Choosing a home Inspector – The 2020 Ultimate Guide
Buying California Real estate while protecting your family and your investment
What is a Home Inspection?
If you were to wander off into the WWW you’d find that the term Home Inspection has a few different meanings. For example, Wikipedia describes a Home inspection as follows; “A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections.”
On the other hand, the State of California BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE
7195 (a)(1) describes a home inspector this way; “Home inspection” is a noninvasive, physical examination, performed for a fee in connection with a transfer, as defined in subdivision (e), of real property, of the mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems or the structural and essential components of a residential dwelling of one to four units designed to identify material defects in those systems, structures, and components. “Home inspection” includes any consultation regarding the property that is represented to be a home inspection or any confusingly similar term”.
Creia, California Real Estate Inspection Association describes the inspection in this manner; “A real estate inspection is a survey and basic operation of the systems and components of a building which can be reached, entered, or viewed without difficulty, moving obstructions, or requiring any action which may result in damage to the property or personal injury to the Inspector. The purpose of the inspection is to provide the Client with information regarding the general condition of the building(s). Cosmetic and aesthetic conditions shall not be considered”.
Depending on who you ask and whether you are a homebuyer here in Los Angeles, a realtor or even a home inspector, the term Home Inspection can take on multiple different meanings.
California does not require home inspectors to possess ANY prior knowledge of construction, contracting, or even knowing what a hammer is for that matter…Mazza inspections
For those of us who perform home inspections, in short, I feel we are protectors of the home buyer. In many cases, a last line of defense for homebuyers that may otherwise buy a home that is for all intents and purposes, a “money pit”, not worth what .
Furthermore, if nothing else, it’s our duty as Los Angeles Home Inspectors to help the homebuyer to make a smart and informed buying decision based on the condition of the home, as opposed to other factors such as comparables and the esthetics of the home.
The home inspection is a process where a home inspector progressively and thoroughly inspector the condition of a home and its visible areas. Afterwhich the Home inspector will issue a written or PDF home inspection report.
Home Inspector Conflict of Interest
In accordance with California’s Business And Professions Code section 7197 It is an unfair business practice for a home inspector, a company that employs the inspector, or a company that is controlled by a company that also has a financial interest in a company employing a home inspector, to:
- Perform for an additional fee, any repairs to the home for up to 12 months after the initial inspection has been performed
- Inspect any property which the inspector or anyone within his / her company has any financial interest in
- Offer any kickbacks or compensation or reward to the seller, realtors or anyone else within the transaction
- Write a home inspection report which includes pre established findings or where the fee is contingent upon the close of the escrow
This code section is quite exhaustive and should be read through its entirety.
What is a Home Inspection Report in California?
Soon after the initial home inspection is completed, most all home inspectors will issue a Home Inspection Report. That said, all home inspection reports in Los Angeles are not created equal. That means , most all companies sort of “do their own thing” when it comes to writing reports.
California business and Professions Code
To the extent that all home inspection reports are different as a result of a lack of unity due to California being a non-regulated state, most reports will all cover the similar components. A home inspection report is as described in the California Business and Professions Code, (c)
A “home inspection report” is a written report prepared for a fee and issued after a home inspection. The report clearly describes and identifies the inspected systems, structures, or components of the dwelling, any material defects identified, and any recommendations regarding the conditions observed or recommendations for evaluation by appropriate persons. In a dwelling with a pool or spa, the report shall identify which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision (a) of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped with and shall specifically state if the pool or spa has fewer than two of the listed drowning prevention safety features.
Creia (California Real Estate inspection Association)
California Real Estate Inspection Association describes a home inspection report in this manner;
“A real estate inspection report provides written documentation of material defects discovered in the inspected building’s systems and components which, in the opinion of the Inspector, are safety hazards, are not functioning properly, or appear to be at the ends of their service lives. The report may include the Inspector’s recommendations for correction or further evaluation”.
Gone are the days where all home inspectors had to create handwritten home inspection reports on site. Home Inspection Reporting software has made it easier nowadays to generate professional reports. Although there are some who still choose to do on site or handwritten reports they are not considered the norm.
With a lack of standardization in the home inspection industry, reports too lack uniformity. Although most will at least touch on similar components or topics, there is no set inspection regimond the inspector “must” follow.
Home buyers should be aware that no two inspectors are the same, no two reports will be the same and thus no two companies content / findings will be the same. All things considered, the home buyer should understand that there are some reports which can adversely affect your purchase decision.
How? For starters, a lack of information, content and thus findings can do this. Important is it that you compare reports to each company you wish to hire. By doing this, you can see the actual product before hiring a home inspection company. Sort of like a test drive.
Narrative Home Inspection Report Style
The narrative home inspection reporting style is by far the most popular and is in my personal opinion as a professional home inspector in Santa Clarita, the one which provides the most coverage for you the home buyer. Reason being, the narrative home inspection report covers the issue in great detail verbally, provides a potential explanation for the issue and a direction for you to pursue in order to cure the issue.
Most narrative Residential Home Inspection reports follow this simple rule.
- What is the issue
- Where is the issue
- Possible cause of the issue
- How to correct or who to call to correct the issue
Narrative style home inspection reports will generally tend to include much more detail than other report styles. Thus allowing you the buyer to view the issues in a much more in depth manner. Furthermore, this style report is recommended by lawyers, and many insurance companies because they hold more information about specific issues or general conditions within the home.
Handwritten Checklist Style Home Inspection Reports
In contrast to the narrative style report, we have the handwritten or checklist style report. This report when compared to the narrative style is not as popular although still used today.
Not to mention this report method is not as popular with insurance companies or Lawyers because this report style lacks details and substance. Handwritten reports tend to lack substance, pictures and most of the information home buyers need to make an informed decision.
Pictures Used in a Home Inspection Report
Every good home inspection report must contain photographs. Photographs freeze the moment and document issues. Many times, an issue shows itself for only a brief moment and if you are not using a camera, it will be missed and may never show itself again until the buyer moves in.
As a home inspector you will have to choose sides. What I mean is you either work for the buyer or you work for the realtors, it’s that simple.MAZZA Inspections
What is a Home Inspector?
Different states have different standards for home inspectors, however, California has their own as described by the California Business and Professions Code.
“A “home inspector” is any individual who performs a home inspection. It is the duty of a home inspector who is not licensed as a general contractor, structural pest control operator, or architect, or registered as a professional engineer to conduct a home inspection with the degree of care that a reasonably prudent home inspector would exercise”.
Wikipedia has their own explanation as to what a home inspector is.
“Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.”
Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.
Who Can Conduct a Home Inspection in California?
Anyone can conduct a home inspection in california. That’s correct. Believe it or not there are absolutely ZERO requirements for ANYONE who wishes to become or work as a home inspector in Los Angeles California.
Printable Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers
Yes, even you can perform your own home inspection. Albeit, you may not have the necessary qualifications to perform a complete inspection, there are aids out there such as DIY home inspection checklists which will walk you through the process. YouTube for example, has a multitude of informational video on their site which are great tools.
DIY home inspection checklists are also a great tool for conducting your own inspection.
What are the Requirements to Perform Home Inspections in California?
Just to be clear, as of now there are no licensing requirements in California. Although CREIA is working towards California Legislation to License California home inspectors, still, it has yet to come to fruition.
No Requirements for California Home Inspectors. How Can This Affect the Home Buyer?
Let me answer this question this way; It takes anywhere from 3-6 months to construct a traditional tract home here in Southern California depending on the builder. There are literally thousands upon thousands of building codes which make up the thousands of components within any given home. For the most part, building codes are the standard by which homes must be built to and in accordance with.
A home inspector must systematically sift through these components inspecting their condition all the while keeping the building standards and codes in the back of their mind.
At the same time, the building code and/or standards are used as a point of reference by which the component or system must be judged. Seems logical, right?
On the other hand, according to Wikipedia and other sources, a Los Angeles or California home inspection is not a “code compliant inspection”.
“A general home inspection is not designed to identify building code violations, although some deficiencies identified may also be code violations”.
“The inspector is not required to determine: compliance with codes or regulations.
How can that be you may ask yourself? I mean… if a home is built to a specific code or standard… and the inspector does not know the codes because they do not have to know the codes, how then can they conduct a thorough evaluation of the home?
First thing to remember when it comes to hiring a home inspector is you always have choices. Like everything in business, there are experts in their industry and there are those who are not.
What to Look For in a Home Inspector
Admittedly, choosing a home inspector in a sea of home inspectors is like finding that perfect needle in a haystack of needles. It will be daunting. Of course with everyone saying the exact same things coupled that with the internet reviewing sites such as Yelp and google not to mention the pressure from the realtors suggesting to use “their guy”.
Finding an inexpensive and thorough home inspector is in my opinion, an oxymoron.Marc Mazza
5 Things to Look for in a Los Angeles or California Home Inspector
Frequently i’m asked what are the most important factors when choosing a home inspector. As a matter of fact it’s the most common questions we deal with as home inspectors when potential customers are choosing between home inspection companies here in Santa Clarita.
- ONE: Years in business –The number of years in business as a full time home inspector is important because it speaks to their sustainability not to mention it adds to the expertise and knowledge base.
- TWO: Genuine “Provable” Construction Experience – It’s difficult nowadays to prove one’s experience in construction without having some type of valid license or certification. We’re not speaking about home inspection certifying associations. Specifically, we’re speaking of state, local or other licensing or certifying organizations. An example of this is a General Contractors license, Architect License, Engineering license or ICC certification.
- THREE: Acceptable Genuine Reviews – Reviews in my opinion have their place. You must be able to discern which are genuine when compared to those which may be say, questionable. A lack of specificity can help with ruling out those which do not support what it is you’re looking for in the inspector. On the other hand specific information such as the customers experience with the inspector, length of time the inspector spent with the clients, what was included in the inspector and even the inspectors name mentioned helps demonstrate legitimacy. But of course not always. It’s not impossible, but it’s certainly not normal to go into very specific details about a certain event that happened during an inspection.
- FOUR: Inspectors who receive few to no realtor referrals – Why is this important? There are some in this business who believe that when a home inspector is continually referred by a realtor or realtors, the inspector then becomes beholden to that realtor. Whether or not that is true we can’t say. At the same time however, as a home inspector you wouldn’t want to bite the hand that feeds you. What does this look like? Allegedly, it would seem that if the inspector found too much, was not much an of a word-smith or have a great bedside manner when describing the issues or took too long by the real estate agents standards, he might not ever be referred again. We’ll address this in more detail just ahead.
- FIVE: Empathy – What exactly is empathy and what does it have to do with home inspection? The dictionary defines empathy as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. In other words, the inspector must care for the people in which he/she serves. Moreover, the home inspector must care for the wellbeing, the safety and security of his/her clients and his/her clients money or otherwise, investment. Without empathy on the inspectors part, you may have well just be another job.
Undoubtedly all home buyers are looking for the same things in a home inspection company. Specifically, buyers all want thorough, experienced and most all want it for a reasonable fee.
Surprisingly no buyers ever say “I want the most thorough evaluation of a home ever known to man and I want to pay top dollar for this service”. In all honesty, however, this is exactly the thing they should be saying. Finding an inexpensive and thorough home inspector is in my opinion an oxymoron.
How to Choose a Home Inspection Company – The right way 🙂
Of course we could write about the five things to avoid in every home inspector but it would end up being just the opposite of the previous 5 Things to look for in a Los Angeles or California Home Inspector. Of course we could easily add;
- Make sure the inspector takes his time and is not trying to rush through your home just get to his next appointment
- Ensure that the inspector uses infrared technology
- Make sure the inspector inspects according to the building codes
What is a Certified California Home Inspection Company, Really?
As a result of misinformation caused by a lack in Licensing for California Home Inspectors, the term “certified home inspector” specifically here in Southern California, is thrown around more than an insult in a Rodney Dangerfield Roast.
Be that as it may, the term “certified’ when used to describe a home inspector has in fact very little meaning in Los Angeles, California, nor does it provide any quantifiable proof that the inspector has real genuine construction experience.
Yes it says the inspector safely passed a certification test, but does so without proof of experience. Essentially, what it comes down to is that anyone can sit through a class or take an online home inspection course and become certified.
“But if the California business and professions Code does not require a home inspector to possess any such “genuine construction experience why should “I” care if the inspector has it or not”?
All things considered you don’t have to care. You can also drive down the street without a seatbelt with a full understanding of the risks involved in doing so. You might get a ticket or worse yet, severely injured.
Nevertheless, what you may want to take away from this section is that California is a no license state and therefore, you may wish to dig a little deeper when qualifying an inspector to perform your home inspection.
Online Home Inspection Course?
A home inspection certification is the most common form of qualification that the majority of Southern California Los Angeles home inspector possess. There are many different home inspection associations who offer certifications which are intended to legitimize home inspectors who may not possess a state license such as a contractors license for example.
NACHI for example provides a certifications in six easy steps. According to the NACHI website here’s how it’s accomplished.
- Pass the Online Inspector Examination. We recommend taking the exam now. This exam is free, online, and open to everyone, including non-members. It can be repeated to help identify your strengths and weaknesses as a home inspector. To improve a weakness, we recommend our list of courses.
- Join InterNACHI. Watch how to join InterNACHI
- Complete the Code of Ethics Course (online and free for members).
- Complete the Standards of Practice Course (online and free for members).
- Submit four mock (or simulated) inspection reports to InterNACHI using our online, free inspection checklist.
- Sign the enrollment agreement (affidavit).
After completing Step #1 through Step #6, you will be awarded the CPI® designation and considered an InterNACHI-Certified Home Inspector
Getting home Inspector Certified In California is Easy Peazy
The Professional Home inspection Institute offers online certification courses. “the course can be completed in as little as 1-2 weeks… you can take as much time as you need and finish at whatever pace you set”.
The Inspection Certification Associates offers certifications as well.
“With our home inspection training course, we train students from all different backgrounds to be successful home inspectors. A contractor background can be beneficial but it is not necessary to become a home inspector in California or any other state”.
Almost any association we discovered during our own research provides online training “at your own pace”. Additionally, these associations allow the student to take and retake the examination as needed. There were many associations which appeared (according to their content) to offer an easy certification process.
What this boils down to is this…, if it’s this easy to get certified, is it also safe to assume that many of the individuals taking these tests are not necessarily “extremely or overly” qualified?
You can be the judge.
Classroom Home Inspection Courses – What you Need to Know
Just as the online certifications courses offer California Home inspection certifications, so do associations who offer hands-on classroom home inspection certification training. After reading several of these websites i’ve gathered that it’s really just about the same type of training as with the online version with a few differences
- The classroom training is roughly about a week long
- Classroom training is much more expensive than online courses
- NACHI offers an home built in their classroom with possess multiple issues for students to learn fror
What are Home Inspection Associations?
Home inspection associations are basically, organizations which provide home inspectors both new and seasoned with various benefits. These benefits are in some cases many depending on the organization.
- Organizations offer certifications to the home inspectors
- They offer continuing education to home inspectors
- Depending on the organizations popularity they can provide credibility to inspectors
- Standards of practice are provided by organizations
- A community forum may be a benefit that some organizations offer
Home inspectors just like other service providers like to ban together and share ideas, issues, questions and the like with other like minded home inspectors. In most cases, this is accomplished by way of a forum which may associations provide. In other words, it’s like a community.
Independent Home Inspectors Of North America
IHINA puts a different spin on home inspection associations. A breath of fresh air if you’re a home inspector who is having trouble with realtors referring you as an inspection company for the client.
Boasting that this organization represents the otherwise oppressed home inspectors who are otherwise referred to as “deal killers”, this association gives these minority home inspectors a new hope that there are clients who actually prefer a “deal killer” over a “rubber stamping”, traditional home inspector.
IHINA has this on their website, which i’m sure you won’t find anywhere else on any other associations website. “IHINA provides information about the inherent / potential conflict of interest between real estate agents and home inspectors.
Agent referrals are a primary source of client leads for non-IHINA inspectors. Most prospective home buyers don’t give this potential conflict of interest a second thought..”IHINA
For home buyers looking for that company who is completely detached from all things real estate and focuses on only the client this may be a good place to start your search for a home inspectors.
Home Inspection Standards of Practice or SOP’s
With most organizations or associations there must be rules. To put it another way, the associations attempt to put into context, the manner by which a home inspection should be performed. The rules. For example;
The fact that these organizations provide these rules does not mean all home inspectors must abide by them. That said, if you belong to one of these associations, in order to be a member in good standing you will likely have to follow them however.
Limitations of a Home Inspector – They All Have Them
There are many home inspectors who feel as if SOPs allow inexperienced home inspectors to essentially “hide behind” the standard’s “exclusions” in order to gloss-over issues and not be held accountable should an issue arise later. An example of these limitations and exclusions are as follows;
The inspector is not required to determine:
- The service life expectancy of any component or system.
- The size, capacity, BTU, performance or efficiency of any component or system.
- The cause or reason of any condition.
- The cause for the need of correction, repair or replacement of any system or component.
- Compliance with codes or regulations.
- The presence of evidence of rodents, birds, bats, animals, insects, or other pests.
- The presence of mold, mildew or fungus.
The list continues…
In addition to some home inspectors not agreeing with these standards, even some home buyers feel as if these standards should be ( in some cases when judged individually) included as part of the “typical” home inspection.
Of course the home inspection limitations are designed to keep the inspector safe from harm. Furthermore, these standards are meant to eliminate what many may seem to be impossible or difficult to inspect or predict. For example, not being able to see into walls. Another example would be the inspectors inability to move objects, predict failure, test for toxins etc…
It’s not uncommon for many home inspectors to go beyond or exceed these standards or perform tasks that are in fact on the limitations list. In these cases, the home inspector will proceed at his or her own risk.
General Contractor as a Home Inspector
Although the California Business and Professions Code does not require a home inspector to be a General Contractor it does not mean a General Contractor cannot work as a home inspector. Even though the GC is considered somewhat of a specialist, they are still obligated to work as a generalist.
Do General Contractors Know More than Certified Only Home Inspectors?
Many certified only home inspectors have worked in the construction trades and are not General contractors. These unlicensed and certified only inspectors may know some building code, have dealt with inspectors, read blueprints and performed the same tasks as do Licensed contractors.
The primary difference is that these certified only individuals never actually sat for a state proctored test. The down side to this for you the buyer, is that there is no way to ever know exactly what they know.
At the same time, in order for state licensed contractors to sit for a test to become licensed, they must first prove their genuine experience. What does this look like?
- To become a licensed contractor, candidates will have to sit for two exams: business and law and their trade.
- In order to sit for the examinations, the board must first approve your application.
- Pre-approval from the state is required to sit for the examination.
- Applicants are required to have 4 years experience to qualify to take the exam. Experience must be at the journeyman, foreman or supervisor, contractor, or as an owner-builder.
- All applicants must have a working capital of at least $2,500. In addition, all applicants must also file a bond with the Registrar in the amount of $10,000.
- The California General Building Contractor exam has approximately 100 questions and a time limit of 2 1/2 hours.
- A 72% is required to pass.
- Topics on the exam include estimation, plans, and specifications; framing and structural components; safety; core trades; and finish trades.
- The exam fee is included with the $300 application fee.
- After the board has approved your application, they will inform you of the testing date.
When compared to a certified only home inspector it’s easy to see how the general contractors task to become licensed is far more difficult and rigorous than when compared to the certified only individual.
On a side note; During an inspection buyers will always ask the questions, “how much is it to fix that?”. Providing pricing for repairs and throwing out guesstimates to home buyers is frowned upon by almost all associations.
That said, working with general contractors who do currently, or have worked in the building trades will typically know repair costs firsthand.
On the other hand, individuals who have never even held a hammer will have no idea what some issues will cost to repair. Almost all buyers will at some point ask, “what will this cost to repair”, its virtually inevitable.
How Much Can a Home Inspector Make?
Speaking from personal experience I can safely say that a beginner inspector just starting out will have a difficult task ahead, getting business and making a name for himself or herself. A beginner home inspector will be lucky to make $25,000 the first year. Of course on the other hand, a seasoned professional inspector can easily make well over $150,000 annually.
How Much Does a Home Inspector Make Per Inspection?
It can take years before a newbie home inspector has enough business to sustain a career, and live independently. Home inspection is a numbers game. The more inspections you can book in a year at say… $400, the better off financially you will be. Duh, right?
Getting to the point where you are self-sufficient is the hard part. Where do you get your business? Whom do you market to? Therein lies the issue for all new home inspectors.
Home Inspector Near Me
If I asked you where will you go to find your home inspector most of you will say something like… I don’t need to, my agent gave me a list of inspectors to choose from. Others will say the internet and some will have a person already chosen from either a friend referral or previous experience.
Realtor Home Inspector Referrals
What can I say about the realtors famous “list of three” home inspectors which they hand out to their clients, that has not already been said. Nonetheless, there is still much to say about this topic, and ethics when we’re talking about real estate agents referring home inspectors. Home inspectors who can essentially make or break a deal.
Just to be clear of my position, I’m not in favor of having real estate agents refer home inspectors. Even though buyers may not mind, I feel even the slightest possibility of impropriety isn’t worth it. However, there are just as many home buyers who are happy with the realtors preferred home inspector as there are individuals who are unhappy. Unhappy even to the point of lawsuits.
Personally, I’ve always found it odd that the person who has the most to gain from a real estate transaction by way of commission, can essentially refer just about anyone they wish to perform a home inspection on their buyers behalf here in Santa Clarita, California. Yet the buyers of these transactions may be unaware of who the inspector is or what they know. Often times the buyers will place 100% of their trust into these realtors to do the right thing.
Collusion Between Home Inspectors and Realtors – It’s Real
Where theres smoke theres fire. Ethics is something you have or do not in my opinion. It’s difficult force a person to be honest and ethical when they are in fact, not.
Since the beginning of time, deception has been the root of most things evil, and even in today’s world not much as changed. With the introduction of the internet it’s even that much easier to deceive.
Show me the money
With the introduction of money in the form of commissions, coupled with the ever growing needs to maintain a certain lifestyle, the pressure for realtors to close a transaction is i’m sure, difficult to resist.
What Collusion Between a Home Inspector and Realtor May Look Like in a Real Estate Transaction
For “some” agents, i’m convinced that some realtors feel the home inspection is an unnecessary evil. In the first place, you have an individual (inspector) show up to your transaction with the intention of visually tearing the home apart and finding only the bad in the house. Granted, that’s what the buyer is paying for an arguably, deserves… be that as it may.
There are some realtors who believe in controlling the home inspectors, who probably possess the most power to kill a deal. By doing so, they will then be able to better control the client, the deal and ultimately their commission.
In order to circumvent the inevitable “backing out of the deal” by the buyers, it’s far easier to have a list of home inspectors who possess certain “skill sets”. OOOOOh, Here we go…! So Marc, what exactly are some of the “skill sets” you speak of?
- Easy going demeanor
- The inspector cannot be overly confident (mistaken as arrogant)
- Excellent bedside manner
- Soft spoken, calm
- Fast, some agents like very fast inspectors
- Cheap, some agents like inexpensive home inspectors for their clients
- Short home inspection reports
- Believe it or not, some agents prefer the inspector to know very little. “The less an inspector knows the less he will thus find”
- Stick to being a “generalist” Do not stray Do not act like a specialist or know-it-all
After this type of agent narrows down their expectations of the perfect home inspector based on some of the points previously made, it’s now time to put together a list their favorite home inspectors who fits their perfect description of what a home inspector “should be”.
Realtors – Home Inspector List of Referrals
This list of their favorite inspectors will range from 1 individual up to in some cases 5. That said, 3 is somehow the magic number of inspector on these lists. Many buyer will question how on earth, with literally thousands of home inspectors can the realtors narrow down their choices of inspectors to just 3? Personally, I’d have to agree.
As a home inspector you will have to choose sides. What I mean is you either work for the buyer or you work for the realtors, it’s that simple.
After an inspection is completed, the inspector will create a written report or in some cases, a novel of the homes issues. Home buyers will in the words of some realtors, “freak out” when presented with such lengthy documentation. Especially if the report is in fact a novel.
I’ve had buyers explain that after the report has been issued, their agents immediately move to damage control mode. Not too sure what that looks like but I have an imagination, I think I get it.
Agents Can’t Control (some) Home Inspectors
As much as realtors would probably like to control all home inspectors to a certain degree, they cannot. Thus the need I suppose, for a list of their favorite inspectors.
Real Estate Agents Can’t Control Home Inspectors… But I Can See Why They May Want To
Now, in the defense of the realtor, there are those inspectors who are total and complete buffoons and give other good inspectors a bad reputation. As a result of a lack of licensing in the state of California for the home inspection industry, it’s essentially free for all.
When you have a situation where an unlimited number of morons can enter a trade and make a very easy $150,000 a year, people will flock in droves.
So from the realtors perspective, I can see why in some cases they may not want a total idiot performing an inspection of their agents behalf. If the agents is ethical and wants nothing but the best for their client and the clients family, I can see why the may want a list of good, competent, licensed, thorough home inspectors.
From The Home Inspectors Perspective
Everyone needs to eat, pay their mortgage, and drive a car. Essentially when compared to other types of work, home inspections are quite an easy job. For one thing, it requires a few tools, mode of transportation, reporting software which can be found for free and online training which is also free.
All home inspectors know that you never bite the hand that feeds you. In other words, the more realtors who refer your services the more money you can accumulate.
Home inspectors by an large also understand that the more realtors who refer your services you manage to alienate, the less of this income you will ultimately have.
As a home inspector you will have to choose sides. What I mean is you either work for the buyer or you work for the realtors, it’s that simple.
So I ask you, what would you do if you were a home inspector?
On a personal note. In my career as a home inspector I started out with only a hand full of realtors who referred my services. In the first 10 years or so I managed to grow that to over 450 realtors who referred my services. Fast forward 13 years to today. Currently I have only 2 realtors who refer my company. That’s it.
The Home Inspection Contract – Why You Need To Read It
All home inspectors have an agreement or contract which is presented to you at the time of the inspection.
The inspection contract will include the scope of the inspection which is essentially what the inspector will be inspecting. Exclusions within the contract are the items which the inspector will not be inspecting, not accessible to inspect as well as statements such as “ No warranty or guarantee of any kind” and “No warranty against latent or future defects”. Additionally, the home inspection contract will include payment provisions and even collection provisions.
Exculpatory statements will make an attempt to limit the home inspectors liability and relieve him / her of any culpability through the use of a disclaimer, the assumption of risks clause or other such clauses not to mention the “release of liability clause”.
I’d never use an inspector who doesn’t own an infrared camera.Mazza Inspections
Tools Every Home Inspector Must Have or Don’t Hire Them
No two home inspectors are the same which means all home inspectors do things differently here in Los Angeles because there are Zero standards for those who inspect houses. It stands to reason that because all home inspectors are different and provide different levels of service so to are the tools which they choose to arm themselves with.
In my over 23 years as a home inspector I’ve seen a few different companies. Home inspectors come in all shapes, sizes, ages, vehicles, and even the tools they use for their ob are vastly different. I’ve seen guys roll up to a home inspection in a hatchback with just a ladder, screwdriver and flashlight.
Contrast that to those of us like myself who possess a big box van with every tool imaginable, for anything that comes up. Trust me, I’ve had tools in my van for a couple years that never got any use until that one day… boom. Needed it and had it. That’s how prepared you want your inspector to be. Expect nothing less.
Tools Every Home Inspector Must Have
- Moisture meter
- Pliers in different sizes
- Circuit tester
- Plug tester
- Infrared camera
- Shop vac (small)
- Crawl suit and pads
- Safety masks
- Drop cloth
- Water pressure gauge
Home Inspection With an Infrared Camera
Thermography is the use of a special camera which you use to scan surfaces and display the surfaces in temperature signatures which will show “anomalies” which can be moisture replaced, electrical related or energy efficiency related.
After the operator scans and locates anomalies, additional testing is now needed. Additional testing could include the use of an electrician, a plumber or General contractor.
Thermography is an absolute necessity in home inspection. As a buyer, I would never ever use an inspector who does not possess an infrared camera. I can’t begin to tell you how many instances where we scan a surface and visually, there is no indication of any damage.
Once the camera is used, boom… moisture. One thing is for sure, moisture leaks are extremely common. Question is.. Will your future home have a leak?
The better the home inspector, the more he/she finds, the better off the home buyer will be.Mazza Inspections
Why get a home inspection before buying?
There are many different reasons why you may wish to have a home inspection performed. For the most part, everyone who wishes to purchase a home should in my opinion have a home inspection performed.
Unlike an appraisal which determine the worth of the home, the home inspection will determine the condition of the house. Some if the items inspected include the roof, the structure, the foundation, the plumbing, electrical systems, swimming pool, heating and air condition, interior doors, floors, walls, ceilings etc…
Upon completion of the inspection, you the home buyer will determine if the condition is acceptable and that any repairs are within their budget. Most cases, this decision is usually based on the opinion of the inspector. The better the home inspector, the more he/she finds, the better off the home buyer will be.
The home inspection for some home buyers is a way to reduce the overall price of the house. How is this accomplished? In short, after the initial home inspection is completed the buyer with the help of his/her realtor will request a price reduction based on the estimated costs of any “needed” or “required” repairs within the house. We’ll touch on this later in this article with a little more detail.
Furthermore, in summary, the inspection in and of itself is essentially a checklist of the various components within the house. Many buyers also use the report as a punch list at a later date to have improved, serviced or otherwise repaired, the documented issues…obviously at the buyer’s expense if they weren’t negotiated.
What is home inspection contingency
The California home inspection contingency is essentially the time period in which you the home buyer has to conduct all of your inspections. In many cases here in Los Angeles, the contingency period is 3 to 17 days. In California, C.A.R. Form RPA-CA, section 14(B)(1) reads: “the default inspection contingency gives the buyer a little more than two (2) weeks – 17 days – to complete all inspections. During this 17-day contingency period (or the time frame agreed to between the parties), the buyer typically hires independent inspectors to look at the home’s roof, foundation, structure (termites, mold, etc), and any other areas of the home the buyer sees fit”.
If any major problems are found, a buyer may then ask the seller to make repairs or may request a monetary credit for repairs at closing – see section 14(B)(2). The seller, however, has no obligation to respond to either request.
In Santa Clarita, with the current market the home inspection contingencies are getting increasingly shorter. Moreover, these shorter time periods do nothing to help the buyer to hire the best inspectors in the industry.
For example, if the agents collectively agree on a 5 day contingency period and all of the “good” or “best” inspectors are booked for 7 days… who’s left to choose from?
Who Pays for the Home Inspection when buying a house
Traditionally when buying a home in California the home buyer is the one who pays for the home inspection. That said, it’s not unheard of for the seller or even the realtors to pay for the inspection.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
How Much is a Typical Los angeles Home Inspection
Home inspection costs are typically dictated by many different things. While some home inspection companies base their fees on just square footage, other companies like MAZZA INSPECTIONS in Santa Clarita base their fees on multiple different factors. An example of these fees are square footage, year, condition, foundation type, location and whether or not there is a swimming pool.
While there are some home inspection companies in Los Angeles who will set very low fees. Then again, these companies are usually multi home inspection firms whose primary objective is volume in the number of inspections performed weekly. In contrast, other companies such as MAZZA inspections performs only 2-3 inspections per week.
It’s important to realize that not all home inspection companies are equal. Some Los Angeles home inspectors possess multiple levels of certification, genuine construction experience, contractors or engineering licenses.
Average Cost of Home Inspection
That said, the different levels of qualifications or the more qualified inspectors typically demand a much higher priced home inspection. To give you an example of typical costs for inspections, a 1000 square foot condominium can range from $195 to $350.
Who Schedules the Home Inspection?
Once the proverbial gate drops and you find yourself in escrow, it’s time to order a home inspection. Our here in Los angeles, there are three popular methods of scheduling a home inspection.
- The realtor will provide you with a list of their favorite inspectors
- The realtor will schedule the inspection for you
- You find your own person
Realtor provides you with a list of their favorite inspectors
Many times the real estate agents will provide you the home buyer with a list of their favorite home inspectors for you to choose from. Of course, you are not required to choose any one of the individuals off their list.
There are some who believe that having a list of home inspectors is a form of collusion. That is, a relationship between the realtor and the home inspectors. There are some who believe that having only three inspectors on a list out of the hundreds of inspectors throughout the Los Angeles area is too few and limits the buyer’s ability to acquire a professional inspection.
The Realtor Will Schedule the Inspection For You
In similar fashion, the realtors will sometimes choose the inspector for you from their list of home inspectors. Once again, home buyers are split between allowing a realtor who has a vested interest in the closing of the escrow schedule the one person who can effectively determine whether or not the house is worthy (structurally and mechanically) of purchasing.
You Find Your Own Person
In contrast to the previous two methods, choosing your own home inspector in California is fast growing to be the most popular method. In fact, more buyers are increasingly becoming more aware of the relationships between realtors and home inspectors and are opting to find their own inspectors.
Where to Find a Home Inspector
Where can you find home inspectors near you? We find that Yelp, Google and referrals are the “go-to”methods for finding your own home inspection company in Los Angeles and surrounding areas.
Who Attends a Home Inspection?
Once you’ve managed to find the right company to conduct your home inspection, it’s time for the big day. So who attends a home inspection? Well, really here in Los Angeles more specifically here in Santa Clarita its the buyers and the buyers representing realtors who attends.
Can Anyone Attend the Home Inspection?
There are no limitations as to who can be present during the home inspection, although the seller may have a say in how many people are in their home while they are away (in the event that they are away). Typically speaking, the buyers will many times have friends, family and even contractors show up during the home inspection.
We often times find that first time buyers will have two sets of parents, siblings and friends show up for support.
Will My Home Pass Inspection
Pass or fail isn’t something home inspectors are hired to determine. Home inspectors are there to inspect the condition of the building. Home inspectors will comment on many things such as for example, defects, damage within systems or components, incorrectly installed systems or any number of other concerns within the home, but will typically never comment on whether or not the home is worthy of purchase.
The information revealed from a home inspection is intended to provide the buyer with enough information to make an informed buying decision. Will the home pass inspection is something every buyer will eventually have to deal with.
Armed with the information gathered from the inspector, you the buyer can quickly discern whether the issues discovered exceed your expectations and / or your budget.
You, and only you can determine wether a home passess the home inspection or fails the home inspection.
Home Inspection and the Building Codes
Home inspections are not building code compliant inspections. As a matter of fact, the majority of home inspection associations comment on this topic in their home inspection SOPs. The question I raised in the beginning of this article is, “how can a home inspector effectively inspect a home if he / she does not use building codes as a source of reference”?
Every home is built to a specific code and most home inspectors in my opinion should have a good handle on the building codes. As a matter of fact, if I were a home buyer I’d require it.
Take a chimney for example, just sitting here writing this paragraph, I can think of 30 building codes associated with this structure, easily. I’m sure there are more. The last thing a buyer wants to hear is another contractor saying things like…”Your home inspector missed this… or Your home inspector should have found this, easily”.
In a court of law, although the contract states that the inspector is not a code official nor is the inspector required to inspect to this standard, he / she will still have to defend himself or herself and explain how the issue was missed, misdiagnosed or omitted altogether.
As a home builder and home inspector I can tell you first hand that you absolutely want a home inspector who possess a good handel on the old as well as the newest of building codes. Home inspectors who refuse to inspect by code or flat out do not inspect according to building codes should be passed up for one who will.
Think about this… if you’re an inspector and you don’t know building codes, how then will you know if the component is installed wrong of is defective?
What Questions to Ask in a Home Inspection
Many home inspector i know do not like the client to shadow them or ask a bunch of questions. I on the other hand, enjoy my clients hanging out with me asking tons of questions. How else will they learn about their home?
Some of the questions which every buyer should ask during a home inspection
- Ask the home inspector to locate and show you where the shutoffs are for the main water supply, the gas supply, the electric supply and irrigations supply.
- You may want to ask the home inspector to explain how the HVAC system works
- Make sure to ask the home inspector how much life is left in some of the major systems (as best as he/she can) such as the heating and cooling systems, the roof, pool interior surface, electric panel and even the water heater.
- The home inspector should explain how to properly drain sediment from the water heater tank.
- Switches and outlets seem to be confusing sometimes. Ask the inspector what switches operate what… and where.
- Fireplaces are sometimes difficult to operate. Ask the inspector how to properly operate the fireplace.
- Ask the inspector where the attic access panel is located
- Crawl space covers can be difficult to access. Ask your inspector where it is located and how to properly access the crawl space.
- If the home has central vacuum, ask how it operates.
- In floor heating is common in the upper elevations here in Southern California. Ask how to effectively operate this type of heating.
What to Bring to a Home Inspection
I find it funny when the buyer show up to the inspection with nothing but a Starbucks in hand. Home buyers should always arm themselves with a few essentials just in case you may need to take a note, a picture, eat a meal or measure.
Things to bring to a home inspection
- Measuring tape
- Something to take notes on
- Bring something to take pictures with
- Bring a lunch and a pillow if I’m the one doing your inspection… it’ll be a while
What Does a Typical Home Inspection Include?
As a home inspector with over 15,000 home inspections performed i find it much easier to explain what items I “do not inspect”, it’s a much shorter list. Depending on whether or not your home inspector abides by an association’s Standards Of Practice, determines exactly what he/she will inspect for.
Home Inspection and What to Expect.
Most home inspectors will check the roof, plumbing, electrical, foundation, heating and air conditioning, interior doors, floor, walls, ceilings, windows, bathrooms, kitchen and fireplace. There are literally thousands of components and systems an inspector “should” check if they are doing you any kind of service.
Unfortunately with most occupied homes, there are areas which are otherwise inaccessible. I feel you should as the inspector to come back and inspect these areas once made accessible. This based on multiple issues discovered once the walls and floors were cleared.
Ask to see a sample report from the inspector you wish to hire. Sample reports will essentially show you what they look for and what things they omit.
How Long is a Home Inspection?
The length of time a home inspection should take is based on a many number of things. For example, the average length of a home inspection can be based on;
- The size of the house – The worse the condition of the home, the longer it will take a good inspector to sift through the home, thoroughly
- Condition of the home – If the home is in rough or poor condition it’s just more the inspector has to document or write down
- Unpermitted additions to the building – More rooms equals more time
- Lot size – The bigger the lot, the more thus the longer the inspector will have to walk around
- Swimming Pool – Swimming pools take me about an hour all by themselves
- Multiple fireplaces / chimneys – As a fireplace chimney contractor and inspector, a simple level one inspection takes me about 30-45 minutes each chimney/fireplace
- Whether or not you follow them around and ask questions – Although I love my buyers to hang out with me.. Other inspectors do not. The more questions a buyer has the longer an inspection can take. A buyer with a lot of questions can add an hour or more to your inspection
- If the home inspector was hired or referred by the realtor – Typically, if the home inspector was hired by the realtor or referred by the realtor, the home inspector understands that they have to hustle to remain on the list. Expect your inspection to be a quick one.
Should I Follow the Home Inspector Around?
Absolutely follow your home inspector around, everywhere and ask as many questions as you want to. Even if it upsets the home inspector or the realtor, who cares. Trust me, you may not get another opportunity to see your home from this point of view.
First time home buyers
For those of you who have never purchased a home before the home inspection process is interesting and enlightening at the same time. Its an excellent way to find out how certain systems operate and ask “why things are the way they are”.
Should the seller be present during the Home Inspection?
No way. I’ve seen things like the seller and buyer almost fist-fight before, because the seller was home. Once I had a seller attempt to throw me and the buyer off a roof because he was home the entire time listening to our conversations regarding his home’s condition.
It’s just not a good idea to have the seller home during a home inspection. Sellers tend to get very confrontational when there is a person there to specifically pick it apart. Especially if the buyer is a contractor who did the work himself (like the guy who wanted to throw us off the roof).
In contrast, however, having a seller present offers better understanding of specific systems through seller / inspector / buyer communications. Sellers will also be able to explain why things in question are why they are.
Furthermore, the seller has the ability to allow access to inaccessible areas as well as move objects that would not have otherwise been moved.
Now, if the seller is a tennant, well that’s a whole other level of awesomeness. Without a doubt, a realtor’s worst nightmare running a close second to the neighbor wandering over to spill his/her guts about the issues associated with the building you are trying to purchase.
It’s a sight I never get tired of seeing no matter how many times it happens. The curious neighbor comes over to meet the new buyer and disclose the homes entire dark history all the while the realtors go into damage control lockdown. Pretty funny to watch unfold.
What to Expect After a Home Inspection?
After the home inspection has been completed a series of events will be put into motion.
- You, the buyer (maybe the agents) receive the report
- It’s time to go over the home inspection report with the your agent
- The buyer and the agent determine which of the more serious of issues require repairs or concessions
First, you will receive a home inspection report. In most cases the report will show up in a PDF format which is the norm nowadays. Unless of course you were the unfortunate one who had the only home inspector in Los Angeles who still uses the checklist handwritten triplicate style. In that case, you probably already have the report.
Secondly, you will discuss the report and its findings with your realtor. This is the moment where you as a new home buyer discuss the important issues which the home possess, and in what order are the important issues well… important.
Lastly, you will determine which if these important issues require repairs, improvement or just concessions. There are a few different approaches to this last step. For example, some buyers will opt to omit any repairs from the seller in exchange for monetary compensation so the buyer can do the repairs themselves.
From my perspective knowing what I know and from what I’ve seen, I’d never have a seller make any repairs prior to the escrow closing, ever.
The reason is the sellers are usually in a hurry to get out of there. The very last thing they want to do is spend more money on YOUR repairs. Thus, they will find the cheapest repairman to perform your repairs, that is traditionally speaking.
Who gets the Home inspection Report?
Many home inspectors consider the client as the only person who should receive the home inspection report. Afterall, it’s the client who requested the inspection and its the client who paid for the report.
Traditionally, the home inspection report is delivered to the buyer only. Sometimes, depending on the relationship that the home inspector has with the agents, the agents also receive the report.
It’s not common, however, that the seller receive the home inspection report, however, in some cases, they too will eventually see parts if not the entire report.
How to Read the Home Inspection Report
Obviously when your first receive the home inspection report it may be a bit overwhelming. Once the initial shock subsides, it’s time to dive into its contents. So where do you start? Fortunately for you, we’ve done this about 15,000+ times so we know a thing or two about inspection reports.
Traditionally, most inspection reports are made up of similar sections.
The Home Inspection Summary
Also known as the “realtors report or realtors summary” the summary is just a highlight of the most serious of issues within the home based entirely on the home inspectors perspective.
First off, NEVER ever rely on the summary as your only source of information taken from the report. A common mistake that many home buyers will make is relying only on the summery to make their purchase decision or request for repairs / concessions.
On the other hand, many realtors like to say that only two things belong in the summary, “health and safety issues”. I like to add, high repair costs to this list
Most good inspectors will place items within the summary based on a specific criteria.
- Cost to improve or otherwise repair (expensive repairs)
- Environmental risk (health)
Depending on the report software, there may be additional pages or sections, however, this is the most common format.
Secondly, ALWAYS read the entire home inspection report. There is a wealth of information stuffed within the body of the report that although the inspector may not feel belongs on the summary, you on the other hand may feel is important enough to ask for repair or concessions.
Understand this… as a home buyer you are not obligated to choose items ONLY from the summary portion of the home inspection report if repairs or concessions are to be made. You can choose anything from any part of the entire report.
BE AWARE OF HIDDEN ITEMS IN THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT
Finally, always be aware of home inspectors who will may purposely “hide” items or issue within the body of the home inspection document. Yes, there are in fact fools in the home inspection business i’ll admit. In this example, this is where the home inspector places important issues inside the body of the home inspection report in the hopes that you the buyer, will not read the entire document.
Why would any home inspector do something like this? Obviously, these types of inspectors work for the realtors before they work for you. The idea behind a stunt like this is an inspector who hopes you will rely heavily on the summary only and NOT read through the entire report.
You see, inspectors like this don’t want to upset the gravy train that is also known as “ the realtor referrals’ and wishes to remain on as many realtor lists as possible.
The more a home inspector seems to be a trouble maker, the less likely he will be referred.
“Further Evaluation is Necessary by a Licensed Contractor” or “Other Inspections Are Needed”
Depending on who you use for your home inspection you will likely see a comment that states something like this… “Further evaluation necessary by a licensed contractor”. As a home buyer and you see this comment you are likely being asked to have another contractor troubleshoot the issue in more detail and provide a cost breakdown of its repair.
Upon seeing this statement you may have any number of questions;
- What causes the inspector to say this – As described in more detail below, there’s multiple reasons an inspector might use this comment repeatedly within the report.
- Who do I get to evaluate the issue – At the point where you’re being asked to perform additional inspections related to the inspectors findings, we suggest relying on any reputable licensed contractor.
- What’s the issue, specifically – In many cases, a home inspector will choose this comment when he / she feels there may be a bigger problem lurking behind the obvious one. In which case, it takes a professional contractor time to troubleshoot the problem and locate the initial cause of the issue at hand. In some cases, the trouble shooting takes as long as the entire home inspection did. Furthermore, you need to keep in mind that in California, home inspectors are all generalists, not specialists.
- How long will I have to remedy this issue – The time it takes to remedy or otherwise repair a specific issue really is determined by the problem itself, which required troubleshooting to determine. If the issue is to be repaired during escrow, your agent will have a better understanding of the repairs time frame. Unless of course you receive a credit for the repair in which case you can do this repair at your leisure.
Most commonly, this comment is used by most home inspectors who;
- Do not know how to diagnose certain issues and doesn’t want to take on the liability if there are other latent issues – Keep in mind that home inspectors are again generalists and not specialists. That said, there are those inspectors who use their association SOPs and contract disclosure as a shield and a way to omit items that they do not wish to inspect for whatever reason. For example, concrete tile roofs are totally acceptable to walk on in the right conditions (no rain, pitch etc…). But some inspectors who may not know how to walk on tile without damaging the surface, choose to omit this area of the report and pass it back onto you… in which case you’ll need to spend even more money to have another person inspect what he really should have inspected in the first place.
- Has no idea what he’s / she’s looking at and doesn’t want to take on the liability if there are other latent issues – Although home inspectors are just generalists, they should have a “general knowledge” of all systems right? Not always. Because this business is so easy to get into and without any real building experience, many do. In fact, the test is so easy from some associations, it’s only a matter of hours before you can be a genuine certified los Angeles home Inspector. Scary, I know. As a result, some inspectors have a very limited knowledge of specific systems. Take swimming pools for example, without specific training, it’s hard to understand and navigate the hundreds of building codes and standards associated with this one single system. Yet, some inspectors try, and those who don’t, just refer you to someone else who does.
- Actually understands the issue and and wants you to have the problem diagnosed in the event that there are actually other latent issues present – this inspector uses this comment in the clients best interest. Inspectors who truly care about the outcome of the issue and whether or not the client will be burdened by this condition later on, will place this in their content in hopes that the buyer follows through with the recommendation. It’s not a bad thing that this comment is used throughout the report, if used for the right reasons and intentions. The comment is a good comment to use when you as an inspector want to direct your client to an individual who can troubleshoot a particular issue and provide a written diagnosis and cost related to the issue just in case the issue is greater than what you expected as a professional inspector.
In full disclosure we use this comment throughout our reports and although we do consider ourselves proficient within the building codes, we’re still human and don’t assume to know everything.
With that in mind, we do however speak one-on-one with our clients in order to explain the issue. We will verbally tell our clients what we feel is the best course of action to proceed with and follow that up with the statement to seek additional evaluations within the report.
Something else to bare in mind when referring to our company, MAZZA Inspections, is that we do a very, very limited number of inspections and allow a great deal of time with every inspection. Thus, we’ll have a great deal of time to spend on each client at each inspection and go over almost everything on-site, at the time of our inspection.
What Fixes are Mandatory After a Home Inspection?
No repairs are mandatory after a home inspection in Los Angeles except those which are repaired by state law. Understand that there are specific cities which may only require the minimum repairs under state law. For example, in Santa Clarita, a gas shutoff valve and low-flow improvements are not required. Here are some of these repairs required;
- Water heater bracing
- Smoke alarms
- Carbon Monoxide alarms
- Seismic shutoff valve installed on Gas meter
- Low Flow water fixtures
- Impact Glazing/Approved Film for sliding glass panels of sliding-type doors
Maintain Communication with the Home Inspector
Don’t forget to maintain communication with your home inspector throughout the process. Home inspectors have hopefully performed this process a few times so they can be a great reference for navigating through a report. After all, it’s what you paid them for.
What to expect after you move in to your new home
Go Through the Report and Make Repairs
Many home buyers will use the home inspection report as a checklist of things to do, on their new home. I’ve personally had clients call me years later asking questions regarding their home. They ask how to perform specific repairs that were listed in their inspection report.
The Home Inspector Missed Problems
Let me start off by saying that we are all human and thus capable of making mistakes. Now that I said that, let me say this; as a home inspector our only job is to discover issues and problems associated with your prospective home. Nothing more, nothing less.
When you move in and find that the inspector missed problems within your home there are a few different directions this can go.
When you discover issues that were not in the home inspection report, avoid calling the realtors. In my experience, they will just refer you back to the inspector or your home warranty company. Just saying.
Here are my suggestions.
- Contact a contractor to have the issue assessed in order to better quantify your claim
- Have the inspector back to discuss and / or re evaluate the new issue discovered
- Notify your home warranty
- Call an attorney
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