Sunday, December 8, 2013

Who should turn water, power and gas on in a home for sale?

It appears to be assumed that a home inspector will turn the water and the power on at the mains in a home when these are turned off. Having been in this game for a long time. I have had a two year old electrocuted during an inspection, had an electrical panel explode in my face, heard the sound of arc’s and watched sparks fly and smoke rise from electrical systems. I have called the power company and had power turned off and meters removed. I have discovered gas leaks. I have witnessed tens of thousands of dollars in water damage, which happened before, during and after home inspections. Who is the first liable party when the water, power and gas was off on arrival? It is the fool who turned it on. It was safe before you made the choice to touch it. Do you want to shoulder the liability for serious injury to a person or major damage to the home? Not a problem, touch it. As for me, I choose to keep my hands in my pockets and let the sellers camp shoulder that responsibility, hopefully as part of an insurance policy. What about turning these off when you are done? Similar issues, suppose you forgot or failed to do it correctly and the pipes freeze and rupture flooding the home for days after, or an electrical fire starts from a hidden short. I have had these happen. Luckily, I was not the one who touched it and don’t choose to be in the future. It’s similar to Russian Roulette. Why not remove all but one bullet from the chamber of a gun, point it at your head and pull the trigger a couple of times. Leave the liability where it belongs in the seller’s camp. When you are on the buyer’s side of a transaction don’t touch water, gas or power mains before, during or after the home inspection! Why do I say NO? It is very simple - LIABILITY.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Best $30,000 cheeseburger I ever ate

$30,000 Cheeseburger!
I was asked to look at a large church 11 year old roof which the church has been advised, by a roofing contractor, needs to be replaced. I walked the roof. It appears to be a 25 to 30 year rated architectural shingle in good condition. Church was about to approve a $30,000 expenditure for replacement of a perfectly good roof with possibly 20 years of remaining life. How much do you think I should charge a church for saving them $30,000? 

How I roll: This was a request from a Realtor (committee member) for a quote to check this out. I suspected that the church was about to be ripped off, based on the information provided. I think the Realtor suspected the same but we didn't talk about that. I said up front that there would be no charge.  I walked the roof about noon and I was treated to a delicious cedar cheeseburger with fries. Based on drive time (this was not local), time on site and time writing a letter to the church my standard fee would have been $350.00. Trust me, I got more than that from the pleasure of stopping another unscrupulous contractor. The two magic words are "Realtor" and "Church" however I have done the same for individuals if I thought up front, or after arrival, that they were being ripped off. These scenarios make my blood boil. Best $30,000 cheeseburger I ever ate. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What a client thinks

Comment left on my Yelp Account:

"We had Chris inspect our house last month and we couldn't have been happier. He was extremely thorough and took the time to make sure I understood everything I needed to know about the house. The inspection report that we received is also extremely well done Many pictures and graphs that make everything very easy to understand. I will definitely recommend him to anyone I know that needs a home inspection.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What a client thinks

Comment left in on a Mover Thank You guest book "Chris Hilton not only performed a thorough inspection of the home my family is buying but was consistently available to me by phone or email with many follow-up questions I had. I definitely recommend him."

What a client (former Realtor) thinks

Review left on my Yelp account by a home inspection client who was a former Realtor:

"Very, very thorough inspection.  Great inspection process!

 I have been through many inspections on my own homes as well as having been a realtor and he didn't exaggerate minor items like many home inspectors do which actually needlessly scare buyers.  He merely pointed out good and bad and described what would need to be done to correct.

Really recommend his service!"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

What a Realtor Thinks

Recently with a young veteran and his newly wed bride, these first time home buyers found themselves in a closing fraught with challenges. They loved the home, so Chris "rolled up his sleeves" and helped tremendously with their VA appraisal challenges. I can't say enough on behalf of that couple who now love Chris, myself for recommending him and of course, their new home.

What Clients Think

Chris D. Hilton, NC, did an incredible through job on our inspection and saved us a lot of headaches up front with our new place! Highly recommend him!

Chris Hilton was super inspector! Very through!! Thank You!

Chris Hilton was on time, quick with his write-up, and very, very thorough with the inspection of our new home.  He took time to explain his findings, expressing which concerns were of safety issues, which were simply code changes. I would certainly use his services again. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How to make a home inspector stutter!

After many years in this business I have learned an important lesson. Most home inspectors are honest, experienced, detailed, thorough and do an acceptable home inspection. If anything, most home inspectors are too similar. That said, being better is not what will make one home inspector stand out over another. Most home inspectors think what they do is all about the home. Truth is it is not about the home it is about the experience they offer the client. Therefore, when choosing a home inspector you should seriously consider that experience.  So, how do you do that? Here are some suggestions to question an inspector about. I expect this will make most home inspectors stutter their responses.
  1. Can you send me a resume of your experience and background? My Response
  2. What happens if I am not satisfied with your performance? Do I get my money back? Will you pay for someone else to do a second inspection? My Response
  3. Do you offer a warranty on issues which may be an issue when I move in the home? My Response
  4. Do you check for recalls on appliances and equipment? My Response
  5. Do you offer a free one year subscription ($199 value) to the Home Owners NetworkMy Response
  6. Do you offer deals on alarm system monitoring? My Response
  7. Do you work on weekends, early mornings and late evenings? My Response
  8. Can I book the inspection 24/7 online? My Response
  9. How long is your average report? I have heard there is an inspector who's average report with photos is over 40 pages long. What could be in his report missing from yours? My Response - No need to respond, it's a fact!
  10. Last, but not least. Do you offer a Monster Free Guarantee? My Response
If you find an inspector who is able to give positive responses to these questions then you should consider them for your inspection. If not, then you might consider a little more investigation beginning with details on this blog (at the links above) from a home inspector who is able to give positive responses. 

Are you a Realtor? Might want to ask additional questions:
  1. Do you offer me free follow up marketing to my clients who use you for life? My Response
  2. Can you do a consultation for my sellers for $175.00? My Response
Yes, home inspectors may look and act similar but there may be a drastic difference in the experience they deliver. Don't be short changed on your experience. 

Changing the home inspection landscape in the Triad
One Inspection at a Time

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What a client thinks

My inspection report was wonderful! It was very detailed and very clear to understand. I appreciate Chris explaining what things were and putting things in plain English. I really appreciated that :) Thanks!!! (Single mother with three kids)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Deals, Discounts and Savings

Icing On Your Cake

Updated November l11, 2023

It shouldn't make a difference as you are looking for the very best home inspector you can find. Hopefully, you have found that. Suppose that home inspector could also include with your inspection deals, discounts and savings which could total much more than what you will pay for the inspection. Wouldn't that be icing on your cake? Well, we have set out to ice your cake as detailed in this post. Total up the potential and see if it doesn't total much more than the cost of your inspection. In reality, should you care to take advantage of any or all of these offers, your inspection could end up costing you nothing.

 What if the Inspector Misses Something? - Many homebuyers are hung up on the question of what happens if the home inspector misses something consequential and they get stuck with it. You would imagine that the fact we have been doing this since 1998 completing over 7000 inspections without that occurring would be enough. With some that simply doesn't cut it. No problem, if one of our inspectors misses anything they were required to address and the client is so unhappy with the home that they don't want it, WE WILL BUY IT BACK! Yes, I don't stutter and you can find the details by clicking here.

 What if You Are Completely Dissatisfied with Your Inspection? - After you review your home inspection report if you aren't satisfied with our performance, simply say so and we will return 100% of your fee. In addition, we will pay up to equal that fee to any licensed North Carolina home inspector, of your choosing, to conduct a second home inspection. We have offered that for decades without anyone asking for their fee to be returned and for us to pay another inspector. Click Here for details. 
 With every inspection you will receive RecallChek. You could have a recalled appliance repaired or completely replaced. Who knows what that could be worth? Learn the details by clicking here.
 With every inspection you will receive at 90-Day Limited Warranty. What is the value? Who knows, depends on if you need it or not. I hope you never need it, but it is available if you do. Learn the details by clicking here.
 With every inspection we provide Sewer Line Protection for Sewer/Gard the world leader in underground repair coverage. Learn the details by clicking here.

 With every inspection if mold is found in your home, which was not present at the time of your inspection, you are covered for remediation up to $2000. Learn the details by clicking here.

 Five year leak repair coverage included with every home inspection. Learn the details by clicking here
 Porch Home Assistant Gold. Learn the details by clicking here

 HomeBinder allows you to organize and save all related home information in a convenient online application.  From storing paint colors to getting maintenance reminders, HomeBinder will help get your home ownership off to a great start.  It will ensure you have all the details you need in the future right at your fingertips.With every inspection you will receive a life time membership to Home Binder. Learn the details by clicking here.
Included free (on request) with every home inspection is a Certificate of Guarantee that the home is MONSTER FREE. You and your children may sleep well knowing that there are NO monsters, ghosts or gremlins anywhere on the premises including but not limited to the closet, the basement, the attic, under the bed or under the stairs.Monster Free Guarantee for your kids. Learn the details by clicking here.
 We are pleased to offer a 10% discount on all in state moves in North Carolina. An even large discount will be available on out of state moves depending on location. We will also offer this to the sellers on the homes we inspect. A coupon will be included at the back of every report, as well as on the back of the letter we leave in every home we inspect. Learn the details by clicking here.

Purchase your 12 month Home Warranty through our program and receive an extra 6 months at no additional charge when we perform your home inspection. Order a one year warranty, as part of your home inspection, and receive 18 months for the cost of 12 by clicking here

Your decision to choose our home inspection company, qualifies you for the best possible rates for alarm monitoring services. We have partnered with the premier alarm monitoring companies, that have consistently provided our clients with outstanding value. Security system installed for as low as zero dollars with monitoring as low as $35.99 per month. Learn the details by clicking here.

Discounts on Waterproofing, Structural Repairs, Radon Mitigation, Crawl Space Repairs and more. Learn the details by clicking here.

There may be more to come as we continue working on additional arrangements.

Tar Heel Basement Systems

I don't endorse vendors.
I do make my clients aware of vendors who offer special deals.

Tar Heel Basement Systems offers services for ALL THINGS BASEMENTY including:
  • Waterproofing
  • Structural Repairs
  • Radon Mitigation
  • Finishing
  • Crawl Space Repairs

For your free estimate call:
For your discount tell them you were referred by
Chris D. Hilton Home/Building Inspections
Or click below for online access and a discount coupon.

What a client thinks

Thank you for the service you performed for Aretha and I Friday. We were very impressed by your professionalism, knowledge, and friendliness. We will most definitely recommend you to anyone we may know who may need your services. - Curtis

Friday, June 21, 2013

FREE Marketing for LIFE

We offer our agents FREE email marketing for life.


A service provided by Residential Warranty Services
Creating opportunities to grow your business.
RecallChek is the first service for consumer recalls in the U.S. and has compiled over 205 million recalls from public records, to create a fail-safe system to check for dangerous flaws with home appliances. 

If a manufacture designs a dangerous product, they MUST recall that item and fix it free of charge! RecallChek will provide the information to promptly resolve recall issues. 

Included as a lifetime service with your clients purchase of RecallChek (or provided free on inspections done by your inspection company) is our monthly newsletter, RecallTrack. This newsletter notifies the homeowner of any new recalls on their appliances, and offers our helpful Monthly Maintenance Minute updates. 

How RecallTrak works:
  1. As the buyer or sellers real estate agent you register for RecallTrak through the email you receive for the RecallChek with that inspection (or click on the link at the bottom of this page to register now). 
  2. You just add your contact information and upload a logo or photo of yourself, it's that easy. 
  3. As a RecallTrak Registered Agent, you have the option to customize the newsletter that is already going to your past clients, in a Constant Contact style marketing email, and manage your contacts in your account.
  4. Just book your next home inspection with Chris D. Hilton and the rest is automatic sending an monthly email newsletter from you to the past client for life.
  5. Click on the button below to get started with RecallTrak NOW!

Protecting YOUR interests

Protecting YOUR Interests
90 Day Limited Mechanical and Structural Buyer's Home Warranty
Offered to our clients by Residential Warranty Services, Inc.

You need more than just a home inspection, you need the professionals you can depend on even after the job is done. That's why we back all of our inspections with a 90 day Limited Structural and Mechanical Warranty.

How to use your 90 Day Warranty:
  • Your 90 Day Limited Mechanical and Structural warranty comes with your home inspection. This warranty is valid 90 Days from the date of inspection or 22 days after closing whichever comes later. You will always have at least 22 days worth of coverage.
  • This warranty covers repairs to items the Home Inspector has found to be in good working condition at the time of the inspection and are specifically listed in our warranty.
  • You will never have a deductible to pay.
  • Claims will be handled within 72 hours of complete submission.
  • This warranty may work in conjunction with an exiting warranty. 
Representatives are available Monday-Friday 8am-5:30pm EST to help answer questions about your warranty. Please call 800-544-8156

For a copy of your warranty:
This warranty is offered by:
Residential Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 797
Carmel, IN 46082

You must validate your warranty within 15 days following your inspection! There will be a link on your inspection report e-mail or you can return here to validate. 

We continue services long after the inspection


We have a long term commitment to your peace of mind. Just because the inspection is complete, doesn't mean we stop fulfilling that promise!

Your 90 - Day Home Warranty, with a zero dollar deductible, means if something we inspected stops working or breaks shortly after you move in, you are covered. 

Your RecallChek: Recall protection for life program, will notify you if any of your appliances ever become recalled due to fire or safety hazard. If you make a new purchase, you can also update these appliances at any time.

WAIT! We will still save you money!
Wait to order your alarm monitoring system unit until 

Your decision to choose our home inspection company, qualifies you for the best possible rates for alarm monitoring services. We have partnered with the premier alarm monitoring companies, that have consistently provided our clients with outstanding value. 

Special Offer!

Installation and Equipment as low as ZERO dollars

Alarm monitoring for as little as $35.99 per month

  • Special offer for inspection clients only
  • No hidden fees
  • The best alarm monitoring companies in the industry
  • Save up to 20% on home-owners insurance
Call to redeem your offer today
Or wait for us to call you
(800) 544-8156
A service provided to our clients by Residential Warranty Services

RecallChek Included with ALL Inspections

We are committed to raising the standards of home inspections. That's why we offer FREE RecallCheks for your home appliances with every inspection we do.

A service provided by Residential Warranty Services
If a manufacturer designs a dangerous product,
they MUST recall that item and
fix it free of charge!
RecallChek is the first service for consumer recalls in the United States and has compiled over 205 million recalls from public records to create a fail-safe system to check for dangerous flaws with home appliances. 

RecallChek will provide the information to resolve any potential recall issues promptly.

How it works:

  • Your home inspector records the model numbers of your built-in appliances and HVAC systems.
  • The Model Number Algorithm (MNA) matches your appliances against the RecallChek database of recalled items.
  • RecallChek issues a report, separate from the home inspection report. This report is emailed directly to you 3 days following the inspection.
  • This service is intended to provide homeowners with valuable information on how to receive FREE repairs from manufacturers in the event a recalled appliance is found. This service is not meant to be used in the inspection response process. 
Recalled appliances are found in one in every ten homes.

By submitting the make and model numbers from your home's appliances, furnaces, air conditioners, and water heaters - you are ensuring that you not only get the free repairs that are owed to you now, but that you are also informed immediately if any of your home's appliances are affected by a recall in the future. 

If you don't receive your report or if you have any questions please call 1-800-544-8156 or email us at

Not having a home inspection now? Not a problem, you can purchase the service and enter your own information by clicking here:

A service provided by Residential Warranty Services

Friday, January 11, 2013

Realtor Wins $1,000.00

The winner of our $1,000.00 cash drawing

December 31, 2012

Allen Tate Realtors of Winston-Salem

I happened to have an inspection with Lindsay and surprised her with an envelope filled with ten $100.00 bills. Here is Lindsay opening the envelope. I believe she looks happy. What do you think?