I'm buying a home. What can I have inspected?

Real Estate Agent with Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 DRE #01423125

I'm buying a home. What can I have inspected?

So you are buying a home.  You're offer was accepted and now you are "in Buying a house.contract." That contract gives you a certain number of days to do your inspections. Just what are you going to have inspected?  And who is going to pay for those inspections?

First let's deal with who pays for the inspections.  This should be addressed in your contract.  Depending on the current real estate market it could be the seller or you the buyer or a combination of the two that pays.  In a hot seller's market like we currently have here in California's Central Valley most likely you as the buyer will be paying for Who Pays? your inspections. With most homes receiving multiple offers asking for the seller to pay for inspections will probably move your offer to the bottom of the pile.  Your Realtor® should help you out with determining who is going to pay.

Now on to what you can have inspected.  The first thing most people probably think of is a pest inspection or home inspection.  These are two different things.

  1. Pest Inspection:  This inspection is done to determine if the home has wood destroying pests or organisms or any condition which might lead to an active infestation of either.
  2. Home Inspection: This is an inspection of the home's systems such as electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing. This may also include the appliances.
  3. Roof Inspection:  This is an inspection of the roof and it's condition.  It can give you an idea of if it's water tight and how much life it has left.
  4. Pool Inspection: If the home has a built in pool you can have it inspected too.  Swiming Pool InspectionThis will help to determine if all the pool equipment is in good working order.
  5. Septic Inspection: Some homes may not be hooked up to a city sewer system and instead have a septic system.  This inspection will make sure the system is operating properly and if the tank needs to be pumped.
  6. Well Inspection: Some homes may not have city supplied water and instead have their own well.  This inspection will check to make sure the well is working properly and will also check the water to make sure it is safe to use.
  7. Chimney Inspection: This inspection will determine if the chimney is in good condition and safe to use.  It will also let you know if it needs to be cleaned.
  8. Tree Inspection:  This one was a new one to me this past year.  I had a buyer that was buying a home with several large redwood trees.  They wanted to make sure they were in good health and not in danger of falling.  The Redwood Tree Inspectioninspector was able to determine that the trees were in fact in good condition but a couple of them were close to the house and in later years may present an issue with the roots damaging sidewalks. 
  9. Property line survey.  You can have your property lines surveyed if you want.  If there is a question of where property lines are you might want to do this.
  10. Investigate School Districts.  You can check with the local school districts to make sure which school district the home is in.  It may not always be the closest school to your new home.  Sometimes due to overcrowding it could be another school that is farther away.
  11. Crime Statistics:  You can check with the local police department or one or more websites (including the Megans Law website) to determine the crime rate in the area you want to buy.
  12. Visit the neighborhood at different times during the day and different days of the week.  Is the home near a school and there are lots of kids walking by School Kids Walking Homeevery afternoon? Is the road a neighborhood short cut to get to the local shopping center.  Is the home across the street from a popular park that has big parties every weekend?  These are just a few examples of what can be going on in the neighborhood.

This list is by NO MEANS a comprehensive list of inspections you can have done when you are buying a home.  The California form: Statewide Buyers and Seller Advisory which is part of the disclosures you will receive has 14 pages of suggested inspections.

Of course not every home will need every one of these inspections. Every situation is different.  Ask your Realtor® which inspections they would recommend.  What inspections you have done are up to you.  Do what ever you think needs to be done in order to make you feel confident you are getting a good home for your money.

If you have any questions about buying a home and what inspections to have done give me, Jim Patton, a call at 209.404.0816 and I will be happy to help!

Posted by


Jim Patton - Realtor
Aspire Home Real Estate
DRE# 01423125

Serving Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin Counties in California's Central Valley.

Are you thinking about buying or selling Central Valley Real Estate?  Let's Talk!

Selling homes like yours
since 2004!

Jim Patton - Central Valley RealtorCall or Text: 209.404.0816
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Comments (12)

Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Excellent post Jim.  Buyers will appreciate having a heads up of what the inspection is all about.  Have a great weekend!

Jan 22, 2022 02:50 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Thank you Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker

Jan 22, 2022 02:54 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Great post. My parents used to manufacture the all natural septic tank cleaning products for many years. I live and sell in Manhattan, and because our process is so very different than the rest of the nation - most buyers are not doing an inspection. In most situations I don't even recommend buyers get an inspection- because the buyer's attorney is doing a lot of due diligence finding out what has been done and what problems might still be known in the building through this process. A lot of times an inspector is not given access to areas of building systems- and the inspector might only have access to the interior of the apartment itself- so a lot of buyers and buyers agents don't feel it's worth the expense for just the apartment interior.

Jan 22, 2022 10:49 PM
Jim Patton

Thanks for reading Adam Feinberg, I never thought about what it must be like to sell real estate in Manhattan.  Sounds completely different than what I a used to selling.

Jan 23, 2022 10:24 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Our contracts have a huge list of inspections that are possible (37 options). Most people just do the house inspection, but as you point out there are many possibilities.

Jan 23, 2022 04:38 AM
Jim Patton

Hi Kat Palmiotti most buyers here just do the home inspection too.  But we let them know that they can inspect just about anything they want to.

Jan 23, 2022 10:31 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The competition is very fierce for homes and buyers waive inspections to nit restrict the consideration of their offers.  I write the offers with a clause that inspections are for buyer information, unless an issue is discovered that affects habitability.  Buyers need to know what they are buying and many times sellers don't understand how they have been living

Jan 23, 2022 06:32 AM
Jim Patton

Thanks Ed Silva, it's true that in today's market lots of inspections can make an offer harder  to get accepted.

Jan 24, 2022 06:13 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Jim, great post for buyers in your area.   Of course some of your items are not pertinent in other states.    

Jan 23, 2022 07:20 AM
Jim Patton

That's true Joan Cox. Every market is different. Thanks for stopping by.

Jan 24, 2022 06:14 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Hello Jim Patton - this is a great list of possible inspections a buyer may want to get. I do recommend sellers get pre-listing inspections, minimum home, termite, chimney. 

Non-contingent offers are typically the way most buyers make their offers. Having seller inspections for them to review upfront, along with all the disclosures provide a level of comfort they may not otherwise have. 

Congratulations on your Feature post!

Jan 23, 2022 01:15 PM
Jim Patton

That's a good idea Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist.  Buyers here in the valley can still get offers with loan and inspection contingencies accepted. 

Jan 24, 2022 06:16 PM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

It's amazing how many people don't know the importance of an inspection.

Jan 24, 2022 05:38 AM
Jim Patton

That's so true Gwen Fowler-864-638-3599 SC * Mountain* Lake*Home 

Jan 24, 2022 06:16 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

Just an FYI for anyone outside the metros... a new furnace cost is up over 20% versus  early 2021!  Don't assume that 18 year old furnace is going to last because your family member or friends have one that is older and still going. 

Jan 24, 2022 06:45 AM
Jim Patton

Unfortunately everything seems to up in price since 2021 Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker.  Good argument for the buyer to get a home warranty, of course those are going up in prices too.

Jan 24, 2022 06:18 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Jim - different markets - location as well as activity in that market - can make a big difference.  

Jan 24, 2022 07:03 AM
Jim Patton

That's so true Michael Jacobs 

Jan 24, 2022 06:18 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jim:

This was a excellent overview for buyers about inspections and what they can opt to have as part of their property investigation.

I would add inspecting the fire sprinklers if the home has them.


Jan 24, 2022 04:16 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Hi Jeff Dowler, CRS thanks for stopping by.  We don't see fire sprinklers in homes here in northern Ca.  Of course I'm sure that will change eventually with all the wild fires the last few years.

Jan 24, 2022 06:20 PM