Whether you’re selling or buying a home, a home inspection will probably enter the equation. If you’re selling, investing in a standard inspection can help you move your home through escrow smoothly and secure a good price. You can avoid possible buyer hesitation by addressing any issues the inspection reveals, or adjusting your asking price accordingly.

If you’re buying in a seller’s market, it can be tempting to strengthen your offer by skipping the inspection contingency. However, the risk of discovering large expenses after escrow closes is something to take seriously. A home inspection can protect you from considerable losses. For example, the outdated electrical system you didn’t know about can cost $10,000 or more to replace.

Faulty wiring is common—especially in the San Lorenzo Valley. Decades ago, this area was a vacation spot. Many older homes are retrofitted vacation cabins, which were built and maintained by home owners. Inspections sometimes reveal owner-performed fixes and hazardous exposed wiring in these homes.

Home inspectors look for anything that could compromise a home’s structural integrity, cause recurring damage, or present health or safety hazards. In addition to electrical flaws, water damage is a leading problem.

Water-related problems range from compromised roofing materials to non-functioning drainage systems, toxic mold, structural rot, and more. Especially if the home’s structure is compromised, these issues can be costly to address.

Choosing an Inspector

Surprisingly, California does not require home inspectors to be licensed. Inspectors are, however, held to high ethical standards by the California Trade Practice Act. And a competent inspector will be certified through training from a school that’s approved by the California Real Estate Inspection Association. In addition, home inspectors can join the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors, both of which require their members to take ongoing training.

Make sure the inspector you choose will allow you to accompany him or her during the inspection. This way, you get an accurate understanding of any issues that come up. You can also get immediate answers to some of your questions.

Check the inspector’s website for sample reports, which should be easy to understand. Make sure he or she belongs to one of the associations mentioned above, and don’t hesitate to ask about their experience and training.

When you sell or buy with us, we refer you to reputable home inspectors. We’d love to help you get started. Call us at (831)818-4321, or contact us here.