Ask the Inspector: First-time buyers in crisis


Are you a first-time home buyer who is feeling overwhelmed with such a big decision? Do you wish you had someone to lean on when questions arise that you might not be fully prepare to deal with?

That means it’s time again to Ask the Inspector!

Glenn had recently done a condo inspection for first-time buyers and the excitement was obvious for this couple, but their nervousness was quite noticeable. The home needed a few repairs and upgrades. The only other finding beyond this in this one-bathroom unit was the leaking toilet – not highly unusual to us, but very worrisome.

Glenn carefully explained what was needed in that critical area as there was, of course, a very real concern over the lack of sanitation. He then outlined in detail what would normally be required to properly fix the situation, including carefully removing the floor tiles after the toilet had been emptied and disconnected.

This detailed process would take time, even if done right the first time. They discussed their options, including just walking away. The prospect of having no backup bathroom and being forced to continually go down to the amenity room, all day and night, pending this process being carried out, was terrifying to imagine. Their realtor amended the purchase offer, with their best interests in mind, and wrote up an addendum for the detailed repairs at Glenn’s suggestion.

Shared immediately, before we were finished there, the response was quickly returned with the assurance that all would be done to complete the sale with no delays. This sounded okay, but was there actually any reason to trust that process, without some quality-assurance for their benefit?

Glenn further explained some of the additional quality services Duxbury & Associates had provided to others over the years and the clients immediately asked for more from us to get this all done and allow them to actually sleep at night.

Worry lines turned into a big smile, once again, especially as this was essentially going to be a ‘freebie’ due to Glenn’s time and experience being paid for by the seller for the other professional services wanted.

Within the week, we had become assured all was now done and ready. Glenn was welcome to return and confirm this. However, within five minutes of returning to that unit, the evidence of lingering wetness at the base of that bathroom fixture was noted once again. The plumbing and restoration contractor was the on-site contact that was arranged and his scope of work was queried as part of the follow-up. This was not at all what had been originally specified and Glenn departed to let the client and their realtor know the unfortunate and surprising findings. Everyone was left with no idea why this had occurred with the plans to get the job done having been so carefully detailed and explained.

The exchange of back-and-forth negotiations continued with further assurances given that the repairs would indeed be done in time.

Once again, within days, Glenn was welcomed to return and confirm this complete. Yet again, within five minutes, the evidence of lingering wetness at the base of the bathroom fixture was further documented once more.

With fears of the outcome now in question, the clients were beside themselves. Glenn’s expertise and advocacy was yet again brought to the situation and big questions were now being asked of the seller’s team. Did those detailed instructions actually get shared and specified to their contractor? Did they even have the expertise to do what was needed?

With time now running out on the closing date and the seller now out-of-pocket, not only for the repairs, but also now all the numerous return visits and that added cost, we were eventually contacted once again and welcomed to confirm the work. Finally, this time, with confirmation of what had been carried out, Glenn was now able to provide that needed assurance that there was no lingering wetness. As they say, the third time’s the charm!

If you’re a first-time home buyer looking for help during such a stressful time, or you know someone who is, please contact Glenn at Duxbury & Associates today. He can put your mind at ease as you make this important life decision!

Glenn Duxbury

About Glenn Duxbury

Duxbury & Associates Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd. has received the 2004 Douglas College Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the ‘Consulting’ category for persistence and pursuit of excellent service delivery to clients by providing very thorough and professional Inspection Reports and dedication to those involved in buying / selling / building / renovating and maintaining uncompromised customer focus.