• Can I attend an inspection with you? Generally, sure. It depends a little on the tenants in the house, and the agent, and the timeframe. In reality, it generally takes me longer when someone accompanies me, and It can disrupt my system a little * – I don’t want to miss something potentially vital – What I prefer is that you turn up after the approximately 1.5 hours it takes to go through the average house, so that I can show you what we have found, and questions can be addressed. Your attendance will incur cost – certainly beneficial if you have very specific questions, but I do endeavour to ensure all critical questions are answered between the written report and the video.
  • Can I pay cash – (and not worry about GST and all that…) Well you see, it works like this – If I agree to that, I become a fraudster, who has cash, but can’t borrow money to service my own mortgages. When I get caught, I won’t be able to get insurance, I might even be prohibited from operating a business, my family will go hungry, all those lessons about integrity I have been trying to give my children will be negated by my hypocrisy, honestly, I can’t imagine how anyone would trust a consultant who would be prepared to lie. Such a person would be asking their consultant to take a lot of risk, for no benefit. So, no thank you, if you use me, I will collect, and account for the tax. It is better for both of us. Also – I am attempting to move as much as possible online – The GST is automated 🙂
  • Do you check the roof? Yes – though the manner of inspection can vary – There is an acceptable level of risk I am prepared to take, if this is exceeded due height, weather conditions, risk of damaging spouting, or no safe ladder mounting point, then I use high definition video to assess the roof.  
  • Do you do moisture testing? As a matter of course, I do carry a non invasive moisture meter. The use of moisture meters is not like an x-ray, or an MRI. They do help build a picture, but are easily confounded. I put it like this – imagine that you go and see a Doctor, who says “I am 60% sure you don’t have a terrible disease”. That is about the level of accuracy a moisture meter can evoke. Utter reliance on this is obviously problematic. A moisture meter is just one tool in the competent building inspectors arsenal.
  • What about Infrared? I do carry infrared gear, and this can help build a picture, but again, diagnostic utility is somewhat limited. I would like to improve the gear I carry at present, but this is a significant investment to get to a truly useful level of resolution.
  • My insurance company wants to know if the roof, piles and wiring have been replaced, and if there is any scrim, can you look at those things? When I started just doing inspections, one of the first things I did was seek out each insurance companies requirements. My reports are tailored to answer all of the questions that you will be asked during the process of completing a purchase. If you are asked any questions that I have not addressed in the report, I would be quite surprised, but give me a ring.
  • Insurance has been declined, what can I do? Insurance companies have differing risk appetites and portfolios – There are several things you can do. The first thing, is to realise that everything is negotiable. The first No from an insurance company might be overturned with discussion. Try asking the vendor who the home is currently insured with – that policy may be able to be extended to you. Try a different insurance company. Call an (independent) insurance broker. In the case of an intended renovation, you may be able to wrangle your way through on contract works insurance, until renovations are complete, at which point standard insurance should be achievable.
  • What if you can’t get under the floor? Sherlock Holmes, the fictional character popularized deductive reasoning. But he didn’t have access to endoscopes. I am well versed in the use of both tools. We may well not be able to visually inspect the piles, but we can examine the clues, and come to a reasonable understanding of the current condition of the subfloor. Shy of destructive testing, in many houses, this is the best that can be done. 
  • Can you do the (insert building work here) I can, but I won’t.  Two reasons, firstly, this would compromise my independence as your trusted advisor, secondly, while I am capable, my talents are better used in a strategic manner. I only work on my own projects these days.
  • What about project management? While I do have significant project management experience, I find myself better able to serve you by giving you a methodology, helping with some of the pre-work and costings, then passing project management off to either a capable builder, or in fact you. Do not underestimate the capability of a good builder – Occam’s razor can be rephrased “the less working parts, the better”.
  • Do you know how to play the saxophone? Oddly, the answer is yes! I prefer Tenor, but my embouche has let go over time!
  • Can you lap Pukekohe in a minute flat? In 2007 I broke the minute flat with a mid/high 58. The machine was a K6 GSXR600 that was well modified, cams, retainers, yoshi ECU, stacks, blah blah blah. RIP motorsport at Pukekohe!
  • * You speak at 10,000wpm, are excitable as all heck, send emails at stupid o’clock, promise assiduously to read all emails, but tell us you probably wont reply, talk for hours on the phone one day, ignore all phonecalls the next, as organised calm and considered as an amphetamine fuelled apoplectic wasp, invoke a bunch of disparate random knowledge (which turns out to be remarkably accurate), make societally unacceptable jokes about substances of abuse, in writing on the internet – what gives? So, yeah, I kinda wondered about that myself. Had an anecdotal diagnosis of ADD as it used to be known as a child, but decided to bite the bullet at 40, and go the full formal route. Turns out I am ADHD-AF. The systems and methods I have built are designed to allow me to still achieve something resembling productivity, while sharing my expertise, and hopefully helping you to understand houses, the broader housing market, trends, investment, improvement, maintenance, negotiating, finance, business and random factoids about medicine, efficiency, software, politics, philosophy…. My apologies, in advance, or in arrears as the case may be – I hope at least it was interesting, informative and entertaining – and the consolation prize – I am DAMN good at what I do.