It's All About You

We provide thorough inspection services for clients who want to know exactly what it is they're buying.

Helping you make a more informed decision

Ask anyone what kind of business they’re in and they’ll unconsciously reply with the name of their industry: “I’m a home inspector” or “I’m a real estate agent.” They usually tell you what it is they do, never the service they provide.

What they do is the job that they use to make their living. It’s why you thought you hired them. Your agent tells you that you need an inspection, so you hire one. End of story.

But is it?

Are you really looking for an inspection, or are you really looking for something else?

Yes, we perform inspections, but that’s not really the main focus of our business. We’re in the inspection business to provide a service to our clients.

You’re planning on buying something, whether it’s a home, business, or investment property, that you really know little about. You probably know a lot about your current home, as it’s likely you’ve been living there for a while. You know all its ins and outs, all its little quirks.

But if you stop and think about it, you know very little about this new property. If you’re lucky, you’ve walked around it a time or two, but that’s about it. Usually, we spend more time investigating a new television purchase than we do when we’re buying real estate.

When you stop to think about it, you’re about to spend a lot of money on something you really know nothing about.

That’s where we come in.

We’re not selling you an inspection, we’re providing information. We’re helping you understand the unknown. We’re there to look at all the important things and tell you the truth.

We’re there to cover your butt. We’re there to make sure that you know what it is you’re buying.

We’re providing you with a service, to make sure that you’re comfortable with what you’re about to buy.

That is what we do.


What exactly is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the readily accessible areas of a home. A licensed inspector evaluates the systems and components of a home, in accordance with established state guidelines, and produces a report based on those findings.

While most lenders do not require that buyers get a home inspection to qualify for their loan, it’s a good idea to have one done.
Buying a home is likely the largest financial decision that most of us will make in our lives. We spend a lot of time doing research when we’re deciding which TV to buy, which restaurant to go out to, or which hotel we’re going to sleep in when we go out of town. It seems crazy that someone would buy a house without getting as much information as possible about that property.

Not every house is great, not every renovation is as beautiful as it seems, and there are definitely some money pits out there. An inspector’s job is to provide you with information about the house, allowing you to make a better-informed decision about purchasing that home.

An experienced inspector will provide you with a detailed inspection report, including easy to understand descriptions of their findings and pictures to help you identify important aspects of the home. Our veteran inspectors will also let you know which of their findings are more important (from a financial and health/safety aspect) and which ones should be addressed prior to purchasing the home.

Every home is built by human hands, so we should expect that the inspector is going to find things wrong. The big question to ask is whether those problems are going to be too big for you to deal with.

After the inspector delivers the report, you and your agent will discuss any issues with the home and make a game plan for moving forward. As long as you’re still in your inspection period, you have plenty of options on how to proceed, and your real estate agent will guide you through this next step in the process.

Your options include accepting the home as is, asking the sellers to make repairs, asking the sellers for some type of monetary concession (such as reducing the price of the house to cover estimated repair costs), or cancelling the contract. An experienced real estate agent knows how to best approach post-inspection negotiations and can be a valuable asset to your home buying team.

A home inspection is generally conducted after the seller has accepted your offer to purchase the home, but before you close on the house. In most areas of the country, you’re given 7-10 days to complete any inspections and evaluations before you finalize the contract.

While it’s not required that you attend the inspection, doing so can provide you with a better understanding of the house that you’re planning on buying. The inspector is likely to find things that need to be repaired (or will need to be repaired in the future), and by attending the inspection you’ll be able to have those things explained to you firsthand. You’ll be able to ask the inspector questions about the items they find, as well as anything else in the house that may concern you.

You should always be leery of any inspector or real estate agent that tells you that you cannot attend the inspection.

The amount of time required to complete the onsite portion of the inspection depends on many different factors. Smaller properties like condos and townhomes are usually done in about two hours, while larger homes generally take three hours or more.

Some of the things that can increase the duration of an inspection include the number of systems to be inspected (multiple HVAC units, multiple electric panels, multiple kitchens, etc.), inspecting a crawlspace, basement, or below house area, heavy cluttered areas in the home, multiple stories, multiple living areas (outdoor kitchens, apartments, pool houses, etc.), and having a house full of people during the inspection process.

You should always be skeptical of any inspector who boasts that they’re doing three, four, or five inspections in a day. There’s no way that they’re doing anything more than taking a cursory look at the home and providing the bare minimum report.
Ideally, you want the inspector to be at the house long enough to thoroughly inspect all the important systems and components of the home. This is one of those times that quicker is not better!

While a thorough home inspector will check all accessible areas, the most important part of an inspection is the evaluation of the areas of your home that are the most expensive to repair or replace.

While it’s good to know about cracked windows and loose doorknobs, easily repaired items like those probably won’t have much effect on whether or not you buy a house. Bigger, expensive repairs like replacing a roof, upgrading an electrical system, or repairing defective plumbing can really impact your decision-making process.

Knowing about needed repairs (and soon to be needed repairs) before buying a house can help you to make a more informed purchasing decision.

Louisiana law requires that inspectors deliver the report to you within 5 days of the inspection. With a few exceptions, most professional inspectors will email the completed report within 24 hours.

Be wary of the casual inspector who promises that you’ll get your inspection report before you leave the house. Many careless inspectors operate this way, emailing reports without even taking the time to proofread what they’ve written. This frees up time that would normally be used for writing and proofreading reports at home, allowing them time to do even more shoddy inspections for unsuspecting homebuyers.

At Inspector34, we take our job very seriously. We spend our evenings writing and proofreading each inspection report that we provide to our clients. Buying a home is an important investment, and you’ve hired us to provide an important service. Double-checking our work before we send it out is the least we can do for our customers.

As things are constantly changing and wearing out, an inspection report can only describe the condition of the home at the time of the inspection. If a homeowner breaks their microwave oven later that evening, there’s no way for you or the inspector to know.

Ideally, you should try to close on the property as soon as it’s feasible. The longer a homeowner is allowed to remain living in the home, the greater the chances that something can go wrong.

That’s why it’s incredibly important that you do a thorough job of checking out the house during the final walkthrough (which is your opportunity to double check things in the house right before you go to the closing table.)

If you’re unsure of what to look for during the final walkthrough, consult with your real estate agent and home inspector for more information. Inspectors can often be hired to accompany you on the final walkthrough, to verify that nothing significant has changed since the inspection.

While there’s nothing in the law that says you cannot inspect the house that you’re planning on buying, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional.

Think about it. Most of us are capable of making dinner for ourselves and our family. But when it comes to an important occasion, we tend to go out to a nice restaurant, and leave the cooking to the professionals.

Home inspectors are educated, trained, and licensed to perform this one job. Evaluating houses is what they do. With so much riding on your decision to buy a home, it makes sense to hire the most qualified person for the job.

The price of an inspection is based on the size of the home and the number and types of systems and components that will be inspected. Those things that increase the duration of the inspection will also increase the price.

Most inspectors will provide estimated prices on their websites, and many will have scheduling software on their sites which can provide a price once the home’s specific information is entered.

Be aware that seasoned veterans charge higher prices than novice inspectors. There’s always going to be a cheaper option. But if you want to hire someone with experience, expect to pay a higher rate.

In Louisiana and Mississippi, all home inspectors must be licensed by the state. This means that they’ve completed the minimum training requirements, gotten insurance coverage, and passed the licensing exam.

A home inspector should be licensed and certified. Your real estate agent could recommend an inspector, and your friends or family could also suggest one. Not every state regulates home inspectors, but if your state does, check if they have proper certifications and experience.

Here’s how you can check your home inspector’s credentials:
     – Ask them to show you their license
     – Ask what training they have completed
     – Request to see a past home inspection report
     – Check their website and social media
     – Read their online reviews
     – Interview them to make sure you feel comfortable

The most common problems are moisture, electrical/plumbing systems, and foundation. Other common problems are the roof, improper insulation, and major appliances.

Keep in mind that most issues found during a home inspection are not going to break the deal. A buyer and seller usually negotiate fair terms based on the extent of the issues.

Here’s a list of the most common issues found by home inspections:
     – HVAC problems
     – Electrical panel problems and faulty wires
     – Issues with roofs and gutters
     – Inadequate drainage and grading around the property
     – Poor insulation and ventilation
     – Plumbing issues
     – Moisture and mold

While most higher-end inspectors will include minor problems in their reports, it’s not really their main focus. Inspectors concentrate on larger issues (with larger price tags) that may adversely impact your decision to buy the house.

Expensive problems are sometimes discovered during an inspection, and should be discussed with your real estate agent. These problems include items such as roof, electrical system, and foundation issues. Some of these problems can be quite expensive to repair, and their cost should be considered when making a decision to purchase a property.

Although not found on every home, significant problems include health hazards like asbestos, mold, and water damage. Be aware that a normal home inspection does not specifically investigate issues like mold and asbestos, and additional inspections (by a specialist) may be advised. Foundation issues may also have a hefty price tag and may impact your decision to purchase the property.

Before the inspection, ask your home inspector what they will and will not check. After the inspection, ask your home inspector what the biggest issues are and how to fix them. A home inspector is not allowed to conduct repairs, but they may refer you to other professionals and often have insight on how to best repair problems found during the inspection.

It’s a home inspector’s responsibility to be objective in their job, never overstating or understating the importance of their findings. The inspector should not be concerned with whether or not you ultimately purchase the property; their main goal is to make sure that you have as much information as possible to make an informed decision about your purchase.

With that said, there are plenty of inspectors who “work with the real estate agent” to get a house sold. There’s no place for that in our industry, as inspectors have an ethical obligation to remain neutral when it comes to the real estate transaction.

In order to protect yourself from unscrupulous inspectors (and agents), you should do your homework before choosing someone to work with. Identify several home inspectors near you, check their reviews, and compare their body of work. You can also ask friends and family members if there is anyone they’d recommend. Your real estate agent may also refer you to a home inspector that they know and trust. But like every important decision you make in life, performing your own due diligence is key.

Somebody to Look Out for You

What we do is pretty simple, really. We make a promise to give you the best information possible, we keep that promise, and we help you to avoid surprises. That’s what most people want from their inspector, and that's what we do.

Client Testimonials

My husband and I used Joe Cook for our home inspection and were very impressed with how thorough and detail oriented he was. Joe is very knowledgeable and actually takes time to discuss his findings and what will be in his report. He also gives answers that are clear and concise. Joe and his company, Inspector 34, are truly five star!
J McCann
“A testimonial from a client who benefited from your product or service. Testimonials can be a highly effective way of establishing credibility and increasing your company's reputation.”
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“A testimonial from a client who benefited from your product or service. Testimonials can be a highly effective way of establishing credibility and increasing your company's reputation.”
Client Name