Some companies call them “Drive-By” inspections. We do not like the term “Drive-By” Inspections. We actually stop and conduct the inspection based on the work order requirements. You will never see a TFS inspection with “car parts” in the photo. Our inspection photos are clear, and straight, and capture the entire property. Where provided, we always include an address verification photo. If we discover the property to be vacant, we take a full front photo, rear if accessible, 2 side photos, address verification photo along with a photo of the water spigot showing the water is either on or off. We report on damages, vandalism, hazards and conditions that would present liabilities. If we cannot provide a photo through the window on a first-time vacant, we ask neighbors for verification. We never guess. We check all doors and windows for security and report it unsecured if we cannot lock it back using existing hardware.
On every interior inspection we do, we provide photos of every major room in the building. We check to see if the windows and doors are locked. We check the ceilings for damages that might indicate a roof leak. We take photos over the toilets to show whether it has been winterized. We also check for health hazards such as mold, dead animals or visible signs of vermin infestations. We know the difference between an interior in “Good” condition with tons of leftover junk and one that is truly in “Fair” or “Poor” condition that needs maintenance to preserve the property.
Insurance Loss Inspections
Homeowners waiting on someone to call them, to do an inspection they never knew they needed can be very frustrating. The first thing we do is call them to set up an appointment to inspect the repairs as soon as possible. We try to set up an appointment that fits their schedule the best. We use the insurance Scope of Work provided to us by our clients or ask the homeowners for copies. We understand that we are not “building inspectors.” We represent the interests of our clients, who are interested in ensuring that the property is brought back to the same standards as before the loss. We take photos of all finished repairs and those not yet repaired. We provide percentages of completion, not based on what the homeowner or the contractor would like to see, but based on actual completed repairs using the documents the claim was written for.
One of the most important questions a mortgage field inspector faces is whether the property is occupied. Just because the electricity is turned off or the water is shut off does not mean the property is vacant. The opposite of “occupied” is not occupied. The presence of personal property is only an indication of occupancy, not a determining factor. Furniture does not occupy the property. People occupy the property. A house can be full of furniture, all the utilities on, and yet be considered vacant. The question of occupancy or vacancy is determined by whether or not the property is lived in by people. The next question is how this is determined. TFS trains our inspectors to make professional assessments of this question by using a series of steps that are taken to determine occupancy. We are not afraid to ask the neighbors or take photos through windows to help determine the occupancy. The wrong determination can lead to trouble for all of us. We never guess. Reporting “unknown” to our clients is like ordering a hamburger without the meat. It’s useless information.
Texoma Field Services will place your message in a sealed envelope and tape it to the door with the owner’s name on it and the words “Personal and Confidential” in plain view. We will also take your door hangers, cards, or any other messages you want us to deliver and take it right to their door. We’ll hand deliver the message whenever possible if the occupants are home.
Fannie Mae Form 30
As you may be aware, the Fannie Mae Form #30 is an inspection that is provided with conditions that can affect the value or marketability of the property. You can provide the needed property information obtained from a physical inspection to complete the Fannie Mae Form #30.
These can be some of the most difficult inspections to conduct. We understand the legal ramifications of not contacting the homeowner or even their neighbors. For these types of inspections, we don’t even ask the Post Office; they may work there! If we discover the property to be vacant, we know that we are not even authorized to step foot on the property. So we don’t. This is where the experience of the inspector comes in. They must use discernment skills to assess the property occupancy and condition accurately.
Sale Date Inspections
Sale date inspections and other certain types of inspections must be done on a certain date. We do these first thing in the morning on those days. This allows us time to handle anything that comes up and to make sure it gets done by that date. In most cases, these types of inspections also require getting the occupant’s names. Sometimes we have to come back in the evening to do that. This also applies to Occupancy Verification inspections. Sometimes it just takes a few visits to get this information.
It’s important to get to these properties before the vandals get a hold of it. The Mortgage Field Inspector is often the first one ‘on the scene,’ so to speak, and we have to be able to quickly and accurately determine the property’s condition so that it can be preserved. Broken windows, utility conditions, security of the home as well as any outbuildings, is important information that needs to be reported as quickly as possible. If at all possible, we will secure the property with existing hardware.
We don’t actually chase the cars, but we will go to the last place of residence and hand deliver your message for the owner to call you. If the car is onsite, we’ll take plenty of photos so that you can get a good idea of the condition. We’ll also take photos of the VIN number for proper identification.
Commercial inspections often need plenty of photos, while at the same time, the inspector needs to display the ability to be discrete. We understand the importance of marketing trends, area rental rates, and location. Deferred maintenance plays a bigger role here, especially if potential liability situations need to be addressed. We understand that we do not have permission to take photos of people who may be patrons and have no idea why we are there. We do mortgaged commercial inspections as well as commercial insurance inspections.
Merchant Site Inspections
Whenever a merchant wants to start using credit card transactions, we go out to ensure the business is legitimate. This can be in a brick-and-mortar building or at a residence for a home-based business. We take photos of signage, business cards, business licenses, and anything else to help prove that the merchant is actually in business. If it appears that they are not a legitimate business, we report that as well.
Often called Collateral Inspections, we go where ever the equipment is located. It could be a huge lawnmower for a golf course, a backhoe at a rental yard, or even a saltwater pump in an oil field. Give us an idea where it’s located and the serial numbers, and we’ll go out and take photos of it and report on its condition.