Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fraudulent Home Inspectors

Yes, unlicensed home inspectors are functioning and defrauding the unsuspecting public in North Carolina and in the Triad! The last experience I had with one the client was thrilled with their home inspection and their inspector. Unbeknownst to them his inspection and report came nowhere near meeting required North Carolina standards. His report is in front of me as I write this post. These folk were defrauded, up front, to the tune of $250.00. Unfortunately, that may not be all. What did this inspector fail to point out? How much may it cost for repairs?

Who will protect you or your clients from unlicensed, deceptive, fraudulent Home Inspectors?

You will find, as I have experienced, that there is not very much protection. The first line of defense is information and it will begin in this post. Yes, there are people posing as home inspectors with an intent to defraud and deceive the public for their personal gain. There are more than one but I have personal experience with one and he has been deceiving unsuspecting home buyers and real estate agents in my service area FOR OVER TEN YEARS. He has been arrested, in the past, through the efforts of local home inspectors and real estate agents. He has been prosecuted and it is very possible he may continue, as in the past, to ignore the law, book and perform home inspections with you or your clients.

I can assure you that the only person who will stop him is YOU. You must refuse to deal with someone who's full intent appears to be to defraud you and your clients. In the past the unlicensed home inspector I have experience with has functioned under the name "A Buyers Home Inspector" and his name is John Salstrom. In his most recent episode, of which I am personally aware, a Realtor's client advised that they had booked their own home inspector. John Salstrom is who showed up. Following the inspection the Realtor called me to inquire about this person, I advise that he was not a licensed home inspector, requested a copy of the report and turned him in to the licensure board again!

John was prosecuted again by Forsyth County for this infraction. John plead guilty on January 7, 2011 to one count of inspecting a house without a license and received a prayer for judgment and was fined court cost. He has been fined and paid before! Yes, he may be on the loose again now or in the future inspecting homes without a license. I have learned from my involvement in this process over ten years that there isn't much the counties or state can or will do about such a person other than smack their hand, fine them and turn them loose again on an unsuspecting public. You are on you own.

Here is a page out of the 2009-2010 AT&T Real Yellow Pages where you will note John's add circled in red right along side of real home inspectors. Note that it is the most expensive, obvious and eye catching of the adds. Isn't that interesting. He uses "A" at the beginning of his company name to place the add near the top to catch your attention.

Here is the add blown up so you can read it:

Looks for real, doesn't it? Don't be deceived, John is not a licensed home inspector in the State of North Carolina and hasn't been for over TEN YEARS! Here is as much of his record as I am aware of. I don't doubt that there is much, much more I am not aware off.

You will find the public record of John Salstrom's experience with the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure board posted on their website at:

Here is what it says:
Complaints filed: April 27, 1999, November 5, 1999, and September 19, 2000 (Greensboro and Winston-Salem)
License Revoked.

I am aware that John was previously arrested, prosecuted and fined in Forsyth County in 2001 for conducting a home inspection without a license.

So there is no doubt about this claim. Please allow me to document that a guilty plea was entered by John Salstrom for Inspecting a House without a License in District Criminal Court, Forsyth County. The charge against Salstrom, “Obtain Property False Pretense”, is for his charging a fee for doing a home inspection without an active license with the Home Inspectors Licensure Board of North Carolina.

Below is a notification letter dated January 10, 2011 from the District Attorney (21st District) received by the NC Dept of Insurance Criminal Investigator in this case.  Also below is copy of a February 2, 2004 cease and desist letter from the 18th District, Guilford County District Attorney that notes a prior conviction on or about July 19, 2001.

Mr. Salstrom had multiple complaints filed against him when he was licensed that were addressed through consent agreements. On September 29, 2000 he surrendered his license. Still, after 10 years he continues to mislead the public.

Who will protect you?

You can only protect yourself!
Every licensed Home Inspector in the State of North Carolina has an identification card with his license number and expiration date. So that you know what one looks like, here is mine. Demand proof that you or your clients inspector is a properly licensed North Carolina Home Inspector! If he or she (yes there are female inspectors!) can't provide proof, protect yourself and your clients, call someone else! Have doubts, call the Licensure Board in Raleigh at (919) 662-4480.

 Are you displeased with the way this issue is being handled in your county? Make your District Attorney aware! Is your local Realtor's association keeping you informed on this issue? This has been going on for over 10 years. Were you aware? Why not?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Asbestos in the Home

This article was provided by and posted at the request of, committed to providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on pleural mesothelioma cancer. is the Web's most inclusive resource solely dedicated to this rare cancer.
Please be aware that home inspections, as regulated in the State of North Carolina and most other states, do not require the home inspector to address asbestos or any other potential environmental concern in the home. This and most home inspectors exclude asbestos and environmental issues as part of their inspection process. That being said, this inspector, should he observe any issues which might indicate asbestos in the home, will suggest further evaluation by the appropriate professional.

Asbestos in the Home

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Asbestos was highly regarded throughout the 20th century as an ideal building and construction material. It’s fire resistant, durable and versatile qualities made it sought out by many industries. Typically found in insulation's, piping, popcorn ceilings, roof shingles and flooring, asbestos was used throughout the 20th century as a form of insulation for piping, roofing and flooring.

Many homes and buildings built prior to 1980 may still contain asbestos, but even homes built in the years after may harbor asbestos.

Because vermiculite is also an inexpensive and readily available mineral, it is an important addition in many of products that we use every day to insulate our homes and fertilize our gardens. When it is tainted by impurities such as asbestos, it can be extremely harmful to the health of your family. Although Vermiculite alone does not contain asbestos, it came from one single mine that contained a large amount of asbestos.

Homeowners and inspectors should be aware that even vermiculite insulation from the 1990’s can contain asbestos and the proper precautions should be taken to avoid unnecessary problems and potential exposure to this material.

Asbestos Tips and the Value of a Home Inspection

According to the experts, the general rule of thumb is if the asbestos is in good shape, it's posing no apparent risk. If it's in bad shape, it could be a problem. It is recommended for homeowners to leave any suspected asbestos alone, as this can takes its fibers airborne and this is where it becomes dangerous. Removal of asbestos, if necessary, must be performed by a licensed contractor.

Receiving a professional home inspection is something that cannot be understated. Many building substances can become a problem for homeowners due to the negative health effects that can occur if not identified. A professional home inspection is extremely important to protect your investment. Professional consultants can provide an evaluation of the home and will identify material defects in structures and components of the home, in adherence to or exceeding national, state, and industry regulations and standards.

Not only should potential home buyers take this into consideration, but those performing demolition, renovation or abatement must take precautions to avoid exposure at all costs. Generally, asbestos appears in roof shingles, attic insulation, dry wall board, popcorn ceilings, joint compounds, electrical wires and furnace cement.

Asbestos fibers are thin and strong, and when inhaled frequently, an individual can develop mesothelioma, a rare but severe lung ailment caused by asbestos exposure. There are a number of factors that can impact mesothelioma survival rate. These factors include latency period, age of diagnosis and cigarette smoking.

GREEN Alternatives to asbestos

There are many green, Eco-friendly materials that replace the need for asbestos and can reduce energy costs annually. The implementation of Eco-construction, green energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world.

Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of cotton fiber, lcynene foam and cellulose. Cotton fiber is made from recycled batted material and treated to be fireproof. A water based spray polyurethane foam, lcynene features no toxic components. These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.

By having a professional contractor inspect your home, you can avoid the stress and problems associated with not knowing that asbestos and other harmful building materials are present in your home.

For additional information visit and/