When I’m making purchases, even small ones, I often like to “try before I buy.” Certain things are a no-brainer to purchase online (vitamins, towel racks, envelopes, etc.), but for other items, I like to see the product in person first, so I can feel the sweater, try on the shoes, fire up the weed whacker or test drive the truck.
However, there is one category where you can’t really “try before you buy”: services. When shopping for services we turn to friends and trusted sources of advice to guide our purchases.
The biggest purchase anyone makes is typically a home. And no matter how awesome it would be if you could, you can’t stay the night in your potential home before you sign on the dotted line. But you can get close.
A professional home inspection gives you several hours to poke through all the nooks and crannies, peek inside closets, and try out the sinks before you commit. Beyond time spent inside, home inspections offer a comprehensive picture of the home’s condition including any potential problems it may have. This critical process should be led by an honest, straight-forward professional. But how do you know who to hire?
To help you out, I actually did a “try before I buy” with Boggs Inspection Services. I joined Boggs’ inspector Tom Hitchman, buyer Julia Lovelace-Johnson and agent Kimberly Rucker for the entire process. My conclusion? Tom is not only a super guy to spend a few hours with, but he knows his stuff and ensures you know all you need to know about your new home, too.
We started in the front yard where Tom reviewed the inspection process, answering any initial questions or concerns. What I noticed most was Tom’s calm, competent manner and easy to understand explanations. This set the tone for the entire day and Julia was put visibly at ease.
Tom and I began on the outside while Julia and Kimberly opted to go inside to peek in those cupboards and closets. Tom and I chatted as he began his work. “The main thrust of the inspection is to educate the buyer on the home and any issues, or potential issues, it has,” he shared. The inspection includes the outside, inside and all systems in the home. “The nature of a home inspection is visual, not invasive,” Tom notes. Boggs inspectors will check all areas and systems of the home, but will not open walls, pull out appliances or move furniture.
The outside inspection included looking for the presence of dry rot, inspecting windows, examining siding, caulking, gutters and drainage. Patios were studied and external doors and outlets were tested. “The main things we look for on the exterior are issues with siding,” Tom shared. “In the Northwest, we have lots of issues with decay due to moisture.”
Only minor maintenance issues were found on this home with no major concerns, a relief to the buyer.
After donning clean booties over his shoes, Tom made his way inside and reviewed his findings with Julia. Tom then shared the comprehensive inspection packet Boggs Inspection Services provides. “We review the warranties and extras that come standard with our inspections,” he said.
And the extras are many, making a Boggs inspection a high value for your dollar.
Realtor Kimberly Rucker is a 24-year veteran realtor with Berkshire-Hathaway Home Services on Martin Way. “I work with Boggs Inspection Services a lot and I’ve known Tom for a long time,” she said. “The guys are good with people, have a great rapport with my clients, and really explain things well, especially to first-time buyers who are new to the process.”
Next up was the interior inspection, but first, Tom grabbed his laptop and added the exterior inspection notes. Using a laptop or iPad on-site helps Boggs inspectors make sure nothing gets missed. “We like to document as we go to ensure accuracy and get the best level of detail in our reports,” explained Tom.
Our next stop was the garage. Tom inspected the electrical panel, removing the entire face and checking each breaker and all wiring. His careful yet easy to understand explanations to Julia included her in the process without overwhelming her with information. After thorough exams of the HVAC system and hot water heater, our crew began a room-by-room walk-though.
Upon entry to each room, windows and doors were checked. Faucets and drains were studied. Drywall cracks were recorded and electrical outlets and fixtures were examined. Despite his focus, Tom made sure to chat with Julia and Kimberly, keeping the entire inspection personal and comfortable. We all cheered when storage was found under window seat cushions and we all attempted to latch a faulty bathroom door (without success).
It was a team effort, but Tom was definitely our captain.
If you are like me and want to “try before you buy,” I can tell you that after “trying on” a Boggs inspection, it fit like a glove. It was relaxed, fun (it’s true — I promise!) informative, and achieved its goal: a comprehensive, top to bottom home inspection ensuring you know exactly what you are buying. And if the shoe fits…well, you know the rest.
To schedule an inspection, call 360-480-9602 or visit the Boggs Inspection Services website.