Hindsight Home Inspection Featured in CH2/CB2 Magazine
Author: Barry Kaufman | Photographer: M.Kat Photography
They are two of the most brutally powerful words in the English language. Together, they signify something you should have done differently, something you should have seen coming, if only you’d thought to look.
As a phrase, they speak to endless regret. In the case of Hindsight Home Inspection, they speak to the regret of a homeowner who failed to notice a small problem before it became a big problem, or who simply didn’t have the knowhow to identify issues before they were irreparable.
If Hindsight Home Inspection owner Scott Frieden has his say, no homeowner will ever have to say “if only” ever again.
“When I go in to do a home inspection, I’m going to explain everything about the house so it doesn’t bite you on the butt later on,” Frieden said. It’s refreshingly candid for a home inspector, but that’s sort of the driving ethos behind Hindsight Home Inspection: honesty.
Coming from a military background, Frieden prides himself on the higher standard he holds himself to, and the honesty that entails. “I do my inspections the right way. I’m working under a certain set of standards and I try to go above and beyond in explaining to clients what won’t necessarily make it into the report.”
That includes a 360-degree view on what could possibly go wrong in the future. Frieden draws from years of experience in every home inspection he undertakes and is able to not just give you the status of your structure, appliances, plumbing, electrical and more as they are now, but can warn you about what could be coming down the road. Take an air conditioning system, for example. Generally, Lowcountry conditions from extreme heat to salt air will give an HVAC system a 10- to 14-year lifespan.
The standard home inspection report will only give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down: If the HVAC system is working properly at the time of inspection, it gets a passing grade. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t getting close to its date with the scrap heap.
“That’s where I can take the owner aside and verbally tell them, ‘It’s working awesome now, but I need you to know within the next couple of years you’re going to have to replace at least a major component, if not the entire system,” Frieden said.
That extends to a whole range of problems facing the typical Lowcountry home, from exterior wood siding rotted by our humidity to the polybutylene commonly used in pipes around here during the ’80s, which is all starting to fall apart. “There have been many class action suits because they’ll rupture or the fittings will fail and it will flood internally where you can’t even see it,” Frieden said. “Polybutylene can call a deal right off. I hate that. I hate calling a Realtor and saying, ‘I found poly, I’m sorry.’ I feel bad taking their commission, but I have a job to do.”
It also extends to termites, which have lately found a way to bypass the ground-based termite bonds placed around foundations by falling down from trees. “Now you have to start from the attic down,” Frieden said. “I don’t know that termite inspectors look in the attic. Of course, I do. I can’t say termites, though. I have to say pests, and recommend a licensed guy to come look.”
It’s a commitment to honesty you won’t find too often, and it’s part of a different way of approaching home inspection that Frieden hopes will change the industry. For most people, a home inspection is just a perfunctory task that must be undertaken when buying or selling a home. It’s essentially a seal of approval that the house isn’t in the middle of falling apart.
But when you have someone who’s completely honest in his assessments, and well-versed in every aspect of a home, why wait until you’re selling your home? Why not give yourself the peace of mind that comes with never having to say, “if only?”
“You don’t necessarily have to have an inspection only when you’re buying a house,” Frieden said. “There’s a lot about owning a home that you have to know, and if you don’t know, you’re going to be paying big bucks for people to come in and fix it. There’s basic maintenance that I try to educate homeowners about.”
That education includes everything that comes with his home inspection, including a heads up on any repairs coming down the pike, plus insights into your home’s inner workings. Oh, and it also comes with a lifetime of expertise from a skilled home inspector.
“I’ll come back and answer any question as long as they own their home. Essentially, they purchase me,” Frieden said. “I can either explain it to you or come out and show it to you. Anyone else going to hit you with a fee to come out.”
To homeowners just looking for another set of eyes, it’s an ideal mix of integrity and expertise. For Realtors, it’s a trusted name that offers something truly rare in the world of home inspection: same-day reporting.
“I don’t know of many other home inspectors who offer same-day reporting,” Friden said. “Usually they do the inspection and say, ‘I’ll get you the report in two weeks.’ That can throw a lot of wrenches into the gears if the closing date is a little bit crunched. You call me, I’ll get you that report that day.”
Honesty, integrity and efficiency. It’s the foundation that Scott Frieden has built his business on, and it’s a business dedicated to both homeowners and Realtors who want the unabashed truth about a property. And in this way, you’ll never have to say, “If only.”