A home inspection is an independent inspection of the property you are about to purchase. The Residential Purchase contract gives you, as the buyer, fourteen (14) calendar days (unless otherwise stated) to hire, at your expense, an inspector to make any selected inspections of the property.

Inspections may include physical, environmental, and other types of inspections including, but not limited to, square footage, roof, designated flood hazard areas, structural, plumbing, sewer/septic, well, heating, air conditioning, electrical and mechanical systems, built-in appliances, soil, foundation, pool/spa and related equipment or environmental hazards.

A Home Inspector performs a VISUAL SURVEY of the accessible areas of the home and gives you a professional opinion on whether those items inspected are performing their intended function or whether they are in need of repair. The extent of the inspection and the square footage of the home normally determine the expense of a home inspection. The minimum cost for a home inspection is usually around $550, which can be nothing compared to a repair bill. Be sure to select someone who is an expert in the appropriate field, (I.e. Home Inspectors do not test for environmental hazards).

Is an inspection necessary?
You have the right to request an inspection of any property you are thinking of purchasing by a professional inspector of your choice. You should always exercise your option to have the physical condition of the property and its inclusions inspected. Many of the most severe and expensive problems such as mechanical, electrical, structural, and plumbing, are not noticeable to the untrained eye. A professionally conducted home inspection followed by a written evaluation is becoming standard procedure in home buying because of increased buyer awareness and savvy.

What does an inspection entail?
A qualified inspector will follow CREIA (California Real Estate Inspectors Association) Standards of Practice in conducting their inspection. The inspection consists of a physical inspection of the home with the buyer present, followed by a written report detailing their findings. They report on the general condition of the home’s electrical, heating and air systems, interior plumbing, roof, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, and visible structure. The inspection is not designed to criticize every minor problem or defect in the home. NO home is perfect. It is intended to report on major damage or serious problems that require repair for the well-being of the home and that might require significant expense.

Buyer education is necessary—
The primary purpose of the inspection is to educate the buyers to enable them to make an informed purchasing decision. The inspector should allow and even encourage the buyers to attend the home inspection. A good home inspector knows how the home’s many systems and components work together and how to minimize the damaging effects of sun, water, and the passage of time. Attending the inspection provides an important opportunity for the buyer to learn, firsthand, how their prospective new home works, and about possible repair costs and maintenance routines. This is valuable information which could increase the life span and perhaps the future selling price of the home.

Time and fee guidelines for the inspection—
The time necessary to properly inspect a home, as well as the fee charged by an inspector, varies according to market location, the size and age of the home, and the individual inspection company. However, you can expect that it will take an average of two or three hours to competently inspect a typical one-family, four-bedroom home, with an average cost of $350 to $550.

Important: Remember these companies are inspectors only!!
Unless otherwise stated, they do not provide a warranty and are not an insurer of any inspected conditions.

NOTE: It is wise to ask the inspector you have selected, if he/they have Errors and Omissions insurance.