About Rob Wetterstroem
I began my home inspection career with Southern Home Inspection Services, in Atlanta, GA, in the spring of 2003. Southern Home Inspections was and still is one of the largest multi-inspector firms in the Atlanta area.
I started in their apprenticeship program where I shadowed veteran home inspectors on over 150 actual Home Inspections. Along the way, studying for the National Home Inspectors Exam and becoming a Candidate member in ASHI, The American Society of Home Inspectors.
What did you learn from veteran Home Inspectors at Southern?
I learned that the home is a living, breathing entity that changes over time. That materials and mechanical systems can deteriorate and break down. That is why a systematic approach to examining the structure and its moving parts, is critical to understanding the present condition of any home. What is causing its breakdown, and what needs to be done to remedy the situation?
How do you know about all the different components of a home?
On the job experience and continual education on building techniques, materials and mechanical systems. From taking engineering classes at Cincinnati State, to attending national Home Inspector seminars annually, my job is to understand how a home functions, and to be able to share that information with my customers as we examine the integrity of their potential new purchase.
So you understand how a house is supposed to work, but how am I, the potential buyer, supposed to understand the condition of my house after you look at it for 2-3 hours?
I ask that you be there at the home inspection from beginning to end, with your spouse, significant other, parent, uncle or stepbrother who is in the plumbing trade. I encourage you to walk around the home with me as we examine everything from the foundation up to and including the roof. The furnace and air conditioning systems, the electrical system, the plumbing and appliances, and 100?s of other aspects. We look for signs of water intrusion in the basement, around windows and doors, and through the roof into the home. I take the time to explain what we are looking at, how these systems work, and maintenance ideas that are helpful to know as a home owner on how to maintain your house to prevent bigger problems from creeping up down the road.
Can you guarantee that my house will not have any of the many defects or problems that I hear horror stories about?
In short, no. Like I said, a home is a living, breathing object. Things can change daily, and there is no guarantee that an air conditioner that works properly today won?t break down at some point in the future, or a roof that doesn?t leak now, may not develop leaks down the road. What I can guarantee is that after you spend 2-3+ hours going through the home with me during your inspection, you will completely understand the condition of the home at the time we inspect it, warts and all. I will examine all aspects of the home as outlined in the ASHI Standards of Practice (view here ASHI SOP). All of these items, systems and components will be evaluated and reported on in a computer-generated report that I will prepare for you on site. Then we will go over the results, which I promise you will understand. Equipped with this information, you can dramatically reduce the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with such an expensive decision. This information is taken back to your realtor at which time you a) negotiate for repairs of defective items, b) negotiate the reduction of cost for the house so you can make the repairs yourself or with the contractor of your choosing, or c) if the situation is not right and you can?t see yourself in this home in its current condition, you can walk away from the deal.
Will you help me negotiate a better deal after the home inspection?
Actually, No. My job as a home inspector is to offer a 3rd party, unbiased, expert opinion on the condition of your potential new purchase. My job is not done until you understand what shape the home is in, what needs to be repaired or replaced, or who needs to be called for further examination, for example a structural engineer, electrician or plumber. I will always be accessible by phone after the inspection to answer questions or further clarify any issues. But the job of negotiations should be done by a qualified Real Estate Professional. Someone who can deal with the other party, in this case the sellers, when it comes to repairs that you are requesting, or price negotiations. Veteran real estate professionals offer a necessary buffer between the buyer and the seller, and can help you through the highly emotional, exciting and nerve racking home buying process.
Would you like to know more about the home inspection process, or do you have a specific question I can answer as you are beginning the home buying process?