Should a Home Inspector Disclose That it’s a Modular Home?
LESLIE: Robert in Pennsylvania has a question about a home inspector. What can we do for you?
ROBERT: I was just wondering if a home inspector has an obligation to let his client know that the house he’s inspecting is a modular home?
TOM: Let them know specifically that it’s a modular home? Well, you know, it might be nice information to know but it’s not a defect. I mean a modular home is actually, in many respects …
LESLIE: It could even be an asset.
TOM: Yeah, it can actually made much better than a stick-built house because it’s factory-built.
ROBERT: I’ve been reading a lot about them and they seem to be more square and better insulated and …
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, because think about it. You’re building everything in an enclosed situation so you don’t have to worry about weather or time delays and things are built soundly and efficiently indoors.
TOM: Why do ask, Robert? Did you buy one and you didn’t realize it was modular?
TOM: Well, I mean but it worked out for you because it’s actually better built. Not necessarily is it critical that a home inspector do that. I mean if you want to know what a home inspector’s responsible for that’s established by the American Society of Home Inspectors. Their website is ASHI – A-S-H-I – .org and essentially there’s a standard of practice there that says what is to be reported on and it really comes down to whether or not it’s a defect. But a modular home is certainly not a defect. You know, it’s like telling you that – how the house is built. It’s good background information. It could be modular. It could be stick-built. It could be concrete block. It could be poured concrete. You know, it’s nice information to have but the fact that it wasn’t mentioned is not necessarily something that the guy did wrong. Just sounds like something that you would have liked to have known. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t know but it worked out for you because trust us, it is a – and it can be a much better built house than one that’s constructed from scratch.
ROBERT: Oh yeah, it’s really good. But even the real estate agent because in ads I’ve seen where it’s noted that it’s a modular home.
TOM: Well, trust me. Realtors know very little about home construction. I spent 20 years as a home inspector. They don’t know too much. (laughing)
ROBERT: OK, well thank …
TOM: They liked to tell me what they knew and it wasn’t so much. (Leslie and Robert chuckle)
Robert, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Count your blessings. It’s a good house.