A new show debuted in 2022 on HGTV called “Home Inspector Joe.” People have been asking what we think of the show. To be clear, the show is entertainment and not all representative of a real home inspection.
There are numerous distinctions between a real home inspection and “Home Inspector Joe”.
Working on the home after the inspection is prohibited in real life
On the show, Home Inspector Joe repairs the house after the clients buy it. This is against the code of ethics of all home inspector associations and against the law in most, if not all, 50 states.
InterNACHI – the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, code of ethics says “The InterNACHI® member shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or associated services to the structure for which the member or member’s company has prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months.”
ASHI -American Society of Home Inspectors Code of ethics says “Inspectors shall not repair, replace, or upgrade, for compensation, systems or components covered by ASHI Standards of Practice, for one year after the inspection.”
The state of New York where the show is filmed, State Law Section 444-G 4(a) No home inspector shall:
(a) perform or offer to perform, for any additional fee, any repair,
improvement or replacement of any component or system in a residential
building for which such inspector or partner thereof shall have
prepared a home inspection report prior to the close of escrow.
In California, this is covered under the Business And Profession Code Chapter 9.3 section 7197 (a)(1)”It is an unfair business practice for a home inspector, a company that employs the inspector, or a company that is controlled by a company that also has a financial interest in a company employing a home inspector, to do any of the following:
(1) To perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs to a structure on which the inspector, or the inspector’s company, has prepared a home inspection report in the past 12 months.”
By doing the repairs after an inspection, Joe is violating the home inspector code of ethics and breaking the law.
Offering to help find a home
In the intro, Home Inspector Joe claims he helps buyers find a home. Also in numerous episodes, he looks at several homes for clients before they make an offer.
Helping home buyers find a home is a job for a real estate agent. Only real estate agent can show the inside of a home for sale to potential buyers. Home Inspector Joe is practicing Real Estate without a license. Also, a home inspection typically takes place after an offer has been made on a home, and after a home is in the escrow process.
Negotiating the Price
In numerous episodes, Home Inspector Joe offers the buyers advice on negotiating the price of the home. Again, negotiating has to be done by a licensed Real Estate agent.
In California, Business And Profession Code Chapter 9.3 section 7195.7 clear states “A home inspector shall not give an opinion of valuation on a property.”
Again, he is practicing Real Estate without a license.
Joe leaves out important items
In one episode, when walking around the house, I noticed a Mini-Split heat pump in a large house. The only reason one would have a mini-split would be if the home did not have working central heating and air conditioning.
At no point in his inspection does Joe mention the condition of the heating and air condition system. Nor does he bring it up when advising the client on negotiating the price.
Later in the same episode, it gets weirder. During the big reveal, they show a “before” and “after” photo. In the “before photo, we can clearly see a heating and AC vent.
But in the after shot, the vent is mysteriously covered up.
Where did the vent go? Did they cover a working heating and air condition vent? Was the vent not working? How is the room being heated and cooled? How does a home inspector not comment about the home’s heating and air conditioning system?
In another part of the same episode, after tearing open the kitchen ceiling, Joe finds a leak he did not discover during his inspection. When they show the overview of the roof area, I immediately noted there is no kick-out flashing.
The show then shows Joe go on the roof and “repair” the leak with some caulking. Yet, even after his repair, he still does not address the lack of kick-out flashing. Without kick-out flashing, water will continue to infiltrate the wall.
In short, Home Inspector Joe is an entertaining show about buying and repairing houses, but it has nothing to do with a real-world home inspection.
Book your real life home inspection by calling 818-298-3405 or book online here.