Omaha Home Inspection
By ASHI Certified Home Inspector, Greg Wayman & ASHI Member Chad Beisheim
We are experienced home inspectors that will methodically inspect your home and point out the truth. We report the problems as they exist on video. Nothing is made up, nothing is downplayed, and nothing is blown out of proportion. When we're done conducting your home inspection, you'll know exactly what you're buying. This will enable you to make the most educated decision about your purchase in the Omaha, NE area.
What Our Clients Have To Say:
"Kara and I want to thank you for the incredible work you did for us during your inspection. The inspection was so much more detailed than we anticipated and in the end, saved us from making a terrible purchase. Your recommendation of a further inspection of the brick chimney and flue was spot on; Top Hat evaluated the system and determined it was a major safety hazard and would require a complete rebuild from the foundation up. His estimate was roughly $16,000!!! The sellers were unwilling to deal, and the agreement was nullified. The cost of your inspection (and Top Hat's) was easily the best money I've ever spent!"
Adam & Kara from Omaha, NE
What Every Buyer Must Know When Buying a Home in the Omaha Real Estate Market
The word "inspection" is grossly misinterpreted in this case. VA/FHA "Inspections" are typically performed by an appraiser. They are on-site no more than 20 minutes with their primary focus of doing the appraisal. They'll take note of trip hazards, lead based paint, possible asbestos, loose railings, but will not thoroughly inspect all of the major components of the home. Do not make the mistake of assuming a VA or FHA "Inspection" is an actual home inspection. It is NOT! Do not let anybody try to talk you out of a professional home inspection because the house already had a VA or FHA "inspection".
Relying on a pre-listing home inspection is a gamble for buyers. If an agent is trying to talk you out of having a home inspection because it was pre-inspected, red flags should be flying. First, you didn't hire the home inspector so that inspector wasn't working for you. Second, every single home inspection that I've performed for a Buyer after another company has conducted the pre-inspection has resulted in me finding major problems that the pre-listing report didn't reveal. Over 9 years, that's been a whole lot of home inspections. Third, most pre-inspections are performed by companies that have preferred vendor relationships with the real estate company listing the property. Do you really think they have an incentive to find everything? See "Preferred Vendor Relationships" below and the accompanying article for real instances of pre-inspections missing major problems.
These properties scream "I need a home inspection!" They are usually in disrepair and the seller is in some type of financial difficulties OR if bank-owned listing the property "As-Is" is a tactic they use hoping you won't have it inspected so negotiations go smoother. The Biggest misnomer out there is because it's an "As-Is" property that there's no point in having a home inspection. WRONG!!! Always insist in the contract to have a home inspection. If you have the property inspected and say $20,000 worth of problems are found, then you have the right to back out of the contract. You can then submit a new lower offer accounting for those problems. Finding $10,000-$20,000 of problems on "As-Is" properties is common. For more information, read ""As-Is" Properties and Home Inspections".
New Construction Inspections
Many people believe that because it's a new construction that the city or county has inspected the property throughout the entire build. Wrong! The Code Department typically sends out their Inspector(s) for the electrical rough-in inspection, plumbing rough-in inspection, mechanical inspection, electrical inspection final, and plumbing inspection final. In small towns, all of those inspections are done by 1 person. Hopefully, they are thoroughly trained. After these inspections, they issue a Certificate of Occupancy if everything "passes". Their job is to look at those items, not everything else. Builders are quick to point out that the house has "passed code". Great! What that means is the Builder has corrected any issues the City or County Code Department has found and the City or County is stating that the home meets the minimum Code requirements of that jurisdiction.
With that said, we've inspected new homes with major problems that "passed code". We've come across entire walls of the foundation that settled because the footers didn't cure long enough before the concrete foundation was poured, where a girder truss was collapsing because the Builder used the wrong nailing pattern, where floor and attic trusses were damaged, where the driveway was only 2 1/2" thick, where the flashing around windows were allowing active water leaks inside through the drywall, where entire roofs had been nailed with the nails poking up 1/4" through the shingles, where glue was skimped on the PVC exhaust piping during the high-efficiency furnace installation causing carbon monoxide to leak into the home...the list goes on. These homes ranged from tract built to high-end custom lakefront homes. Most of these repairs are in the thousands, some in the tens of thousands, some life-threatening.
New construction inspections are a must and need to be done prior to close! If the home inspection reveals problems, you can make the repairs contractual with the Builder. If you have the home inspection performed after your closing, then you're at the mercy of the Builder or his subs to fix the problem if and when they feel like it. If the Builder's quality control is poor, we've found more wrong on a brand new home than on a home 50 years old. It doesn't seem to matter if it's a cookie-cutter home or high-end custom built home, everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes can be costlier than others if not caught upfront because you opted not to have the home inspection. The following article is a real case of what we found on a 4-year old home: "Why New Construction Inspections Are Critical". You can also check out my photo gallery: New Construction Nightmares to get a good taste of what can be found on brand new homes. Our hope is that we perform the home inspection and don't find much, but that's not the reality in most cases.
Preferred Vendor Relationships
There are unethical home inspectors in the Omaha Metro that are paying real estate offices to be on their exclusive preferred vendor lists. These shady relationships pay real estate companies indirectly for referrals. The inspectors entering into these deals are in direct violation of ASHI's Code of Ethics. To do your own research, go to any of the larger real estate company's websites and if the home inspectors are listed on their website, they've paid to be on their exclusive list. We would even argue that when these home inspectors are performing an inspection when a fedaral loan is involved that they are in violation of RESPA (the federal anti-kickback laws.) Make sure that you aren't hiring one of these inspectors! To read more, click "Omaha Home Inspectors Blatantly Violating ASHI's Code of Ethics".
The "Need" for Home Warranties
In June of 2010, HUD released an official ruling specifically addressing home warranty companies and how their actions of paying real estate agents for referrals was a direct violation of RESPA! Even though the RESPA laws have been around since 1974 and the home warranty companies were providing illegal kickbacks to real estate agents for years, it wasn't until 2010 that this activity became front page news and ceased. In Omaha, home warranty companies were illegally paying agents $60-$75 in kickbacks per time the agent pushed a home warranty onto a Seller or Buyer. The ethical agents sent the checks back to the home warranty company. The rest pocketed the money at their client's expense. Read HUD's Interpretive Rule Regarding Home Warranties as filed in the Federal Register.
Home Warranties are an insurance coverage for your house. They "cover" the mechanicals and appliances for 1 year and the cost as of now is around $450. We have "cover" in quotes because you need to read the long list of tiny print of what's excluded. Once you read this, you'll be left wondering what do they actually cover?! It's a much wiser investment to signup for an HVAC Company's service plan to have your furnace and A/C or heat pump annually cared for. You can also have a good electrician and plumber lined up in case an emergency arises. For more details, read "Home Warranties vs Home Inspections".
About Greg Wayman, ASHI Certified Home Inspector
Greg is an Independent, an American Society of Home Inspectors Certified Inspector, Heat Exchanger Experts Certified, and Nebraska Radon Measurement Specialist with over 2,600 home inspections under his belt. He's been performing home inspections full-time for over 10 years. For 6 years, he was a NAHI Certified Real Estate Inspector. He left the National Association of Home Inspectors in the Spring of '09 due to NAHI failing to offer its members any benefits and the poor leadership decisions of their Board. As their Treasurer, he had surfaced the fact that about 50% of membership dues were going to their management company. He tried to reduce the management fees, but was ignored and outvoted by the majority of the Board. He could no longer be a part of NAHI at that point. Up until 2009, he was a Past Board Member of NAHI, Served on NAHI's Executive Committee as the Secretary/Treasurer in 2008, Chaired NAHI's Website Committee and served on that committee for 5+ years, was their Board Liaison for their Marketing/PR Committee from '07-'08, & was the Past President of The Nebraska Chapter of NAHI '04-'07. He joined ASHI because of political reasons, their successful presence in the marketplace, and for all of the benefits they offer their members.
Our Home Inspection Area
Omaha, NE/Council Bluffs, IA and surrounding cities/towns within a 1 hour radius.
In Nebraksa, that includes Arlington Nebraska 68002, Ashland Nebraska 68003, Bellevue Nebraska 68005, Bennington Nebraska 68007, Blair Nebraska 68008, Craig Nebraska 68019, Elkhorn Nebraska 68022, Fort Calhoun Nebraska 68023, Fremont Nebraska 68025, Gretna Nebraska 68028, Herman Nebraska 68029, Hooper Nebraska 68031, Kennard Nebraska 68034, LaVista Nebraska 68128, Lincoln Nebraska 68508, Louisville Nebraska 68037, Nickerson Nebraska 68044, Omaha Nebraska 68154, Papillion Nebraska 68127, Plattsmouth Nebraska 68048, Ralston Nebraska 68127, Scribner Nebraska 68057, Springfield Nebraska 68059, Tekamah Nebraska 68061, Valley Nebraska 68064, Wahoo Nebraska 68066, Washington Nebraska 68034, Waterloo Nebraska 68069, & Waverly Nebraska 68462.
In Iowa, that includesCouncil Bluffs Iowa 51503, Crescent Iowa 51526, Glenwood Iowa 51534, Hastings Iowa 51551, Logan Iowa 51546, Magnolia Iowa 51550, Malvern Iowa 51551, Mineola Iowa 51534, Missouri Valley Iowa 51555, Modale Iowa 51556, Mondamin Iowa 51557, Tabor Iowa 51653, & Underwood Iowa 51576.