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Matt Cantor writes a great column in the Daily Planet
but I'd like to get a specific recommendation before hiring him as a Home
Inspector. Does anyone have experience?
We had our 100-yr old house inspected by Matt Cantor a couple of
years ago. He wrote a detailed report that was very useful in
planning our current major seismic retrofit and renovation
project. He is very familiar with building-related problems in
Berkeley's older housing, and he explains his observations very
I recommend Matt very highly, not only for pre-purchase
inspection, but also for construction oversight and guidance,
independent of the contractor. (In the oversight role, his
observations and recommendations are proving to be indispensable
in working successfully with the low-bid contractor we hired for
the seismic retrofit and renovation project.)
I am a realtor, and I recommend Matt to my clients all the time
because he is very thorough, experienced, knowledgeable,
professional (certified by ASHI the American Society of Home
Inspectors) AND he has excellent communication skills and takes
the time to make sure you understand any issues that come up,
how much they will cost to remedy, what it will take to
maintain your house over time, etc. Good luck.
We've used Matt Cantor twice (or maybe three times) for home
inspection. He is very thorough, gives good advice and it can
be fascinating to hear his analysis.
We used Matt to inspect a new home purchase. He was highly
recommended by friends who use him regularly. He did a
fabulous job. All I can say is, I have never has an inspector
at a home for 6 hrs and explain all of the details. With such
a large investment, he was worth the extra dollars for an
experienced, credible, independent opinion.
New Home Buyer
I highly recommend Matt. He is extremely knowledgeable and very thorough
inspection and in his discussion of his findings with potential buyers.
His fee is more
than most, but we felt that it was worth the investment.
Matt Cantor inspected the house that we bought last year. While
it took him 5 hours to complete, it was worth every minute and
every cent. We enjoyed walking the property with Matt, who
pointed out different things to watch out for immediately, down
the road, etc. He talked to us about maintenance, tools, future
projects -- all topics that went beyond the general contents of
a home inspection but were infinitely helpful. We still contact
Matt to tap into his breadth and depth of contacts for all home-
related projects, like vendors, contractors, electricians, etc.
He really knows what he is talking about, takes his time, and
knows good people.
Matt is an outstanding home inspector. He is extremely
thorough and detail-oriented; he's not at all a ''let me take a
quick look and check the box so I can be on my way'' inspector
(of which there are many.) Matt takes the time to do the
inspection right, and to make sure that his client is not only
satisfied but also that the client really understands what it
is that he is seeing.
Matt is more than happy to take questions along the way, and I
learned a tremendous amount about my house, and fixing my
house, as we talked through the inspection. I have referred to
his written inspection report numerous times since the
inspection, because it has so much detail. Matt is also very
helpful after the inspection is complete (even months
afterwards.) He responded very quickly when I've asked him to
recommended contractors and when I've had home maintenance
questions. Regardless of if you're a buyer or seller, I'd
strongly recommend Matt.
I have known Matt as a neighbor, fellow citizen and also
professionally. I wish I hired Matt to inspect my house when i
He is meticulous, very knowledgeable and worth the money. I
speak as a skilled carpenter and handyman. He stays up to date
on the latest material sciences for building, which I really
appreciate. He is also creative and helpful. When I come across
a perplexing building issue that I need a second opinion on, he
is the man.
BTW, he is my first choice for home inspectors.
Just want everyone to know that if you are looking for a solid, honest, worth
time and money home inspector, I highly recommend Matt Cantor. He inspected 2
homes for us when we were in contract and I can't praise his services enough. I
never once felt like just a money maker to him. He took his time and answered all
questions honestly. He even invited us along during his inspections.
So if you are looking for someone that you feel you can trust to look into all
nooks and crannies of your house, I can't say enough nice things about this guy!
Matt Cantor recently did a top-to-bottom inspection of our house
that was built in 1920. We hadn't had an inspection for 25 years.
I cannot overstate how thorough and knowledgeable he is. He also
made a priority list for what we needed to do, from safety to
energy saving to the just plain health of our home. There are a
lot of detailed excellent reviews of his work on Yelp as well. We
recommend him with 5 stars.
Near Arlington Circle
Home inspector Matt Cantor is smart, thorough, patient, and fun.
What a great combination of qualities. I recommend Matt Cantor
absolutely. He gave my wife and me a booklet of information
about our house and all the things that need work. We have begun
to make the improvements he suggested on our house. Mr. Cantor
is especially clear about safety issues and how they should be
The PG&E guy was here and told me, if he were me, he'd have a certain tree removed before it hurt the foundation. Reading all the different situations that can develop in a house, from mold to roof rats, I'm wondering if anyone ever has the whole house inspected, as if for a sale, just to make sure that everything is OK? And who would you recommend? The latest listing in the website is from 2002. And if not a whole house inspection, who could tell me about the tree and the foundation?
We just hired Star Inspection Group in Oakland to inspect a house that we put an offer on with a 7 day inspection contingency. Because of the short contingency period we were forced to get the shorter "on-site" inspection report instead of the more expensive narrative report (which takes over a week to generate). I was not impressed with the short report and I was shocked at the cost. We were charged $650. for a 1500 square foot home. The report consists of a form, where the inspector checked boxes and provided a few written words here and there. It is hard to believe we paid $162./hour for this service. My advice to anyone going through this process - make sure you are with the inspector during the inspection and take lots of notes because your actual report will be meaningless to anyone other than you.
I saw two messages last week about home inspection. One was looking for a home inspector, and the other was panning a lousy one.
That said, I'd like to recommend an inspector who looked at a house on which we close today. Jay Marlette (firstname.lastname@example.org) was thorough, friendly, answered all our questions, called it straight on what was important vs. what was merely inoptimal, and was great about suggesting multiple solutions to problems, as our budget is limited. His report came in that afternoon, and was quite extensive. (Though the "cures" suggested were less extensive than in person; be sure to do the walkthrough with him.) While it is true that this is the first inspector I've dealt with, so I haven't much to contrast to, the experience was a positive and informative one. For me, as someone who used to do construction, to be impressed with someone like this is no small feat! I feel I can recommend Jay in good conscience. Give him a call.
We are looking at purchasing a home For Sale By Owner
without a realtor, and need to hire a home inspector for a
general inspection. Any recommendations for well priced
and thorough inspectors are greatly appreciated.
We were very pleased with the Star Inspection Group of
Oakland. The inspector was David Venable. In 1998 it was
about $450, but it is money well-spent.
If the seller has not provided one, be sure to get a termite
(structural pest) inspection as well.
David in Berkeley
For a housing inspector, I highly recommend Jim Koeppel,
with Friendly Building Inspections. He spent over four
hours thoroughly inspecting our 1200 square foot home,
clearly explaining any issues we needed to address and
why. He also gave us a 30 page inspection report that we
refer to frequently which highlighted items which were
significant. Furthermore, he was happy to take a call from
us over a year later to answer a question we had, and said
to call anytime with questions. Very nice guy and
extremely thorough. His web site is:
http://www.friendlybuildinginspections.com/ and his phone
number is: 925-687-9087.
Star Inspections in Oakland is really wonderful - the
inspector sent out to my house was thorough, friendly, and
patient. I knew nothing at all about almost everything he
inspected, but I know a lot more now! The price is
reasonable, and the report is easy to understand.
We are looking for a house inspector who is familiar with
the LaMorinda or Albany geology as well as being meticulous
in looking for structural problems, etc... Has anyone had a
great experience with a house inspector who is very
thorough? On the other hand, could you warn us of
inexperienced or somehow dissapointing inspectors we should
avoid? We made the error in using an inspector recommended
by our real estate agent in purchasing our first home. He
was brief and it showed... it cost us since we had to make
all the repairs later ourselves. Thanks in advance! Susan
I highly recommend Star Inspectors in Oakland. They do a
very thorough job, and will issue one of two kinds of
reports -- a verbal/checklist type report if you are
willing to spend the 4 hours to go through the house as
with them as they inspect, and a more narative type report
(essay form). We pulled out of one house based on their
findings, they inspected the next house we eventually
purchased, and have not been unpleasantly surprised as yet
(4 years later), and they have inspected a house for us in
the Lamorinda area, and found some startling things that
prompted us to get structural and roofing experts to delve
deeper. The inspection takes 3-4 hours or so. They also
often take pictures (digital) so that you can call them
after the fact and ask them what they meant by certain
things. We paid ~ $450 for the checklist report
recently. Contact info: Star Inspection Group - 800-698-
0292, www.stargroup.com. The pictures of ''the worst roof''
etc are kind of fun to see.
this page was last updated: Jun 26, 2009
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