We recently caught up with David King, a Registered Home Inspector ( RHI ) and owner of 1st Call Home Inspections in the London ON area to talk home inspections, homeowners and his business.
David is a detail-oriented inspector that we’ve worked closely with in bringing Spectora’s modern HTML reports to the Ontario region.
1st Call Home Inspections has a perfect 5-star rating on Google and is growing due to their service, reports and agent relationships. After reading this article, you are welcome to take a look at past client reviews: Link to Google reviews
How did you get into the home inspection industry?
I come from something of a jack of all trades background. From a construction / rehab perspective, over the years, I have done plumbing work, upgraded houses, completed basements.
I worked in the corporate world for many years and always had an inkling to be in the home Inspection business helping others make a sound decision in their purchase of a new home.
From a Real Estate perspective, I have owned many homes in one form or another for the last 40 years and know my way around how a home is built and what to look for in older homes.
What is your favorite part about doing home inspections?
Helping a Buyer or Seller understand their home. Most people buy a home because they want to live in a certain neighborhood, or because it has that perfect something (Kitchen, backyard, etc) that makes it perfect for their family. But, they generally do so without much consideration to understanding what the true condition of their home is first.
A good home inspection can help prevent the unexpected things from causing you or your family pain and suffering.
What is your least favorite part about doing home inspections?
I’m least happy when I am not doing inspections. I love the interaction in the Inspection process with clients eager to better understand what they are buying. I love working with clients and educating them about the way their home is constructed and operates.
What are the most common questions homebuyers ask?
“Is this a good house?” , followed closely by “Did it Pass?” I think I have had someone ask one or both of those on every inspection. I always tell people the inspection is not a pass or fail, it’s really an evaluation of their home empowering them to make decisions about which things if any they should address before or shortly after closing and which ones make sense to plan and budget for in the future.
As to the home being “good”, well, what is a good house to a guy like me, is not necessarily a good house to a young couple buying their first home with no background or skills in home improvement.
I understand why people ask it, it’s a natural thing to want validation on your purchase, since it is probably the largest cost of their lives in buying a home.
I typically answer the question by explaining what I found in the home both good and bad and leave the opinion as to whether or not it is “good” up to them.
What do you do when you are not inspecting homes?
Well, when I’m not inspecting homes or working on my home inspection business, I love spending time flying and building radio controlled planes. As a member of a local flying club and training instructor, it is a great way to meet like- minded individuals and offer support to those who are interested in the hobby. Anyone who wishes to take a flight or two and check out our operations is welcome to contact me.
My wife and I also have another business in the home services side that is not related to Home Inspections but takes up some of our time and energy. Of all things, my joy is when I am helping clients make that all important decision of finding the right home for them.
What tips do you have for new homeowners?
I love new homeowners, a your couple, buying their first house are amazingly excited, they’re inquisitive and generally unbiased by any previous experience with a home. That’s a great thing!
I go over home maintenance items with first time buyers and I am only a phone call way for any concerns or clarification on upgrades they are considering in the future. As far as specific things I try to impress upon new homeowners after an inspection, (people hear this all the time), but changing your filters in your Furnace unit will save you a ton of money in both energy and repair costs and it is so simple to do. I also encourage them to keep a journal of their home maintenance and upgrades.
Keep before and after pictures, notes about what was done, receipts, etc. Not only does that allow you to see progress over time, but when you go to sell your home, having the maintenance records and upgrades really helps with the disclosures and it can be a selling point for your Realtor.
Why do clients and agents love working with your company?
People love us because we are not your typical inspection company. I am obsessed with the client and agent experience. Almost 100% of all my clients walk with me through the inspection process; they get to “see” what I am inspecting and I get a chance to discuss aspects of their new home and how to keep it well maintained. Those who are first time buyers just love the detailed inspection and the best way to maintain their new home. For older homes I also offer tips on how to extend the operating life of some aspects of the home that are nearing the end of their expected lifespan.
When clients make a booking, we send them an on-line inspection contract ahead of time, for their review and acceptance. That way there is no time lag at the beginning of the inspection; we get right to it. This also helps to reduce overall time at the inspection. Typically, an inspection takes 2-3 hours with the report being sent later the same day. I know that Agent’s time is valuable and we want to strike a good balance between providing a comprehensive inspection and maintaining the minimum amount of time at the inspection.
Spectora reporting software is used both on the job and for final reporting. We have used other reporting systems in the past and I have to say, Spectora is such a user friendly system and for the client report it is easy to read and understand. Photos accompany the reported defects and recommendations are offered. The ability to send my client a link they can view on any device really sets me apart in the market. I see Spectora as part of my strategic advantage.
There is even a means for the client and agent to easily make up a summary report of their own to offer discussion with the seller. This makes life a lot simpler for the agent and client.
What do you tell agents about your company when they meet you for the first time?
Real estate agents are some of the hardest working people I have ever met. They have insane schedules. The good ones make a promise and find the best possible house at the best possible price for their client.
That’s where we come in. A well done home inspection should never be frightening, it should inform people about the complete condition of the home and allow them to make good decisions about what needs to be corrected prior to closing and what items can be addressed further down the road. It’s really about mitigating risk for everyone.
If you’re a local real estate agent or future home purchaser wanting to get in touch with David, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/ text 519 619 1637