Buying a Home? Don’t Forget the Inspection!

You’ve finally found the home that is just right, made an offer and it was accepted. Now you just wait for escrow to close, right?  Wrong!  Your work is just beginning.

Now is the time to have the home inspected, if it hasn’t been recently inspected, you need to make sure you are aware of any possible issues in the home before it’s too late and the deed has been transferred. An independent inspector can evaluate your potential home on a structural and functional level and give you a full report, generally in under two to three hours, depending on the size of the home. This report can help you feel at ease with your purchase and alert you to any areas of concern.

If there is a swimming pool or spa or unusual home appliance or fixture, you may want to have that inspected individually by a reputable repairman in that field. Questions and concerns relating to asbestos, lead or chemicals, mold and mildew, or pests will need to be directed to an inspector licensed in those specific areas of expertise.

Generally speaking, a home inspection on a property for sale will cover the following areas:

  • An evaluation of the walls, ceiling, floor, roof, firewall, windows, foundation and slab. Slab leaks are big issues in North County.
  • Inspection of the landscaping, looking particularly at grading and drainage, although drives and walkways, fencing, trim, doors, windows, and outlets will be checked as well.
  • General framing as seen in exposed beams or attics, ventilation, duct and plumbing systems, and the condition of roofing materials, plumbing and rain gutters will be noted, too. Water heaters, fireplaces and the sprinkler system should be evaluated.
  • Earthquake structural safety and whether it is bolted to the foundation or needs to be to prevent major damage during earthquakes.
  • The electrical sources and wiring in the home will be inspected, from circuit breakers and grounding systems to exhaust fans and receptacles.
  • All appliances, including the garbage disposal, alarm system (if needed) and all smoke detectors.

Every city in San Diego County has different regulations in regards to home inspections, so it it best to use a local inspector recommended by your Realtor. If the inspection uncovers issues in the home regarding health and safety issues, a need for the roof or ventilation system to be replaced, a problem in the home’s foundation or significant drainage concerns, you will want to further explore the problem at the seller’s expense.

In some counties in California, it is customary to have the inspection done prior to the property being listed.  When you are ready to make an offer on the home you ask for the Disclosure Package that will include inspections.  Should you see something in the inspection you are concerned with, you should have an additional inspection of the item as most sellers do not include roof, chimney, pool or foundation inspections in their package unless there are major issues and they wish to sell the property “As-Is”, meaning they have disclosed everything that they can find wrong with the property and you are aware of all of it prior to buying the home.

We can walk you through the process of buying a home in San Diego County as seasoned Realtors.  Give us a call for help.

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