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Messages posted by: Justin
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Thanks gentlemen for the help. I forwarded all your info as well as the link to my client. As always, I learned something new on here. Keep up the good work. Thanks again for getting me in the right direction.
I just inspected a home that had some odd staining on the ceiling. The boiler had recently been replaced and during the process the home had froze and there was a lot of frost in the attic space. When the new boiler was installed the home thawed out and there was staining on the ceiling which I figured would have come from all the moisture in the attic. But the staining was very sticky, almost like sap. Somebody told me that it was mouse urine. I inspected the insulation, blown in mineral wool, and there were definitely tunnels that appear to have been from rodents. Anybody have experience with this? Is it really mouse urine staining the ceiling? Thanks.
It probably won't have the desired impact but then maybe they'll just quit wasting my time with silly requests. My client is usually the buyer so I'm not necessarily concerned about making lenders happy. I've done my job and been paid so I can just walk away but I worry about the 2nd and 3rd order effects. It may delay closing for my clients, give me a bad name in the area for being hard to work with, ect. On a separate note, I see that the ability to update our profiles is working again so thanks for getting it squared away.
Pete and Nathan,

I honestly never messed with ISN or Filemaker. I just use a simple MS Word template saved as a PDF. It's easy to manipulate and like Pete said, I don't need any extra programs to mess with. I've used MS Word for years so it's comfortable for me and easy to find/use anywhere should I be on vaca or visiting friends and family out of town. I'm not sure multiple formats would help me though in most of these situations. The stuff that typically needs altered is more content oriented. Adding signatures, changing dates, changing the party(s) being billed, ect.

Unfortunately Nathan, I think you're probably correct in regards to it just being a matter of the market I'm in. It's just part of doing business. They still haven't responded to my request for a quick sit down to get on the same page regarding what they want....although I'm not sure they know what they want. It's different everytime. So I think I'm going to add a $25 administrative fee the next time they ask me to change something on an invoice or report. That might bring them to the table.

It definitely is easier to ask about the loan requirements before I create invoices. I've actually started doing that with the clients and/or the agents when a new job comes in. I'm still getting bombarded though. I just got two more requests from the same bank to edit two different septic reports since I started this post. The first request asked me to add my signature and date specifically to the front page of the report even though my name, date, and company logo, etc. are all on the front of the report already. The second report request ask me to add it to the back page of the report and add my license number as well even though there is no septic inspection license here in the state of PA. It's from two different loan originators in the same bank and it seems there is no consistency as to what they want. Actually requested to sit down and meet with them at some point so we can all get on the same page because I've been doing this with this exact bank for months now with every client we share. I think it'll be a good opportunity to market myself as well.
Yeah the changes are usually due to some weird requirement at closing. For instance, VA loans require that the seller pays for pest inspections. If the buyer calls me and asks for a pest inspection and pays me for it, the bank will call me and ask me to remove the pest inspection from the buyers invoice and then resend it. Then create a new invoice for the seller and send that in to them as well.
Over the last year or so it seems like I'm spending more time altering my reports and invoices than I am doing home inspections. I probably get 4-5 calls a week from lenders asking me to change a date on an invoice or add the seller to the invoice because of loan requirements or whatever. Any one else getting lots of these calls? I'm contemplating charging the banks administrative fees at this point (even though I'm sure they won't pay) but I don't want to hold up the process for my clients. Anybody had to solve this problem yet?
Thanks gentlemen. Good advice all around.
A client is concerned that recent truck traffic may have damaged his septic line and wants me to check it out. I told him we could try a load and dye test but that it woudn't be 100% conclusive. Pipes could still be leaking underground and go undetected. Any know of a better way to test his system? Thanks

Thanks. Looking forward to the discussions. I belong to several forums and I have learned that the experiences being passed around in places like this are worth more than any formal education experience I've been exposed to thus far. Of course, that certificate that says you're a subject matter expert in some particular topic seems to mean more to clients than all the experience in the world sometimes.
I'm usually 2.5-3 hours on site and then about the same amount of time writing the report. Depends on a number of factors like the condition of the home and how involved the clients are. Some clients stick right on my heels and have a question about every shingle. When I'm alone though I can generally be out much quicker. I've been doing this for about 5 years now and my initial intent was to bang out as many inspections in a day as possible. Made sense. The more inspections, the more money. I've changed my approach over the last two years or so. I like to take my time and use a fine tooth comb. I sleep better at night knowing I've done the best job I could do and I actually seem to be busier. I'm not sure if the increase in business is due to me doing a more thorough inspection, or simply the fact that I'm making friends with agents and lenders and my name is slowly getting around.
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