BookPod Brief: Socialist Worker’s Home Inspection Guide

Book In Review: Socialist Worker’s Home Inspection Guide by Ronald Marshall Lee, MSc, PhD, DBA

Janny Pang here again with yet another summary of a book related to Malaysia real estate.

According to Mr Ronald Marshall Lee (previous books include Malaysian Home Renovation 102 and The Idiot’s Guide To Winning Malaysia Property Auctions), apart from getting different types of home insurance for your house, a home inspection is the foremost way for buyers to protect themselves from a wrong house purchase. The last thing you want, after all, is paying for a house that’s infested with rodents or is a carbon monoxide time bomb waiting to happen. This is similar to what Mr JL Chang has said in his book which I have also summarized earlier.

The thing about home inspections is that, there is no ‘’one-inspection-fits-all” kind of inspection. A general inspection can only do so much, that when he finds something not quite right with one part of your  unit, he would refer you to another, more specific type of home inspector to identify whatever specific issue you may have in your house.

Home Inspections You Don’t Need – From A Socialist Worker’s Point Of View

According to Mr Lee, there are so many types of home inspections out there, some of them you don’t really, exactly need (and more importantly, you don’t really need to spend on). Here are 5 glorious examples of these rather unnecessary home  inspections:

  1. Square footage. To solve discrepancies on actual home size and public records, some people choose to hire a specific inspector to re-measure the house and get its exact size. But while this may be helpful for when disputing the house size with your home seller, hiring a separate inspector for this might be unnecessary. Your home appraiser – which your seller will have to hire anyway – can do the exact same job for no extra fee.
  2. Wood destroying pests. One of the biggest problems that you can encounter in buying a house is a pest problem, especially those that threaten not only the cleanliness and orderliness of your future home, but of its stability as well. That is why many home buyers are on the lookout for wood destroying pests. But you don’t need a wood-destroying pests inspector for termites and other similar pests. A regular pest control inspector can do the job, and still find out about other pests that may be living in the house.
  3. Arborist. Unless you’re one to maintain a full blown garden, or is transforming part of your land into a mini-farm where vegetation is of utmost importance, you might not really, really need for an arborist to inspect your house. An arborist is one that tests the health of the vegetation around the house, something that seems necessary only if you’re the green thumb kind.
  4. Appliance inspection. You don’t really need it because of a number of reasons: (1) you can do it yourself and (2) it does not really get in the way of everything. Unless your appliances are directly attached to your electric system, where a failure or problem on the device can cause damage to your entire electric system, you don’t need some expert to tell you that your washing machine turns slower than when it was first bought  ten years ago. Here, Mr Lee gave an example of a famously a non-problem in Kiaramas Sutera as reported in the mass media about two months back in the Malaysian mass media.
  5. Radon inspection. Radon is known to be one of the most common cancer-causing chemicals. But while it is important to get your house tested for presence of this unseen chemical, hiring one specifically to test for radon may not be very practical. There are home inspections that test for numerous chemicals including formaldehyde, lead and asbestos as well as radon. Go for these instead of a specific radon inspection. The results would be the same but the cost would be more worthwhile.