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« Placer County Land for Sale and August 2007 Statistics | Main | Placer County Real Estate Sales September 3rd - 9th, 2007 »

September 11, 2007

Don't Risk It, Get a Home Inspection

It is imperative that home buyers obtain a professional home inspection on the property they intend to buy. The listing agent, buyer's agent and seller are all required by California law to disclose any knowledge they have regarding adverse conditions related to a property, but they are all limited to disclosing what they are aware of, not necassisarily every problem that exists.

The listing agent, buyer's agent and seller are all limited in their disclosures by their personal level of construction knowledge  and the amount of time they have spent inspecting the property.

Hiring a qualified, professional home inspector to investigate a home increases the chances that if their are problems with a home, they will be found and dealt with before escrow closes. If a buyer opts to waive their right to a home inspection, they are essentially betting that there are no issues with the hope of saving a relatively small amount of money from the home inspection.

Typically a professional home inspection will cost around $350 to $500, depending on the size, age, construction and location of the property and whether there is a pool or spa that needs inspecting as well.

Considering the median price of a home in Placer County in August 2007 was $422,500, a $500 investment in a home inspection is certainly worth it.

The home inspectors fee is typically paid for at the time of the inspection, but in some cases can be paid at the close of escrow.

Paying a home inspector up front is the best choice, because you want the inspector to feel comfortable telling you the condition of the property, even if that means the transaction may be canceled because of what they have found.

I have worked with numerous home inspectors in my career. Some have been very knowledgeable but not very customer service oriented, others have been great guys but not very detail oriented and then there is the inspector I refer clients to now, Jon Gudnason, who is both highly qualified and easy to work with.

Outside of his vast knowledge in home construction, Jon also provides a great report that details every element of his inspection and provides digital pictures of important issues. This report is useful when asking sellers to repair problems and it is also very useful when buyers are relocating from outside of the area.

A simple checklist is not very informative and can leave more questions than answers for buyers who are unable to be physically present during the inspection. Often times this is the case when buyers are relocating from out of the state or when buyers have very hectic work or social schedules.

Having a detailed report with photos of the issues found can be a real time saver.  Even with these photos on the report, I still suggest that clients try to be present for the inspection, if at all possible. It is nice to be able to ask questions while being physically present. If they cannot be there, Jon has always been willing to answer questions over the phone or by e-mail.

Jon currently works with a company that does his appointment booking called Inspection Management Services. He works with two other inspectors, Scott Dewitz and Austin Chase. Both Scott and Austin have worked with my clients when Jon has been out of town and they are both excellent inspectors.

If you are considering buying a home in Placer County, I suggest that you work with one of these gentleman. If you are not in the Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado or Yolo County area, I suggest you find a competent home inspector in your own area. Not getting a home inspection is foolish and could end up costing you far more than the cost of the inspection.

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Home Inspection Says:

Great advice, always get a home inspection. It is piece of mind.

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