You need a home inspector. When you hire a home inspector, you are hiring an experienced professional who has training and experience in the building industry. It is the job of the home inspector to not only evaluate the condition of the house’s major systems and structural integrity, but also to evaluate how these systems are working together and identify areas that need to be watched, repaired or replaced.
Your home inspector gives you the Big Picture analysis of the house you are purchasing. If the home inspector identifies the need for a costly, detailed analysis of any of the houses’ systems or structures, the inspector will recommend the appropriate professional, which may be an experienced engineer with expertise analyzing that particular system or structure. The need for this kind of expensive, detailed analysis is rare.
Hiring a Professional Engineer on your own can be a disappointing experience. The term Professional Engineer does not mean that the individual has training or experience conducting home inspections. Additionally, a home inspection does not involve engineering analysis. Therefore, hiring a Professional Engineer to complete a home inspection undoubtedly costs more, but it may not give you the results you desire and deserve.
Our home inspection service is a visual inspection of the structural elements and systems which are accessible. This typically includes:
3) Exterior, walls, siding etc…
4) Porches and decks
6) Electrical systems
7) Plumbing systems
9) Doors and windows
10)Heating and air conditioning systems
We strongly encourage you to accompany the inspector so that you may ask questions and gain a better understanding of the systems in the home.
If you have any questions, or are interested in any other services, please contact us so we may discuss your needs.
Preparing for the Final Inspection
When looking for a home inspector, credibility is the biggest factor! Your inspector should be certified by one or more of the recognized trade associations. Most associations such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) have membership certification requirements that include minimum levels of experience and on-going training, as well as a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which must be adhered to. Ask your inspector which association(s) he or she belongs to and then visit the association’s website to confirm their current certification.
Preparing You, the Buyer, for the Inspection of Your New Property
At the Property Inspection Team, Inc., we understand that real estate is an important and expensive purchase decision for our clients. This is why we encourage client involvement throughout the inspection process. We urge our clients to attend the inspection so they can accompany our Inspector and observe the methods and techniques used to conduct the inspection.
We also urge our clients to set aside sufficient time to read through the entire report and ask any questions they may have about the inspection findings and report materials issued by the Property Inspection Team, Inc., prior to close of escrow. Our objective in reporting inspection findings is to provide our clients with the information needed to make an informed purchasing decision.
Our Inspectors do not pass or fail a property, nor can the Property Inspection Team, Inc. protect clients against every potential risk associated with the purchase and ownership of real estate. Rather, our Inspectors educate clients about building systems and components, and they seek to identify and accurately report on material facts or conditions that affect the construction, general maintenance, and overall safety of a building and its surrounding areas.
We absolutely believe that the inspection services we conduct will provide our clients with valuable insight into the condition of a building and its surrounding property, and a starting point for addressing visible building deficiencies and defects. Therefore, in offering our services to the public, we remind our clients that they need to consider the importance of each inspection finding against the reality that there is no such thing as a flawless property.
Finally, we understand that the inspection process can be stressful on all parties to a real estate transaction. In an effort to minimize stress levels, we remind our clients that we are typically hired after a seller and a prospective purchaser have agreed in principle on the general terms of a real estate transaction. Therefore, we take a balanced and non-adversarial approach in conducting inspection services and preparing inspection findings. Our Inspectors will comment on defects as well as positive attributes of a building, and they will report inspection findings in the proper perspective, that is, defects will be reported in a straightforward manner without blowing them out of proportion or sugar coating. them. We recognize that additional negotiations between a seller and a prospective purchaser are often the byproduct of home inspection services. However, with the above points in mind, we discourage our clients from using the inspection process or the inspection findings as the basis for placing unreasonable demands upon a property owner.
Preparing the Property for a Home Inspection
The inspector will need to have access to the following items and areas to complete the inspection. It would help the inspector and be to your benefit if these areas are accessible:
– Electric panels (accessible and unlocked) -Electrical sub-panels inside the home are often painted and removing the cover may mar the finish. The inspector is not responsible for cosmetic damage incurred while removing the cover.
– Water heater
– Furnace and air conditioning system
– Attic access
– Crawl space/basement access
– Electrical receptacles
– Under sink plumbing
Before the inspection:
“Seller shall make the property available for all buyer investigations. Seller shall have water, gas electricity and all operable pilot lights on for Buyer’s investigations and through the date possession is made available to Buyer." (Excerpt from: Paragraph 9B of the California Association of Realtors® California Residential Purchase Agreement) It is best to turn off computers as it is possible for a breaker to be tripped while removing panel covers. Security systems should be disabled during the inspection(s) and re-engaged when the inspection services conclude. Pets should be secured and out of the way during the inspection(s). During the time of inspection(s) please make sure that all utilities are on and that pilot lights are lit (the gas provider will usually light pilots at no cost to the owner). Make sure that all sinks, showers and bathtubs are clear of dishes or personal items. If you have child safety caps on receptacles, we request that they be removed before the inspection. Receptacles with appliances, lights, computers and child safety covers are not tested due to liability issues. In some cases, this could necessitate a re-inspect, usually at the seller’s expense. If there are systems, appliances, etc. that are in need of repair, please disclose them before the inspection. Further damage is possible if the inspector tests them, without prior knowledge of defects.
Areas noted as inaccessible will usually raise a red flag and may result in a re-inspection, or the buyer to back out of the deal.
What you can you expect from your home inspection
You Can Expect
A general evaluation of the condition, components, and systems, of the home.
• An inspection conducted in accordance with the standards of practice and code of ethics as put forth by the California Real Estate association, of which your inspector is an inspector member. A copy of these will be forwarded to you, if time allows, prior to the inspection, or presented on site, prior to inspecting. Copies are available on-line, as well, at www.creia.org
• An Inspection in accordance with our standard inspection agreement (Contract) which will be presented as above.
• Often, further evaluation may be necessary, by the appropriate professional in their field, for further review and/or cost estimates for repairs. Clients should obtain this information prior to close of escrow, to make an informed purchase decision.
What you should not expect of this inspection
• This inspection is not intended to search for, or otherwise identify, molds, toxic substances, or any other environmental hazards, or toxins, of any kind. This should be a separate inspection, if desired, performed by appropriate professionals with the proper training and equipment as necessary for such inspections. (See our contract, and standards of practice, regarding this.)
• This inspection differs from a structural pest control inspection, and is no substitute for such an inspection. The two inspections do overlap in some areas, but work well in conjunction with each other. It is highly advisable to have both inspections performed, and, if possible, present the pest report to your home inspector, for review.
• It is not a substitute for full disclosure. A home inspector has but a few hours on site, while a seller has many years of insight about the home. Again, presenting disclosure documents to your inspector is beneficial, and aids the inspector in addressing any issues brought out through disclosure.
• Although your inspector will inspect the roof, (if accessible, and if it will not cause damage,) this is but one part of our inspection, and is not intended, nor should it be used for, a separate certification as required by some lenders. Home inspectors neither imply, nor offer any guarantee against roof leakage.
• Do not expect cost estimates, as there are always too many variables, and this is best left to the appropriate professionals in their field, who have the experience to give you an accurate estimate.
• Do not expect your inspector to find and report on every little thing. Your inspector is more concerned with the high cost items, and general condition of things. We charge accordingly. To identify every little thing would add much time to an inspection, and your inspector would have to charge much more for your inspection, making the inspection not cost effective, or desired. Often, smaller things are mentioned as a courtesy, but this is not meant to be an all inclusive list. Remember, this is an inspection of the general condition of things!
• This inspection is no substitute, nor should it bemisconstrued in any fashion as to be a home warranty.That is a separate policy all together, and you should seek the advice of your real estate agent regarding such a home warranty.
• The bottom line is, although your inspector can reduce the risk involved with your home inspection, He/She can not eliminate such risk. This is just not a realistic expectation!
• Your inspector should not engage in, or offer to perform any repairs, nor should he/she make any specific recommendations of professionals, tradespersons, or repairmen that the inspector has any financial interest in, or stands to gain in any fashion from, such referrals. This is a violation of the code of ethics of the California Real Estate Inspection Association, and would be a conflict of interest regardless of whether the inspector is member or not.