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Best Home Inspection Practices with Torrey Richards of Oregon Home Check

Submitted by Nest Bend on
House Talk Episode 19 – Best Home Inspection Practices with Torrey Richards of Oregon Home Check

Karen Malanga: Hi, this is Karen Malanga with another edition to House Talk. I’m so excited today to welcome Torrey Richards from Oregon Home Check. Torrey’s been a contractor since 1997, and a very successful and highly-referred home inspector here in Central Oregon for the past five years.

Torrey, as a realtor, I love it when a seller says, “Karen, before marketing my home, I’d love to have a home inspection.” That seems to me one of the best things a seller can do. Does that happen to you very often? Do you get to be brought in in the beginning of the transaction?

Torrey Richards: It certainly doesn’t happen nearly as often as I’d like. We get the chance where we’re there, the pressure’s not high yet, there’s not been an offer, we can ask you questions: “Is this moisture in this windows always here or does it only show up at certain times? When was the last time your furnace was serviced?” et cetera.

And I wish more people would do it. And I think it’s a sign of a really high-class realtor when they ask their listings to do it personally.

Karen: Yeah. And I think it helps us too because, many times, sellers don’t know when they have something wrong with their home. And everyone things their home is perfect, and then it’s nice to discover maybe a few little things that have happened behind the walls that they really can’t seem to get those things fixed prior to marketing the home to a buyer.

Torrey: You’re absolutely right, everybody does think their house is in mint condition even though they haven’t been in the crawl space in 12 years.

Karen: Or the roof is 20 years old, but it still looks good, so it’s perfect.

Torrey: Right! And they’re often very surprised and sometimes a little offended to find out, “Oh, wow! You have a mice infestation.”

Karen: Yeah.

Torrey: And so, you’re right, people sometimes have unrealistic perspective on their own home. And so I can imagine it being difficult for you to try to put a deal together when they’re seeing this list of flaws that they didn’t know and now the buyer’s looking for $20,000 to $25,000—bad.

Karen: Yeah. And sometime it’s heart-wrenching too, depending on who the seller is and what they’re circumstances are. So, Torrey, have you ever found anything kind of funny or interesting during one of your home inspections?

Torrey: Well, yes. There’s a neighborhood Northeast Bend.

Karen: I love this, okay.

Torrey: It’s relatively new. These houses were built I think around ‘02, ‘03. The whole street is duplexes. And all of these duplexes are on septic right in the middle of the town, and they share a single septic.

Karen: No.

Torrey: Yes! So, we went in, we’re representing a buyer. We did an inspection on one half and said, “It looks you’ve got a septic tank lid in the yard here,” and this was the fourth one of these that the listing agent have sold. This had never come up. Apparently, I was the first to find it. So, they were buying half a duplex with a shared septic tank.

Karen: So, where is this?

Torrey: It’s Northeast 8th approximately. I’ll get you the—

Karen: Oh, I know where that is, kind of close to Butler Market?


Torrey: One of the older property owners in town have had this property, built some duplexes and somehow was able to…

Karen: Connect to one single septic?

Torrey: Yeah.

Karen: Wow!

Torrey: Yes. Each duplex have its own septic tank.

Karen: Oh, okay.

Torrey: So, it wasn’t like a community system. It was, in other words, a shared. But now, you’re buying half a duplex—and who owns the septic?

Karen: Who owns the septic and who maintains the septic?

Torrey: Right!

Karen: There must be some sort of easement agreement between those homeowners eventually to figure that out.

Torrey: I think they’re working through it right now.

Karen: Yeah. Well, Torrey, it’s been great having you here today. What’s the best way for a seller or another realtor to reach you to set up a home inspection?

Torrey: Probably the best way to schedule would be at the website, which you can access 24 hours a day, real time. It’s

Karen: That’s easy to remember,

Torrey: Yes. And you’ll see the calendar. You’ll get immediate feedback that you’re on that calendar, so that’s really convenient.

Karen: Oh, great.

Torrey: And if you’re not a web person, you can just always call the office, (541) 385-1375.

Karen: Thank you so much, Torrey, for being here. Again, thanks, Torrey, from Oregon Home Check.

Torrey: You’re welcome.