As a home inspection company, we know how critical it is to avoid delays to a real estate deal. Missed deadlines can cost you a great deal of time and money—and sometimes even the sale! That’s why we always do our best to deliver timely results.
But a recent water testing job gave us the chance to prove just how dedicated a home inspection company can be.
The Case of the Missing Water Test
On September 28, 2022, we received a call from a homebuyer wanting to schedule a water test for a 4 bedroom home south of Ishpeming, MI. The home had already been inspected by another home inspection company. However, the lender-required water test had not been done during the inspection.
This was not by any means the fault of the other home inspection firm. The buyer had been unaware at the time of initial scheduling that a water test was needed for their VA home loan.
It’s fairly common for buyers to not realize they need specific testing or inspection services to get certain loan types approved. And of course if the buyer doesn’t know they need it, they don’t ask the home inspection company for water testing.
Tick, Tock Goes the Clock
Timing is essential in real estate deals. Once you make an offer, the clock begins to tick – and it doesn’t stop until the deal is signed.
Every step of the way, there are deadlines. If one isn’t met, it can break the deal. Or, in cases where a loan approval expires, it can cost you a great deal of time and money to start the application process over again.
So the first thing we did was ask about their timeline. In this case, the loan wasn’t due to expire until November 2. So there was still plenty of time to take care of the water test – or so we thought.
A Tight Deadline Gets Even Tighter
We scheduled the water test for the next day, September 29, and sent out the samples that afternoon. The labs that specialize in water testing for home inspections are located outside our region. Therefore a typical turnaround time for an Upper Peninsula home inspection company to return results for a VA water test is 5-10 business days.
As it happened, turnaround was quick this time. We received results on October 3rd. But the water test revealed extremely high nitrate levels. These would have to be corrected before the loan could be approved. A filtration system would have to be installed. And, the lender would have to see test results showing nitrate within acceptable limits.
Unfortunately, not one local contractor was available to install a filtration system before the loan deadline of November 2. With time running out, the buyer agreed to purchase a water filtration system out of his own pocket and install it in the home himself.
One problem: fitting the filtration system to the home’s plumbing system required a critical part, which had to be special ordered. As a result, the buyer wasn’t able to finish installing it until November 1—the day before the loan was due to expire.
With just a few hours left, the situation seemed impossible. There was simply not enough time left to do the test and get results by 5 PM the next day. What home inspection company could pull a rabbit out of a hat like this?
U.P. Home Inspection to the Rescue
As soon as the buyer got the part put in he called U.P. Home Inspection back in to test the system. Certified home inspector Rich Beasley was expecting the call. Knowing the situation, he had avoided scheduling any other appointments that day. When the call came in, he was ready for action.
Rich’s mind raced. He had already done some calling around and had managed to locate a water treatment plant in the U.P. capable of providing next day results. This was a stroke of luck, as most Upper Peninsula water treatment plants have gone to just doing bacterial testing. Most won’t do nitrate/nitrite testing. This one was an exception.
The question was: could he do the test and hand-deliver the samples to their door before their 3:30 PM closing time?
If he couldn’t beat the clock, the buyer would have to start the loan application process over again, or pay a fee to extend the window of time. And, they would not be assured the same interest rate on the loan.
It was down to the wire.
Rich jumped in his home inspection company truck and drove to the site, an hour’s drive away. He drew water as quickly as possible, then headed straight to the water treatment plant. As soon as he got there, he jumped out of the truck, raced to the door of the lab, and rang the buzzer at 3:27 PM. Just in time to hand deliver the samples with 3 minutes to spare!
A Happy Ending
Now, it was just a matter of waiting for results. All the next day, Rich kept a sharp eye on his email. Finally, at 3:26 PM on November 2, the results came in!
Right away, Rich added the results to our web portal, through which every customer can access their inspection results. He notified the buyer and his realtor. The results were in two hours before the deadline—and this real estate deal was able to proceed without delay!
Need a Home Inspection Company You Can Rely On?
At U.P. Home Inspection, we do our best to help you stay on top of your real estate deadlines. We have a number of protocols that help make the entire process run more smoothly.
For example, when a client books a home inspection, our standard protocol is to ask right away what type of loan they are applying for.
If it’s a VA loan on a property with a well, we know the buyer will need a water test. If it’s an RD loan, we know we’ll need to take a water sample and inspect the septic field. In such cases, we talk to the buyer and include any necessary testing services right off the bat so as not to delay the loan approval process.
If you are looking for a home inspection company that understands the value of time, look no further than U.P. Home Inspection, LLC. Give us a call at (906) 360-3879 today to learn more, or book your inspection here online.