Home Inspection 101


You’ve found the home of your dreams and your agent prepares the purchase offer with the standard contingency – “upon Inspection.”

You gave the house the once over, but did you look in the attic space? The crawl space? Did you check to see if the appliances work properly? Did you check to see if the sprinkler system works.

Chances are the answer is “no” to all those questions.

This is a job for a home inspector.

Home inspector is the expert

A home inspection is an independent, unbiased review and report on a home’s primary systems, components and conditions. The inspector’s job is to discover and document visible problems that may have been overlooked by a real estate agent, the buyer or the seller.

An inspector does not appraise the property, make buying recommendations, recommend approaches to building code compliance, guarantee the structural viability of the property or find hidden defects.

What will the inspector inspect?

A complete inspection includes a visual examination of the building from top to bottom. Only items that are visible and accessible by normal means are are examined and included in the final report.

The inspector evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating system, central air-conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors.

The information is detailed in a written inspection report.

What about inspection report problems ?

If the inspector finds problems, that does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs or upgrades to anticipate.

The inspection report is a tool to help you make an informed decision about buying the property – or not.

The choice is yours.

A seller may be willing to repair significant problems the inspector discovers or even upgrade or improve aspects of the property to more contemporary conditions in order to make the home more saleable.

The buyer can negotiate for a lower price or other concessions, if there are problems that need correcting and the seller doesn’t want to take time or make the effort to get the work done.

If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in repair work, you can choose not to buy the property.

If you do negotiate repairs, always set deadlines and put everything in writing with the appropriate terms, signatures and dates.

Finding a home inspector

Talk to your real estate agent, friends, family or others you trust who recently purchased a home and used an inspector they are willing to recommend.

Also check with professional associations including the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) and the (ASHI) American Society of Home Inspectors.

Sellers can choose to hire their own inspector to learn the condition of the home, but the buyer can choose his or her own inspector.

Interview several candidates. Verify their license, when applicable, and ask about their experience, education, and any professional certifications.

Be sure the inspector you hire can meet all contractual deadlines included in your sales contract.

The contract typically specifies a certain period within which the inspection must be complete, as well as a period for you to review and approve the inspection.

Click the image below to walk along with a home inspector.


About the author

A DeadlineNews.Com Silicon Valley Contributing Writer, Julie Wyss is a short sale and luxury home specialist serving Silicon Valley, CA. Wyss is a broker associate with Intero Real Estate Services-Los Gatos, CA and mortgage broker at North Star Mortgage Associates. Wyss, who has represented buyers and sellers the the San Francisco Bay Area for a decade that spans the housing bust, has also served as an expert media source for DeadlineNews.Com. Network with Julie Wyss on LinkedIn.

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