A professional home inspector is not only familiar with all the components of a home, but is able to evaluate the condition of the home and all of its systems. Professional Home Inspectors in Meadow Oaks Roseville, CA will point out the components that are not working properly as well as those that are unsafe. They will address areas where repairs may be needed or where problems may arise in the future.
How to Choose the Best Home Inspector in Meadow Oaks Roseville, CA?
The purchase of a house is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. So, it only makes sense that you should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of repairs, maintenance and the associated costs that come with a new–or old–home. One of the best ways to understand a home’s condition is to hire a professional home inspector.
It is easy to get a List of Roseville Home Inspectors by searching online. A simple search with the keyword, “Home Inspectors in Meadow Oaks Roseville, CA” will produce multiple results giving you a list of Home Inspection companies, Realtors, and Real Estate Agents.
A professional home inspector is also able to make an unbiased and accurate report of the property’s true condition as an expert in home inspection. This knowledge will make it much easier to assess an accurate value of home property.
Even the most knowledgeable homeowner lacks the training and depth of knowledge that only a professional Roseville home inspector provides. That is why it is so important to hire an experienced home inspector to perform the inspection on a home’s property. When selecting a home inspector, be sure to choose one that will give you the quality of service you deserve and that you feel comfortable with. Consider the following questions when selecting a professional home inspector:
What are the home inspector’s qualifications?
Home inspection is a trade that requires special training, knowledge, and skills. The more experienced a true professional home inspector is, the more likely they will be able to uncover any problems. Look for professional home inspectors that have sufficient practical experience, a general understanding of all components in a home, and a background in related trades. Reputable home inspectors are also more likely to be certified with a well-known association, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) that requires them to adhere to a strict code of ethics and specific standards of practice. Always ask about their membership in various associations. You also have the right to see proof of their membership.
Can the home inspector provide quality references?
A highly regarded professional home inspector should be able to provide you with references upon your request. Be sure to take the next step and contact the people named as references Ask them if they were satisfied with the inspector’s complete service and their overall experience with them.
Will the home inspector allow you to participate?
A professional home inspector in Meadow Oaks Roseville, CA should feel comfortable allowing you to participate throughout the inspection. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and ask questions along the way. A home inspectors purpose is to educate you on your home and all of it’s components–learn all you can. A good suggestion is to do a little research on your home beforehand and come prepared with a list of questions for the inspector.
What is the scope of inspection?
A standard home inspection report summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the home’s interior and exterior components. Exteriors components include roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces and the foundation, including the grading around it. Interior components include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling and wall finishes, windows and doors, basements, and any visible structures of the home. Upon completion of the inspection, the certified home inspector should provide a clear, easy to read report detailing every major home system and component within 24 hours. A good home inspector in Meadow Oaks Roseville, CA will also provide you with pictures of various elements to help you see and understand the true condition.
What Is A Home Inspection?
Like most professions, the home inspection industry has its share of qualified and unqualified individuals calling themselves professionals.
For you, the trick is figuring out how to differentiate the good home inspector - the one who will use his or her knowledge, skill and experience to make sure you make an educated investment - from the inspector who may be out to simply collect fees from unsuspecting buyers.
Although qualifications vary from province to province, they are rather minimal. Which means any Joe or Jane Blow can print up business cards that identify the individual as a home inspector, and declare themselves home inspectors.
Well, it doesn't have to be - when you know what to look out for.
A home inspection is a non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. This is carried out by a home inspector, who should have special equipment and training to carry out such inspections. A home inspection report is then issued by the home inspector.
A home cannot "fail" an inspection, as there is no score or passing grade given. But a home inspector can fail to deliver a thorough unbiased evaluation of the home building you are looking at purchasing. Sometimes the home inspector lacks experience. Or could be that not enough time was taken to ensure a complete analysis.
The bottom line: when it comes down to selecting a home inspector for what could be the biggest investment you may ever make, you want to make sure you know how to tell the real deal from the pretender.
And that's the purpose behind this report.
The following questions will help you identify a home inspection professional who will make sure you get what you pay for - an honest, thorough evaluation of the house or building you are looking to buy.
1. What exactly does your inspection cover and how long will it take?
A professional home inspection should take between 3-4 hours. That's the amount of time needed to look at and report on all of the key elements that could have the most impact on your decision whether to buy or not.
Here is a list of items a true professional home inspector should be prepared and equipped to cover on a routine inspection that a newly minted inspector or "part-timer" might miss completely. Uninvestigated, any of these areas could have a tremendously damaging impact on the future value of the home as well as your overall enjoyment.
Hot spots in electrical panels - Could be caused by poor connections or circuit breakers that are failing. Easy to spot for a home inspector with an electronics background but could be missed by inspector with general experience.
Uninsulated suction lines on air conditioning units - Could make system expensive to operate. Telltale signs are oily film or dark area in area of where refrigerant components are located.
Floor above crawl space - How cold will it be in winter?
Size of the electrical service - Is it large enough for future additions such things as a hot tub? Again, a home inspector with experience as an electrician can determine in a snap.
Condition of a wooden deck - The expected life span of a wooden deck could be cut short if the cut edges of boards not are treated or wall flashings not installed correctly if they are there at all.
Rain water accumulation - Once it drips off the roof, will it accumulate and become a problem?
Return air for the heating cooling system - Is it on the floor? If so, how will that affect the efficiency and comfort of the system?
Additions to the original structure - Need to be inspected for possible major problems. Major remodeled homes - What deficiencies are covered?
Newly painted concrete - If there are concrete floors foundations, walls, and ceilings painted, you need to know why? There could be a good reason!
Receptacles installed Upside down - Sure sign of an amateur installation. Further investigation required.
Molding style variations - They don't match from one area to another. Why?
Leveling inconsistencies - Why are floors out of level? Or the floors are level and you look along supporting structure and it is crooked as a dog's hind leg....why is this so? Could be a sign of a bigger problem.
Proper appliance ventilation - Is that combustible appliance receiving proper take up air for combustion? Could be a possible health or safety risk!
Dryer exhaust vent actually installed correctly - Or, is the flow of air being hampered and possibly creating extra energy costs or a fire hazard?
Effective smoke detector testing - Was that smoke detector/alarm sensing circuit actually checked with canned test smoke (as a professional will do) or was the test button only pushed. Your life and those of your loved ones may depend on it!
Age of Carbon Dioxide/Smoke detector - Is it time to replace?
Hidden stains on underside of roof sheathing - Will your inspector actually enter into the far reaches of the attic to find out if they're present?
EIFS-drainage - This is an important concern. Will time be to perform a thorough inspection?
Hidden deficiencies - Sometimes, storage areas will be staged to hide deficiencies. Will the inspector move or highlight, if unable to move, in the report?
Discolouring of areas above combustion areas- Why is this visible around fuelled appliances?
Colour of furnace flame - When the furnace first fires, does the heat exchanger leak?
By presenting this list to someone who you are considering hiring to do your home inspection, two things will happen. First you will send a message that you know what you're doing. And second, you will get a sense of how thorough you can expect your home inspection to be.
2. What happens if I buy the house or building based on your inspection findings and, a few months later, I find myself faced with a costly repair?
Even top-notch inspectors are human and can make errors or overlook problems they probably should have noticed. That won't be very comforting to you if you find out 3 months after you've bought based on the inspector's recommendation that mentioned nothing about a potential costly repair. The key is to make sure you never put yourself in this position in the first place.
Here's how to do it:
Before you invest all kinds of time interviewing a particular home inspector, ask about the company's policy in such situations. Does the company or individual inspector stand behind the report? Many companies ask customers to sign a waiver limiting the company's liability to the cost of the inspection.
Here's an example of how this weasel clause reads in the contact:
"The expense to the client in regard to errors or omissions caused by the inspector is limited to not more than the price of the inspection."
How'd you like to find that out after you've just learned that the foundation of your house is shifting and will require about $75,000 worth of work to fix the condition?
To protect yourself, if an inspector carries Errors and Omissions insurance. If so, that's a sure sign that you're working with a professional who stands behind his report. Errors and Omissions insurance coverage is very expensive and an inspector who makes that investment is sending a clear signal that he conducts himself in a professional way.
3. Are you associated professionally with realtors and/or any firms connected with construction or repair of homes?
This is another biggie. And it happens way too often. You are working with a real estate agent. You find a house you want. Your financing's in place. The only thing standing between you and the home of your dreams is confirmation that the house is sound. You need a home inspection report done.
You have never had to hire a home inspector before so naturally, you ask your realtor for some recommendations. Most realtors typically have two or three inspectors he or she can recommend.
Now stop and think for a minute.
How objective can a home inspector be if he is getting his referrals from a realtor? If he tells it like it is and provides you, the prospective home buyer, with the complete story on the overall condition of the house, you may walk away. That means a lost sale for the realtor. And, for the home inspector, a dried up referral source.
So how does the inspector deal with this potential issue? Simple. His report is written in inspector-"ese" using vague, non-specific terms like 'possible' and 'may' that leave plenty of wiggle room for the Realtor to manoeuvre with the buyer.
Same thing with contractors. If a home inspector offers to direct you to a contractor to perform work, or offers to do it himself, I'd look for another inspector. Home inspectors are in the business of inspecting homes so they can provide you with a complete evaluation of the home so you can make a wise investment.
4. What qualifies you to be a home inspector and what certifications do you have? Inspectors should be able to provide references, certifications and work history upon request. Make sure the inspector has experience before you contract with them.
And don't make this mistake. Someone could have years of experience as a home inspector but that doesn't mean he or she can give you the understanding you need to make an educated decision on whether or not to buy a particular house or building.
You need to look at the whole picture. What is the home inspector's background? Has he walked the walk or is he simply parroting back stuff anyone could learn with a bit of study.
It's not unusual for Professional Engineers to take up home inspection as a second career. Sure, they will know plenty about the structural aspects of a home but how will this one-dimensional perspective produce an evaluation that effectively examines all the other elements of a thorough home inspection.
Here are some additional questions that will help you identify the true professional:
a. Is he or she a member of the recognized associations promoting excellence in the home inspection profession.
b. How much time annually does he devote to continuing education so he can stay current on changes in the industry, ensuring that you, as a client, receive the most informed counsel he is able to give.
c. What is his "life" experience as it relates to being around homes? Has he built and remodeled homes? Owned and operated rental properties? Supervised the maintenance of residential and commercial projects?
As you can see, there's more to hiring a home inspector who is truly equipped to provide you with the unbiased, complete information you need to make an informed decision regarding one of the biggest purchases you will make in a lifetime.
By using the insights in this report, you'll be able to scratch beneath the surface and put yourself in position to make a wise investment.
What Does A Home Inspector Look For?
You've heard the saying "There are no stupid questions." Well, that's as true for real estate agents as it is for anyone else. Agents should consider asking the simple but important questions listed below before referring inspectors (either home inspectors or home inspection companies) to their clients.
Referrals reflect the agent's own professional judgment and may affect the most important pipeline of potential future business. Moreover, agents are fiduciaries: they must put the client's interests above everything else, make the best possible recommendations, and avoid making an expedient or convenient choice when a better alternative may exist and should be evaluated for their clients. Referring your client to an inspector just because an office mate or friend says, "Oh, I've used them for years" is not necessarily the best strategy.
Consider the following simple questions each and every time you refer an inspector:
1. Know Your Inspector's Background, Experience, and Credentials
All agents should take into account an inspector's experience, including how many inspections they have performed, how long they have been in the business, and what certifications, licenses, and memberships they hold. Why? Because all inspectors are not created equal. Most inspectors are contractors, but many of the best are not. I've found that extensive training in the art of inspection or other code knowledge by far outweighs a contractor's license. A well-rounded inspector will be properly trained and well versed in all aspects of residential construction.
Although some states now require licensing for home inspectors, California doesn't. See California Business & Professions Code 7195 et seq. There are, however, professional organizations which require experience and training for membership. The two primary associations in California are the California Real Estate Inspection Association and the American Society of Home Inspectors. Consider referring an inspector who is affiliated with one of these organizations.
Don't overlook the inspector's relationship to his or her company. Is the inspector the owner or an employee? In my experience, owners of home-inspection businesses care deeply about their work and the reports they produce because they are concerned about potential liability and ongoing business. In some cases, an employee may not perform as well as an owner-operator because employees have less at stake.
2. Does Your Inspector Have Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance?
E&O insurance is an important consideration, as it may help resolve claims against the inspector for items they may have missed during the inspection after close of escrow. Inspectors are not required to carry E&O insurance, so there is currently no reliable data on the percentage of inspectors who actually are insured. I have heard that it is in the 50% range; i.e., one out of two inspectors is insured. Consider asking prospective inspectors for a current declarations page of their E&O policy. The declarations page will reveal whether the inspector has a "claims made" or per-occurrence policy and what the coverage limits and policy periods are.
Some agents even ask that the inspector include the agent's and broker's names as "additional insureds" on the policy. This added layer of protection for the agent and/or broker will also sometimes help resolve and settle potential claims which arise out of the referral. For instance, an agent may not have to pay his or her own carrier's deductible if a claim arises and both the inspector and agent are asked to participate in resolution of the claim.
An inspector without E&O may have a broad range of reasons for not carrying insurance. Whatever the reason, consider referring an inspector who has E&O to provide greater protection and value for your client.
3. Does Your Inspector Use An Inspection Agreement?
Today, most inspectors have their customers (your clients) sign inspection agreements prior to the inspection. These agreements detail the ground rules, the inspector's scope of work, and items outside that scope. I myself have reviewed hundreds of these agreements, and most of them are fair. However, some have clauses that attempt to circumvent statutory and current case law. Consider getting your clients a copy of the agreement well in advance of the inspection so that they have a chance to read, consider, and digest the terms before signing. If you or your client have questions about the terms, don't sign until you get the answers you need.
It's common for some inspectors to try and limit their monetary risk by stating that their total liability for negligence, errors, or omissions is limited to the cost of the inspection report. This maneuver is expressly prohibited by statute, but inspectors sometimes cleverly navigate around that fact by limiting their liability to two or three times the cost of the inspection. See California Business & Professions Code § 7196. Although there are as yet no appellate court decisions testing these type of clauses which tiptoe around the statutory limitation, it is imperative that agents know what the inspection agreements say so they can allow their clients plenty of time to digest this information and make a well-informed decision.
Another common tactic inspectors use to reduce their liability is a reduction in the statute of limitations to bring an action against an inspector. California Business & Professions Code § 7197 states that an action may not be brought against a home inspector four years after the date of the inspection; however, some inspectors' agreements attempt to reduce this time period to one or two years. This tactic was addressed in the California appellate court case of Moreno v. Sanchez (2000) 140 Cal.App.4th 1315, which held that notwithstanding a contractual device to reduce the time period allowed in 7197, the delayed-discovery rule prevents an inspector from contractually reducing the four-year statute of limitations if the defect, error, or omission by the inspector was found or identified and the claim brought within four years of the date of the inspection.
4. How Does Your Inspector Handle Callbacks?
Callbacks are a fact of life. The first call or email you receive from your client stating that the inspector you referred "missed something" will probably be a frightening moment in your career. It can be a lot less disconcerning if you know the inspector is a stand-up business person, has a procedure to deal with these situations, and has E&O insurance. Make sure you know the procedure that your inspector has in place to deal with this situation. A smooth and simple callback procedure can calm nerves and get any necessary repairs underway before tempers rise and attorneys are called in.
In an ideal world, your clients would never have any difficulties with the inspector you refer them to, but, as an agent, you know that a trouble-free transaction is a rarity. If you want to demonstrate and improve your professionalism, add significant value to the services you already provide your clients, and significantly reduce potential risks for your clients, yourself, and your broker, keep these issues in mind and get answers to these key questions before you recommend an inspector. Doing your homework in this regard will give you a certain peace of mind, as you can be confident that you are recommending a high-quality inspector based on due diligence and professionalism.