Home Buyers Should Get a Home Inspection

Real Estate Agent with Westlake Village home buyers and sellers Thousand Oaks homes BRE Lic.#00770024

The California Association of Real Estate Inspectors describes the home inspection as " ...an independent, unbiased review and report on a home's systems, components and conditions."

In California, home buyers are drilled and grilled about having a home inspection when they enter into contract. The purchase contract contains two full pages called the "Buyers Inspection Advisory." Most home buyers are clueless about what the home inspection and how to choose a home inspector. Understanding the home inspection report and deciphering which defects are important and which are not is important.

Normally, in California, a termite inspection will be performed on behalf of the seller. This is a separate inspection done by a licensed pest control professional. The termite work is negotiated in the contract by usually designating Section 1 items to be paid by the seller and Section 2 items to be paid at the discretion of the buyer.

The home inspection does NOT include areas of expertise such as Asbestos, Radon, Methane, Radiation and Formaldehyde, Mold, Mildew and Fungi, Rodents and Lead. These areas require special licensing, therefore, a special and separate inspection by a licensed inspector in that special area of expertise. If a general home inspector suspects findings in any of these serious areas, he/she will suggest that you order another inspection by the specialized inspector.

A thorough home inspection will cover areas such as: Foundation, basement, and under-floor areas, exterior, roof covering, roof framing, attic, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, fireplaces and chimneys, and the interior of the home covering areas such as walls, ceilings, and floors, doors and windows, stairways, handrails, and guardrails, permanently installed cabinets, permanently installed cook-tops, mechanical range vents, ovens, dishwashers, and food waste disposers. absence of smoke alarms, and vehicle doors and openers.

The important items you need to pay attention to are health and safety issues, roofs with a short life expectancy, furnace / A/C malfunctions, foundation deficiencies and moisture / drainage issues.

A home inspection is imperative when buying a home. Finding a good, qualified and experienced inspector is also very important. A good resource in finding a qualified home inspector is the California Association of Real Estate Inspectors.

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Comments (5)

Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

Cheryl, You have made many good points in your blog, home inspections are a necessity when buying a home. I always give 3 brochuresout for inspectors, let the buyer pick who. Then if they don't wish to have one they must sign a wavier of liability for the home's condition.

Jun 28, 2009 01:39 AM
Jim Crawford
Long & Foster - Fredericksburg, VA
Jim Crawford Broker Associate Fredericksburg VA

This post is perfect for anyone buying a home, and for sellers also!  Thank you!

Jun 28, 2009 02:15 AM
Debbie Arriero
Arriero Realty, Inc. - Bluffton, SC
30+ Years in Real Estate!

Inspections are very important and I recommend that all my buyers get an inspection.  I shutter when buyers say, we don't need an inspection - and there are some that waive inspections. I explain to them that it's a very good idea to get one, and then have them sign something stating that I recommend they get one and that they decided to waive it.  CYA is what I say!

Jun 28, 2009 05:43 AM

What are your rights as a buyer for home/inspections? Let's say an offer fell through on a bank owned home and the banks didn't disclose why it feel through. Obviously one reason can be financing. The buyers didn't have the $$, but let's say they still went ahead w/ the inspections. Does the bank legally have to disclose this information to the new buyers?I have a feeling a bank is hiding something and won't tell us. I also know that if they do end up disclosing, we would get a seperate inspections for our selves.

Any thoughs are appreciated!


Jun 30, 2009 11:03 AM
David Salvato
David Home Inspection Service Home Inspector San Bernardino - Los Angeles, CA

Very educational look at the home inspection industry.

Sep 19, 2009 04:23 AM