Columbus, OHIO (WCMH) — Victor Lapierre came to Columbus from Oklahoma in May of 2020, and lived in an apartment until he bought his home on the northeast side in September of last year.
“I just, I got tired of paying rent. Paying somebody else’s mortgage,” Lapierre said. “I wanted to pay my own and make an investment.”
Lapierre worked with a real estate agent to find the home, who suggested he get a home inspection before closing. Lapierre said the agent offered up the name of one inspector in particular.
“On their website, they do provide more than one like the law requires them, but that’s the one he said, ‘This is a great guy, we’ve used him before,'” Lapierre said.
Lapierre trusted his agent’s advice and hired the inspector.
“He said the roof was in good condition,” Lapierre said. “I even asked him, ‘Why does it look wavy? The shingles aren’t sitting flat.’ And he said it was because it was so new that they hadn’t had time to season through a summer heat yet. Turns out, that’s not exactly what was wrong with it.”
After he closed on the house and moved in, Lapierre said a piece of the roof’s flashing fell onto the deck.
“I looked at it and went up on the roof to figure out what was going on and then found like seven or eight places that were so soft, you almost fall through,” Lapierre said.
He called his insurance company to check it out.
“And they said, ‘Well, there’s a ton of damage. But your inspection said it was a one-to-three-year-old roof in good repair. That’s what you insured, so we can’t… this is existing damage,’” Lapierre said.
Damage that Lapierre said would cost about $15,000 to repair. Confused, he tried to call the inspector.
“That’s when I found out that he wasn’t licensed,” Lapierre said. And his real estate agent didn’t know, either. “How do you recommend someone that the law says has to be a licensed inspector?”
Lapierre said he took that newfound information to the Ohio Home Inspector Board, the Better Business Bureau and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, who said he would have to sue.
Then, Lapierre called Better Call 4. He continued to be proactive and reached back out to the real estate agency.
“I asked them, ‘Can I get your point of contact information to pass on to you guys?’ and the very next day, they replied and said, ‘Hey! Sorry it took so long, but we’re going to get it fixed for you,'” Lapierre said.
Meaning the real estate agency agreed to cover the cost of Lapierre’s roof repair. While he waits for final approval on that from the agency’s insurance company, Lapierre issued a warning for other potential homebuyers.
“Don’t trust anybody. I’m sorry to say that, but you have to double check, triple check everything,” Lapierre said.
If you don’t know where to start when choosing a home inspector, the BBB has some advice.