Homeowner Calls for Change to State Law for Home Inspectors

Updated: 03/08/2013 11:02 PM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough

It's the biggest purchase most of us make. And it can be one of the most stressful. 

That's how a Woodbury woman describes her home buying experience. She hired a home inspector to look out for her. But when things went wrong, she asked for help. She wanted to know who inspects the inspectors?

"It's a beautiful area, it's a beautiful house," which is why Lore Beadles couldn't wait to move in to her perfect home. But within days of getting settled, imperfections surfaced. Thousands of dollars worth.

"Right here the seals are broke because there's moisture getting in between there," says Beadles.  She walked through the house showing us water damage, "I want to know where it's coming from."

Beadles took pictures of foundation problems, appliances on the blink. Beadles believes she did everything right by hiring a professional home inspector to make sure her Woodbury home wouldn't be a money pit. She feels he should've caught the problems, "he did a sloppy inspection, a lot of things weren't disclosed, a lot of things weren't mentioned that should've been."

Beadles reached out to the inspector, Dave Sroga. He's based in Lindstrom. So did we.

"There are concerns but with that said, they were addressed in the report," Sroga told us. He insists he identified every defect with her home in this inspection report. He showed it to us. "If something breaks we cover that, but you have to notify us before you fix it."

Sroga says Beadles fixed the problems first, then called him which voids the warranty and any possible reimbursement.

"What is his job, it's not just him, it's all inspectors, what is their jobs?" wonders Beadles. It's a concern she shared with the State Attorney General who confirms she made a complaint. Beadles was also told home inspectors aren't licensed in Minnesota. They don't have to take a test or prove their skills. Most get two weeks of classroom training, like Sroga did. 

On its website, the state warns not all inspectors are created equally. "The guy down the street can say he's a home inspector, but can you do it, that's the hard part," Sroga says.

The Better Business Bureau receives a handful of complaints every year from people who want more regulation, "until there's a problem or pattern of a problem then you might get some legislative oversight," according to Dan Hendrickson with the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota.

Had she know then what she knows now, "would you have bought this house? No, I would've walked away, it's sad," Beadles told us.

The BBB encourages you to shop around for home inspectors. Be sure to ask friends or family for referrals. Be on hand during the inspection. Ask how much training they have and how long they've been in business. Ask for proof of insurance and if they take continuing education classes, plus inquire what they consider to be a "major" problem.