Q and A

Interview with a Home Inspector: Bill Streng of Bill Streng Real Estate Inspections, LLC

(photo credit: sxc.hu, svilen001)

Hiring a home inspector and having an inspection completed on your home is a crucial step in the home buying process. During a home inspection, a qualified inspector will spend several hours assessing the home you want to buy and letting you know about any issues or potential problems. Typically, buyers will have the opportunity to ask sellers to fix any problems or they’ll be allowed to terminate the contract if there are too many major issues.

One of my most trusted home inspectors is Bill Streng of Bill Streng Real Estate Inspections, LLC. Bill has done the inspections for my homes and many of my clients, and they’ve all only had great things to say about him.

I asked him a few questions in hopes of enlightening people about the importance of having a home inspection done.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been a home inspector? What’s your background?
A: I am a lifelong resident of Marysville, and my wife and I have lived in the home we built for the past 37 years. I was employed in the Plant Engineering Department at Scotts for 19 years, and I was the Senior Facilities Engineer at Whirlpool for 19 years, retiring in 2003. I then worked for St. Rita’s Medical Center for 8 years as Construction Manager. From 1970 to 1984, I also conducted my own part time business doing commercial and residential design and drafting.

I started my home inspection business 4 1/2 years ago following completion of the Home Inspection Program conducted by Columbus State University.  I am a member of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the Better Business Bureau.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for home buyers to have a home inspection?
A: I feel that as a home inspector I will be able to locate deficiencies and problems in a home that the buyer would not find. I have over 40 years of experience in the engineering field and know what to look for when going through a home. I schedule a home inspection for five hours, and that allows me sufficient time in the average home to focus on providing a thorough and comprehensive inspection. Upon completion of the inspection, I follow up with a detailed report for the buyer, which I write in a manner that a non-building or construction person can understand.

Q: What do you look for during a home inspection?
A: When I inspect a home, I usually start in the kitchen by running the dishwasher, and then I check all of the large appliances in the kitchen and record the brand, model and serial numbers for the buyer. I check the walls, floors ceilings, plumbing, and everything else in the kitchen before doing the exterior inspection. During the exterior inspection, I examine the roof, siding and trim, windows, decks and porches, and grade. I also check the electric, plumbing, gas meter, exterior outlets and faucets, air conditioning condenser, soffits, fascia, and spouting.

After that, I return to the inside of the home to check the bathroom faucets, the electrical and exhaust fans, the walls, floors and ceilings. Going through the rest of the home, I examine the hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. In addition to the walls, ceilings, doors and floors, all of the available windows and electrical outlets are inspected. The attic is inspected for insulation, electrical issues, and moisture before going to the basement where the furnace, electrical panel, water heater, sump pump, foundation, floor joists, and crawlspaces are evaluated and inspected.

Q: What advice do you have for people trying to choose a home inspector? What things should they look for?
A: Most of my clients are referred to me by their realtor or by my past customers. I feel that I have earned a reputation as being a thorough and honest home inspector. Many of my clients are younger folks purchasing their first home, and I try to treat them as I would my own children to ensure that they receive a thorough inspection and that they understand the condition of the home. I try to explain to my clients not only the deficiencies I find, but the positive features they may not have noticed during their original tour of the home.

When choosing a home inspector, folks need to understand the inspector’s experience and how much time they spend doing the inspection. I frequently hear of people who had their home inspected in 1 – 2 hours, and I don’t know how anyone could expect a thorough inspection in such a short period of time. I feel it is also important that the home buyer receives a final report that they can understand in a timely manner. My clients always receive their report the day of the inspection.

Q: What’s something that you wish every first-time home buyer knew about home inspections?
A: Periodically I will receive a call from a person purchasing a home, and all they want to know is the cost of the inspection. They also need to know what is involved in the cost of the inspection, the background and experience of the inspector, the length of his or her inspection, and what type of report they’ll receive. I think it’s very important that when a home buyer is “shopping” for an inspector that they need to understand that the lowest cost may not be the best value for the type of investment they are making in purchasing their new home.

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If you’re looking for a home inspector in central Ohio, give Bill a call. He does great work and really cares about his clients. Tell him Tammy sent you!

Bill Streng Real Estate Inspections, LLC
www.ohiorealestateinspections.net
Phone: 937-642-7724
Cell Phone: 937-707-5365

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