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Reviews for THE Home Inspection Co

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9.9 10 (82 reviews)

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Hoda from Vancouver in Vancouver
1 review Vancouver, BC
10/10

We have used Ted’s services about 4 times to purchase condos in Vancouver. He has always advised us objectively about the pros and cons of each property, giving us enough details so that we can make an informed decision.
Recently we fell in love with a view property in a building that was built in the 1980’s. Knowing that Vancouver still has a large proportion of leaky properties that have not been rainscreened, we were quite concerned about the state of the building.
Ted to the rescue! He pointed out all of the building’s deficiencies with cause and required repair scenarios, while providing a range of eventual rehabilitation costs. He also agreed with our suspicions that when the strata declined to commission an engineering or depreciation report, it was quite apparent after Ted's critical observations, they were trying to hide the actual state of the building. In the latest case, it became obvious that the strata was busy putting out fires, (pressure washing, painting and caulking) nearly every year. The strata had accredited the "health" of their building exterior to the diligent annual building envelope inspection, pressure washing and repairs by a window washing company.
Ted explained that a good building does not require this level of diligence to maintain a healthy exterior and therefore must be fighting off inevitable and costly failures. Ted's explanations were detailed; changing our ignorance to a more advanced degree of building enlightenment. Ted explained that our previous experiences were not EIFS exteriors (somewhat good-looking exterior even today) relieving our embarrassment for choosing a troubled building after all our previous educational encounters.
If we had bought, we would have been heavily burdened with huge assessments in our retiring years; we would rather keep our little nest egg for future travel and possible emergencies. Even though I am disappointed, I appreciate Ted’s honesty and commitment. He is one of the few independent inspectors in Vancouver who cannot be bribed or influenced by realtors to produce a kinder inspection report. He is working for you and you alone! He may be more expensive than the others, but considering the cost of Vancouver real estate, does it make any sense to hire a cheaper inspector to do a quick inspection and report?

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Company Response

Hi Hoda,
It was so good to work with you again, you are my perfect kind of customer; keenly interested in the details of every corner of the home/property.
What is scary and you pointed it out was; there were backup offers, yes somebody will buy that condo unit with a little nudge from their agent. The strata has diligently buried critical information regarding their building’s history. They do know what is wrong with the building because even real estate agents know enough about early EIFS exteriors to offer a similar assessment as we discussed. They have painted that building so many times that water blisters behind the stucco like exterior skin cannot drain and cannot breath. I understood the real estate agent was quite upset for wasting her time. What she's not considering is had you purchased without subjects or with a less experienced inspector, you could've been saddled with a very diminished future than what you had in mind. She is also not considering the grief that you would have experienced had you purchased this property, she's forgetting that her job is to provide access and to facilitate your needs in the purchase, you are the one that should be upset for the waste of time and money.
Yippee, Dodged another bullet to live another happy day.
Happy trails ...
Ted Gilmour

Miriam from Vancouver
1 review Vancouver, BC
10/10

Buying a house is stressful, and the subject removal period is probably the most stressful time of all. Having a knowledgeable and trustworthy home inspector at your side is critical, at least if you are like us, and like to do your due diligence before buying. Ted has inspected three homes for us, and every time the experience has been amazing. Ted communicates clearly before the inspection, telling customer, real estate agent, and any other party that might be involved exactly what to expect, and how to prepare. On the day of the inspection, he likes to arrive early, take a tour of the outside, and then inspect the inside systematically from basement to attic. He prefers that customers are present throughout the inspection, and if you want to know how your house works this is highly recommended. Expect Ted to stick his head into every corner, pull back carpets and sniff for mold, and crawl into the attic (no matter how little space there is). This takes time, more time than the usual home inspection, but it's worth the investment. By the end of the inspection, you will have learned a lot about how your future house works, and what needs to be fixed before you can move in (or why you really shouldn't buy it). But the best part of all is Ted's report. Expect approx. 40 pages or more of high-resolution photos with detailed captions and descriptions. Importantly, Ted does not just focus on the flaws, he also points out what's good and new, and won't need your attention for years. He gives a detailed "how-to" guide to the home, ranging from where to shut off the main water to how to install a better lock on your front door. And that's not all. If you decide to buy the home, rest assured that Ted will be available to give you advice when it comes to repairs, whether you want to do them yourself, or hire someone to do them for you. We recommend Ted in the strongest possible terms to anyone interested in learning everything about their future home. He is an outstanding home inspector who takes his business very seriously, and provides the highest quality of report.

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Company Response

My what a detailed account of your home inspection experience. Regarding real estate agents, your testimonial almost implies that real estate agents might be shadowing the inspection. As you know, I never allow agents to be in the same room if possible when I'm doing an inspection. Your inspection is your private business, privacy allows us all to speak freely and candidly. The last thing I would want would be for an agent to explain my report as is common in the industry. When I have finish the inspection process including the report review I try to make sure my client understands most everything I've told them and in the context of firsthand, tactile involvement. What happened and I'm sure that this is what you meant: when everyone arrives I explain the Home inspection process and what I expect or prefer from my clients and their agent. I simply ask the agent to give us privacy during the entire inspection, most of this is quite clear to real estate agents if they know their code of ethics and standards of practice they quietly slip into the background or leave. A home has many stories to tell, some interesting stories and some less critical, the details are so numerous that it's nearly impossible to report on all of them and that is why you are here with me; I identify everything I see in terms of: intended function, it's maintenance requirements, its degree of failing, cost and anticipated timeline. I can't do all that for every item in a report, it's often sufficient to explain at the time of discovery. There is a lot of information and I am always eager to review our findings when it comes time for you to deal with them. When it comes to serving the best interests of my clients I have found that the more I know the longer the inspection takes and generally involves more digging than average. When I compose the report it is not a boilerplate template, it's simply abbreviated plain language with enhanced photos. My time spent inspecting and composing a report are for the explicit benefit of your home buying process. If you do purchase the home, you will be very comfortable with all the things we discovered and needing your attention.
Thanks Miriam, I do appreciate feedback.
Happy trails...
Ted Gilmour

Christina in Vancouver
1 review Surrey, BC
10/10

I am a first time home buyer who knows very little about my new home. I need a home inspection and my relative recommended Ted who is an independent home inspector and is unaffiliated with any realtor. He provided me with very honest comments and professional information during the inspection. Although he charged slightly higher than the market average, he spent about 3 hours to inspect my place, together with more than half a day to work on the report. The report is customized with very clear pictures of my place, detailed comments about each problem, both apparent and potential, as well as general information for home maintenance. The whole inspection experience served a highly educational purpose and I learnt a lot from Ted’s demonstration, explanation and guidance. He was very organized, easy to work with and is open to any question after he has completed the report. I highly recommend Ted to all home buyers!

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Company Response

Hi Christina,
I'm truly gratified to learn of all the positive characteristics you a have attributed to my inspection service.
Home inspections have been reduced to fast turnarounds and for around $4-$550. Does this quick service represent the height of home buyer diligence? I don't imagine a service that has been designed to rush through an inspection for the sake of clearing the way to a quick closing is in a buyer's best interest and yet agents often promote various home inspectors as being really fast and cheep. The scope and duration of the average home inspection has been determined by successful agent referrals, yes every successful agent has a corral of successful home inspectors. Generally speaking, for a real estate agent to be successful, it is not always predicated on homebuyer best practices. If a home inspector creates too much trouble by their negative findings for agents to steer the buyer around. If the deal goes south, so do future inspection referrals.
If this sounds too preposterous to be true I've been to real estate agent training courses where they explicitly described how any inspector poisoning the sale in any way will find themselves on the black list and not just with that agent but the entire brokerage.

Special note: I'm always amused when clients say I was there for a full 3, 5 or 7 hours when in fact I am on site for an hour before my clients arrival. They tend to count the hours they are there. I mention this because the more time spent investigating the more likely your inspector will make discoveries of any previous repairs, owner cover-ups or deferred maintenance leading to significant future repair/replacement. Any inspector who can hand you a completed inspection report (computer generated- as the name implies it is a superficial inventory of the home's components) in the industry average of a 4 hour turnaround may well be hastily rushing through your report and not making critical connections to subtle clues or evidence.

I'm very pleased that you were not dissuaded by your real estate agent to go with your agent's favorite inspector.

Happy trails...
Ted Gilmour

Emily in Surrey
1 review Surrey, BC
10/10

Ted did the home inspection for our first single family house just a few days ago. We highly recommend Ted to anyone who are looking for home inspection. The difference between Ted and some other inspectors is that he is an independent home inspector. He does not work with any realtors. The price looks high, but the hourly rate is very low. He spent maybe double the normal inspection time (in our case, from 9:30 to 5pm) to check the house very thoroughly. Then he spent another day to work on the customized report (not software generated) and another 2+ hours to go through the report with us. Plus, he is so willing to help us to answer any ongoing questions by phone calls and emails from renovation plans to even our insurance questionnaire. Do the math! The price is definitely reasonable considering all the services we got. We're very happy to have him to inspect our house. Since this is our first house and it is an old house (32 years), we have almost no knowledge about it. Thanks Ted, we have a much clear picture about what we are getting and have a better idea how to improve our house in the next few years. Note that English is not our first language. Although many house-related words are out of our vocabulary, Ted is very patient on explaining them to us. Thanks Ted. A big thumb up.

Emily & Daniel

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Company Response

Hi Emily & Daniel,
Yes, incredible as it sounds, the 2 issues you site are unbelievable. Independence from Real Estate Agents and their referral practices of rewarding some of the worst inspection companies with referral work. They may have great credentials and even endorsements but the bottom line is they know that if the sale is not successful they are taking a great risk with future referrals. The other critical issue; in a typical 3-4 & ocasionally 5 hour industry inspection turn around there simply isn't enough time to do a thorough investigation while filling in a checklist style boilerplate, computer generated reporting system. Speed might be necessary in some transactions but if your real estate agent is properly advising you, you should book your inspection immediately following an accepted offer, you may well need extra time to get repair/replacement estimates before proceeding to subject removal. If you suspect the agents are conspiring to railroad you, you could well be right. No one tells you what the rules are or what your rights are, your home inspector may be your only friend unless the inspector is dependent on realtor referrals. By the way some inspection companies claim to be independent, in these cases independent meaning they do not work for a franchise inspection company. There are many deceptions, subtle deceptions in this industry, do your inspector shopping early. Ask what they did prior to becoming a home inspector, not many have yrs of industry trade experience. You cannot substitute experience for classroom time.
Happy trails...
Ted Gilmour

SteveMaksymyk in Vancouver
2 reviews Vancouver, BC
10/10

I hired Ted to help me with a home inspection for a townhouse purchase in Fairview. I was told Ted was thorough and unbiased relative to other home inspectors in the city.

I can confirm this is the case - he spent a significant amount of time going through the building exterior and unit interior top to bottom. He really cares about the affairs of his clients and detaches himself from the buying process to make sure you are getting the best, un-biased advice.

I recommend doing at least part of the inspection with Ted (in person) as he can spot anything wrong with the building and help you articulate what consequences there may be. In our case, he helped find some un-approved electrical which allowed us to negotiate the price of the unit.

Ted doesn't give you a buy or no-buy recommendation - he gives you the key risk areas and lets you make an informed decision. I liked this because no building is perfect, but he helped me identify risk areas and understand what may cost us in the future.

If you care to understand what you may be spending $1m+ on, spend the $600+ and get a solid opinion from a reputable home inspector and someone that does his job with care and diligence.

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Company Response

Hi Steve,
Thanks for your generous account of my inspection service. People ask me what I look for, I simply state I do not know. When I cover a building from top to bottom, 360° inside and out, there's a good chance I will find the things that will negatively impact your future clear sailing. With your attendance during the inspection, we will discuss cause & effect, immediacy, repair procedure and to some degree cost. The adage goes if you have a signed sales agreement: if we discovered deficiencies and defects germane to what constitutes as a reasonably well tended home and needing repair or replacement in the very near future. Generally if they did not disclose the failing condition of deferred maintenance and or repair history then these items are rightfully negotiable. In most cases the seller will agree with repair or replacement of the substantial discoveries,agreeing to make good either by doing repairs or replacing the failings or by other compensations. In many cases the vendor will simply offer financial incentives to advance the deal. Everyone wants the deal to go through- the seller, their agent, your agent, you, the banks, the insurance agents, etc.
Everyone's afraid of upsetting the deal, the pressure to complete the deal is horrendous and mostly a fabricated strategy to stimulate desperation. That's how you sell a home; fear driven panic. After months of looking, panic rises even without external, motivated fabrications. Thankfully when you get a thorough inspection you can proceed with relative comfort to strategize your own advantages. Homebuyers forget that they are the most important person at the deal, real estate agents might make you feel lucky to get your foot in the door when in fact they are hoping and praying you will stick both feet in the door and will work to maintain that. Agents do not want to start over again with the added knowledge of significant defects that they will have to, buy law, legally disclose to the next buyer.
It was a real pleasure working with you, I hope your new place turns out to be as you imagine. Remember during your renovation please don't hesitate to contact me for advice, I quite enjoy helping people.
Happy trails ...
Ted Gilmour

Mike in Vancouver
1 review Vancouver, BC
10/10

I have used Ted to inspect two homes in the lower mainland. In both cases, Ted has spend a lot of time to uncover both big and small items that need attention.

When I'm spending this much money on a home, I want to ensure there are no surprises. Though Ted is more expensive than some other inspectors, I honestly believe you get what you pay for. I would much rather spend a few hundred extra up front than potentially thousands later when an undiscovered deficiency surfaces.

I would recommend Ted to anyone looking for a quality home inspection in the Vancouver area.

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Company Response

Hi Mike,
I'm ever so pleased when after 10 yrs I get that call, this one being for your parents. Trusting me to protect your parents investment is the highest praise indeed.
Before the government got involved with licensing the home inspection industry was a wild West show; a lot of BS credentials and phantom promises of service. Licensing did not cleanup the Home inspection industry but rather simply charged all the would-be practitioners $550 per license, quite the government revenue stream from such a humble little industry. Yes it may have weeded out some of the wildest pseudo-practitioners but from what I can see not much has changed. Home inspectors still believe the only way to success is to be fast and cheep, to produce an inspection report within a 4 hour inspection window. All of this for around $500 which is a rather expensive per hour service considering the “ inspector “ does a superficial inventory of the house, something anyone can do with a checklist and a camera. Most people do not know what a home inspector can do and will give top marks for mediocre to negligent service. From what I've seen that just about sums up the state of home inspections these days. I'm almost ashamed to say I’m a home inspector in social circles.
Luckily you’ve had the experience to figure that one out. I still maintain: it takes a complete day to do a home inspection, in my case it takes 2 days, the 2nd day to compose a custom detailed report which is customer friendly.
Coming from Calgary and not having seen the property, firsthand, your parents can have most of the serious issues dealt with before they move out here, leaving only the pleasant aspects of a new environment to explore and call their new home.
Wishing you and your parents:
Happy trails...
Ted

Marie in Squamish
1 review Squamish, BC
10/10

I have used Ted over 4 times and I would NEVER go anywhere else, he catches things no other inspector would and spends his time with you so you understand just what the issues are with your new home before you buy.

If Ted ever retires I may not buy another home...who else would I trust.

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Company Response

Hi Marie,
Approx. 90 to 95% of the inspection industry follows a standard inspection profile to be competitive and to appeal to real estate agents. All agents like inspectors to get in and out quickly, the standard is 3 to 4 hours while producing a photo enhanced report on completion and for around $500 per- very appealing to most people. Not so long ago the inspection standard was a 2 ½-3 hour inspection turnaround for around $3-$400 per inspection. Things haven't changed except now inspectors are expected to provide photos in their reporting, same reporting boilerplate but with photos. Computer generated reporting programs speed up the process to allow inspectors to fit in 2 or more inspections per day, it was a racket then and remains today for a good portion of the Home inspection companies. It has been a race to the bottom where inspection fees and inspection turnaround times are presented as sales benefits.

Yes we do have some history and as before it was my pleasure to inform your purchase decisions. As I recall your purchase choices have never been anything close to a perfect house. Peeling back the cosmetic, standard finishing veneers and in some cases hasty repairs we did sort out the real issues for your maintenance/repair priorities.
There is a saying that every house is a good house, for the right price; sometimes a thorough inspection can provide some pricing adjustments to soften the burden of undisclosed deficiencies.

Happy trails...
Ted Gilmour

Private User
1 review Maple Ridge, BC
10/10

This was our first house purchase, and Ted was the right fit for less experienced buyers like us. I firstly contacted him with some concerns of my new home under construction, and he went through the photos I took, and described in detail how I should address those issues with builder. During the on-site inspection, he was very organized and detail-oriented to guide us through the whole house, showed us any defect identified, and patiently explained the pros and cons as well as maintenance. He was also considerate to follow up with us to know the progress of builder's repair. The overall cooperation with Ted was smooth and satisfactory.

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Company Response

Hi D
So good to hear from you!
People believe that when they are purchasing a brand-new home there shouldn't be anything that needs the oversight of a home inspection, after all, all new homes pass city inspection. I'm sure you would agree with me that without your Home inspection the builder would've been very happy to have continued his BS ing you into accepting things as they were as being normal. Thankfully we did catch a few things that were absolutely better taken care of prior to completely finishing the house and now we have a fairly serious mechanical noise problem that has arisen due to poorly calculated and installation practices of the furnace ducting. As you can imagine you are likely not the only owner in this development with a noisy furnace. If you were to canvas the neighborhood you would likely find you have allies to counteract any BS the builder might feed owners individually. No there should be no noticeable noise when the furnaces is on, but a home inspector is not an authority, you need to hire a TECCA technician to inspect the operation and your furnace duct sizes, directional transitions, corners, and length.
A home inspection is not a one-size-fits-all type of process or what might be considered the whole picture. The inspection is an ongoing process that does not end after payment. In some cases it's merely the beginning of an exercise of trial and error or instructional directions towards a needed repair/replacement. This collaboration process is something that I enjoy, being able to help my clients navigate the practical side of home ownership.

Happy to be a part of your ongoing home buying experience,
Happy Trails....
Ted Gilmour

Diana Kang in Vancouver
1 review Vancouver, BC
10/10

Ted Gilmour was a very knowledgeable, professional and detail oriented inspector. I had 3 times home inspection experience with him and every time we learned something from him. I was so impressed by his report, which is so detail and can be used as a guide to take care of your house. Finally based on his information we really made a right decision for our first home in Vancouver. This is a big decision in our life and his inspection reports really help us a lot. I would highly recommend Ted to anyone who needs a very experienced home inspector. It’s definitely worth it!!

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Company Response

Hi Diana,
I'm quite pleased to have been chosen to assist with your home shopping experience. My foreign clients are at a greater disadvantage than many homegrown buyers. In China for instance houses are made of concrete and brick which do not suffer from exposure to water whereas ours are mostly made from wood, a material that when exposed to water can readily become moldy. Your 1st 2 houses were simply not suitable for many reasons including mold. Although your 3rd house which is now your home was not perfect, it is nevertheless a workable palette to your ideal home. If you proceed with the repairs we’ve identified as soon as possible, your home will serve you well into the future.

If you continue to collaborate with me, hopefully repairs only need to be done once.
Wishing you every success with your new home.

Happy trails...
Your advocate,
Ted Gilmour

Ryan L in Vancouver
1 review Langley, BC
10/10

Ted came highly recommended to us and we were lucky to be able get him to inspect a home we had an offer in on. The word thorough doesn’t really do Ted justice. He is extremely in depth. He calls out everything from the major red flags all the way down through the spectrum of ‘you may want to fix this eventually’. His report will function as a future and immediate ‘to do’ list for us over the next 5 years of owning the home.

He is completely independent and this means the customer is getting an inspector who is not being influenced by a realtors needs on any level. As well, the day long inspection functions as an info session on how to keep a house in good working order.

I would highly recommend Ted to anyone who wants to get a complete idea of the state of the home as well as what work it needs both potentially and immediately. He spends time to create small encyclopedia worth of information about the home you’ve had inspected and will be something each customer can hold on to through the years.

The report and pictures he took of the home we had inspected also functioned directly as a bargaining tool for us as we were able to negotiate a further $8,000 off the, already negotiated, purchase price of the home. Thank you Ted for doing the job we’d heard you would.

Ryan

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Company Response

Hi Ryan,
Thanks for the thoughtful account of your experience. I must say I was rather surprised that there is no mention of the sellers crusty demeanor during the inspection. Homeowners who do not vacate or allow for private conversation during the inspection can often find it extremely stressful. They were listening to my ongoing inspection commentary even though I was trying to be quiet. There were some major issues with the home that had been disclosed like: polybutylene piping with acetyl fittings, since you did not know the significance of acetyl fittings we spent a bit of time discussing options, potentially expensive options. Although we did manage to stay civil, I’m amazed that you were able to get any monetary concessions as they were adamant there would be no further negotiation or at least that was my impression.
What sets my inspection apart from nearly everybody else is the pace of the inspection. I am not filling out an inspection report as I go therefore I'm able to cover more ground and able to spend more time informing your future ownership maintenance and repair requirements. What keeps my work interesting is that I do not use boilerplate templates or computer generated reporting systems. What I've found in the past: following a computer generated reporting system, the report leads the inspector from one item to the next. While this might be a good inventory inspection style it is not specific to the actual building nor does it address seemingly unrelated deficiencies and defects that can lead my investigations to discover obscure material consequences. Unfortunately as house prices are escalating, for some reason homebuyers are looking for cheaper and cheaper inspectors, inspectors have responded to the demand and now we have prepackaged home inspection products that are basically generic.
Please allow me to guide your repairs and upgrades, this is a free service that some clients have benefited enormously.
Happy trails...
Ted Gilmour

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