the provincial government. Yes, you too can start a home inspection company in our province within approximately 2 weeks with just a few hundred dollars and call yourself a home inspector! Caveat emptor indeed.
How Do I Know Who to Choose?
While I fully believe in my skills and the company I founded, I am aware that not everybody falls in my service area, and I cannot fulfill every request (feast or famine is an apt description of the home inspection industry as my fellow home inspectors across North America can attest to). I am passionate about homes and do not want to see anyone get burned by a bad inspection, whether it be by being given a false sense of security or being unnecessarily spooked by issues that are relatively minor. Here are a few signs of a good home inspection company or home inspector:
In addition, in Nova Scotia, you can always consult the Registry of Joint Stock Companies. All information about businesses registered in the province is public data including information on our corporate structure. This does not guarantee a good home inspection company by any means but can show you if the legal requirements for operating a business in Nova Scotia are being followed.
It is important to know that while I am committed to growing Inside Edge and we (and this blog) won’t be going anywhere, the home inspection industry is highly cyclical, with companies always coming and going due to fluctuating market conditions (and not necessarily failing because they are bad home inspectors). This is not a typical career, where a student goes from High School directly to a Home Inspection program and it is important to remember that there are many paths to success in this field. Personally, I wish I was directed to this industry many years before I learned about it but I am glad to be an increasingly popular choice for a home inspector in Nova Scotia.