DEAR BARRY: Six months ago, we purchased our first home. The house passed inspection, but within weeks of moving in we discovered asbestos in the basement, some of which needed removal to replace a failing furnace. After this, we noticed that rain was getting behind the roof gutters and wetting the ceilings, walls and basement. Three contractors have told us that the siding, gutters and some shingles were installed to conceal problems and sell the house. Why are home inspectors unable to find such problems? And when they don't find them, do we have legal recourse? What's the point of having a $300 inspection if the inspector overlooks serious problems? Had we known in time, we would not have purchased this home. --Kurt DEAR KURT: One thing that is often overlooked about home inspectors is their relative inequality with regard to knowledge, experience and forensic skills. The purpose of a home inspector is to discover and report defects. The ability to do this effectively ...
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