Tom Hanks is the most trusted American, according to Readers Digest (but he got cheated by his insurance advisor). The most trusted Canadian is Peter Mansbridge, according to Readers Digest (May 2013).
We’ll look at #2, Mike Holmes who is also ranked #3 in the world by Forbes.
Who’s Mike?Mike is a contractor who fixes homes. He’s well-known for his physique, attire and consumer advocacy.
In 2006, Holmes started The Holmes Foundation after seeing a renovation that was so poorly done that he felt it was necessary for him to tear the house down and start again rather than try to repair the damage. The purpose of The Holmes Foundation is to encourage young people to enter the building trades as well as to assist those who have been impoverished by bad renovations. — WikipediaHow bad is bad? Mike estimates that only 20% of people in his field are good guys. Based on our personal experiences, he’s being generous.
LimitsBecause of his TV shows, Mike gets more requests for help than he can handle.
“The hardest thing I’ve had to experience since all this started is reading all of these stories.” — Mike Holmes (Macleans, Dec 2010)He no longer visits homes between shooting to give free advice.
“These people are in desperate trouble. They are in financial trouble. And that hurts because I can’t help.” — Mike Holmes (Macleans, Dec 2010)While Mike can’t fix everything, he is increasing awareness of what goes wrong. That’s valuable.
- Get educated
(e.g. his videos, articles, blog)
- Get an independent inspection
(e.g., his Mike Holmes Inspections)
- Get things fixed
(e.g., as shown in Holmes on Homes)
The Financial WorldYou can get educated online for free from sources like blogs. You can buy books, attend seminars and watch webinars. You’ll learn to be wary of what’s hidden and left out. When you buy on price, you may get less than you paid for.
While you may know the basics, when you get an independent inspection from a fee-only advisor you make sure. There’s value in getting independent advice when you buy and in later years but few bother.
Just because the home is new does not mean that everything is in perfect working condition. The home could have been built incorrectly, which can cause things to fail within a short span of time. Problems are less severe when they are caught early. An inspection is always recommended before purchasing a home (old or new). — Home inspections FAQShould problems arise, you need repairs or renovations to get things fixed by an advisor you trust.
It is recommended that you obtain at least three cost estimates from qualified contractors before finalizing budgets for any work.We need more like Mike.
— Home inspections FAQ
- Making it right: An interview with Mike Holmes (Reader’s Digest)
- How Tom Hanks got cheated by his insurance advisor
- How to spot a fake fee-only financial planner
- Is the best advice free or for-fee?
- The big lesson from the wet basement
- Noxious Chinese drywall and beyond
- The Holmes Spot (fan blog)
direct download | Internet Archive page | iTunes
PS Recently, I was called the Mike Holmes of the insurance world. I better hit the gym and get the overalls.