When it comes to home inspections, a Saanich couple is proving that two heads are better than one.
Reece Jacob and Monika Gass are local owners and operators of A Buyer’s Choice, a home inspection franchise with representatives in 15 countries around the world. Together, they tag team home inspections across Vancouver Island, offering a unique viewpoint for prospective home buyers.
“Our approach as a couple really helps a lot of new home buyers – we can sort of relate to them in a different way,” said Gass. “The relationships we’ve built with our clients so far has been so great.”
Through A Buyer’s Choice, the young duo assists realtors, home sellers and home buyers by checking various systems in homes and identifying potential issues. They got into home inspections after Jacob, who worked as an electrician in Victoria for 10 years, started doing inspections with another franchise owner in Richmond and found a new passion for the business.
“I really enjoyed doing it, so we decided we would purchase the franchise and start our own business in Victoria,” he said.
Inspections typically take three hours, which can be taxing for one person, but they said working as a team allows them to more thoroughly inspect homes and identify issues or potential problems.
“For one person, it’s pretty tough to cover the roof, the vents, the flashings, the gutters, the skylights, the decks, the eaves, the grades of the basement – there are so many different systems in a house, and to actually go through every one of those systems in detail on your own is very time consuming,” said Jacob.
“One person is going to have a hard time finding all those things, but as a team, we’ve found we may see more different things or go into more detail with issues of the house.”
Inspections can be requested by the buyer or seller, and can be conducted before or after a sale, though Jacob and Gass recommend calling in an inspector prior to making an offer on a home.
“Every house is going to have some quirks to it,” said Gass. “It’s up to the buyer if they’re prepared to take on that workload because it’s the right location and right house for them, or if they need to look for a different house because that’s out of their budget.”
“Some people want to go in with their uncle or their dad, and they might know a lot about houses, but we are trained and we see it everyday,” said Jacob. “We know what to look for and what key issues insurance companies will want to know.”
Jacob said a home inspection can save a prospective buyer a lot of headaches, especially if the home has issues that the buyer may have otherwise not taken into consideration.
“There are definitely some problems with houses that people don’t even think about,” he said. “In the attic, for instance, if there’s vermiculite insulation, it has asbestos in it and to remove that is a large cost for a home buyer.
“Another example is aluminum wiring or knob and tube wiring, which in most cases, insurance companies will not give you insurance until you fix that problem.”
But whether a house needs some improvements or it’s ready to go, Jacob and Gass said it’s extremely rewarding to help prospective buyers choose where they’re going to settle down.
“We love what we do,” said Jacob. “It’s a really great feeling telling someone about their new home.”