After you buy a home, there are specific timeframes that a home buyer will be attending. One includes the inspection time frame. The time in which a home buyer has to have the “home inspection” completed. In some cases, there are other types of inspections that will take place if needed. The three are going to be the home inspection, never buy a home without doing one. Even on New Construction.
The other is going to be the pest control inspection for termite and other things. This one is something that has a new place amongst the home buyer costs. There was a change in the not so distant past when the sellers used to have this as part of their necessary inspections and certifications. That has changed to be buyer responsibility. This was a good change because of the “rumor” that when the sellers had this as part of their requirements the pest control and inspection companies were taking unfair advantage or giving clearances when there should not have been.
Now that the home buyers are at the helm related to this particular inspection, there doesn’t seem to be any issues with work not found or made up work to make extra $$$ by the companies who are licensed, bonded and which do the inspection.
Pest Control and Home Inspection at the same time
Most times without Santa Clarita home buyers, we attempt to get both the home inspection and the termite inspection completed at the same time on the same day.
This is important to do, if able because both the home inspector and termite inspector can bounce ideas and comments off of one another. For example, if the pest inspector sees some water stains as he is checking for dry rot and termite infestation, he is able to let the home inspector know to pay particular attention to that specific area. If the home inspector finds some droppings from rodents or other issues, the home inspector is able to let the pest control person in on it. – This is the best way to represent home buyers during the physical inspection portion of the escrow timeline.
Also, having both parties that overlap and comment on each other’s work does a great job at keeping their eyesight focused during the inspection event.
Considerations when selecting a home inspector
What associations are they members with? What about certifications? What are their reviews? What types of residences do they inspect most often? Where are their areas of expertise?
There are trade organizations for home inspectors. Those who are members are typically up to date in training and have access to other devices which can assist with inspections. example – water intrusion cameras, laser temperature measuring devices, drones and more.
The more certifications which are up to date are actually best for the home buyer. When you are ready your top Santa Clarita buyer’s agent should be able to guide you. However, any and all references need to be taken on your own account. Needing to ensure that the service provider you hire is your best choice.
Even though your agent referred them, you need to do your own due diligence with regard to their references.
If I’m dealing with a home in the Santa Clarita Valley city of Newhall and when my buyers show up with a home inspector who has never ever inspected a home in Newhall CA, the red flags get raised. I know for a fact an area of Newhall CA that has issues with cracking foundations related to settling due to them being located on Fill Lots. To best serve the clients a home inspector that knows this when inspecting one of the home in the area which as proven to be affected, would be priority one.
I would be happy to let the home buyer know what I think about their choice of a home inspector if it does not serve their best interests.
Most of the time this is not an issue. Most of the time the home buyer selects someone from the local venue. Someone who has a proven track record of doing the right thing.
The home inspector should prepare a written report or one of a digital nature. Online is fine, downloadable is a must, so it can be stored for future reference. If something comes up in the future, the home seller is able to find out if the home inspector made a comment about it or not.
Home Inspections in Santa Clarita Valley first step
The meeting at the property is critical. I say that because in some cases the home buyer leaves the attendance to the home inspection to their real estate agent and the inspector alone. This is a less than perfect scenario. The home buyer and the home inspector need to be together when the inspection takes place. If both are there, they are able to ask, inquire and bounce issues off of one another.
If the home inspector is not present when the home buyer is, that creates too much of an issue at later dates because the home buyer was unable to “visually” have the condition of the property conveyed.
For example – when there is an issue with the gas heater and the hot water heater having their exhaust vents (pipes) joined into the same exterior vent not being to code, to see it is really a better place for the home buyer to be in.
If there are multiple plugs from various appliances that are required to have a direct power source, plugged into a single outlet, this is an issue. This issue is best shown directly at the time of inspection.
Only a truly experienced home buyers agent would advise their home buyers of the importance of being present at the time of the home and pest control inspectors.
Home inspectors do more than inspect – they advise
There have multiple occasions where our top referred home inspector has advised about issues that relate to the “code” enforcement and other items.
For example, there was a water feature, a large waterfall with individual water compartments where the water flowed. There was a single drain at the bottom that was hooked to the pump. There was only about 6′ separating them for the water to be re-introduced via the pump to the top of the waterfall.
The size of the pump was commented on reference to a child that jumped in when the parents weren’t looking. The home inspector commented that if the child placed his hand on the water intake vent that is connected to the pump, they would not be able to get it off. If that were the case the child would probably be drowned.
The remedy he suggested was two-fold. There is a type of drain cover that is elevated where a hand or two would not be able to cover the intake creating that type of suction. In addition, if the homebuyer were to buy plexiglass in squares then get “legs” and glue them to the rectangular plexiglass they would reduce the depth of the water feature’s chambers to only .5 inches and not 12-24 inches. This would not show to take away from the water features presentation but would be invisible. However, this $20.00 fix would prevent a child from drowning because the depth would be less than 1″.
That is a great home inspector. He knows what he’s talking about and he doesn’t stop with the inspection and move on. He advises about things that will help home buyers protect themselves.
Just not health and safety, a quality home inspector will give insight as to how the home buyer can make the best out of their home. How they are able to use WD-40 on the inside of their shower door to prevent water spots, etc..
Inspecting Santa Clarita Homes the permits
A qualified home inspector will pull permits for the home being inspected. This will give the home buyer additional information needed to make a good buying decision.
If a home is outfitted with extra bedrooms or converted garages, there may be issues in the future. If the county or city is notified or if they are lacking funds, they may go out to inspect properties to see if they can visually identify “unpermitted” items. If they find them, such as in my examples or others, they can fine them money and create multiple issues for the homeowners.
We have had circumstances where home buyers have bought a home, knowing well and good that there was an unpermitted structure. The county contacts the homeowner with the purpose of investigating, resulting in the homeowner being fined if they do not remove or get the addition permitted.
This has happened before, but we have always let the home buyers know the risk of buying a home with unpermitted items.
Warranties on appliances and furnaces
There have been many times where our home buyers have had our top Santa Clarita home inspector choice comment that the items have been under “recall”. This is great for the home buyers because it lets them know the possibilities and also gives them insight into what a good home inspector can do to give them ease when buying a Santa Clarita home.
Standing water and slope investigations
It’s been raining more than we have seen in a long while. This is really great for home buyers because it points out a couple of items. If the home has a leak in the roof or elsewhere it shows. If there is standing water or a drainage issue on the property, it too is known.
Both items are able to be seen and followed up with. As far as slope and standing water, when it’s not raining, a good home inspector is able to give insight into how the water would flow from the home and if the drains that are in place are operable.
GFCI and electrical issues
Making sure that all outlets work and if those outlets have GFCI outlets, the Ground Fault Circuit Interruption, making sure they trip the circuit they are part of so no one is electrocuted who is next to a water source, that is important.
They run the lights and don’t run any of the systems that have been switched off on purpose.
If there is a system that has been turned off, like a water valve that is connected to a toilet, a good home inspector will make a note of it in his report, but not turn it on. I have seen issues start when a home inspector does the wrong thing.
After inspection recap
Good home inspectors will give an “after” session recap where they give the top items that need to have attention paid to them talked about.
The top of their presentation should always be health and safety items. Things like those outlets being next to sinks, bathtubs and other sources of water. They need to be protected so if something that is plugged in enters the water, the circuit will blow and not cause the person in close proximity to become electrocuted.
The big-ticket items should also be discussed. Like the ‘do it yourself’ job by the homeowner who, upon investigation, does not seem to have a knack for installing tankless water heaters.
The home inspection recap should also be handled with a visual component. While I would not expect all parties to crawl up into the attic to view a junction box that was not sealed, a photo will do at the least.
However, the accessible parts of the home that pose concerns should be shown in person during this walk around recap for the home inspection by the home inspector.
This is really great for the home buyer and shines a bright light on what needs to be done to bring the home to a safe place for habitation by them.
Sellers or seller’s agent present during the inspection
This is happing more and more. Sellers attempting to circumvent any potential problems. I get this very well. However, the presence of the home seller sometimes ends up in arguments between them and the home inspector. The home inspector states that something was not done to code or correctly and the homeowner, because they did it themselves, quip back stating why the home inspector is wrong.
This plays out in a drama that is truly only meant for primetime television. It is really awkward, to say the least.
I have since those events of the past made certain that the homeowner and their representative are nowhere around during the formal recap session with the home buyers and their hired home inspector.
It’s better for all parties this way and results in lower blood pressures all around.
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