Home inspections are an integral part of buying and selling homes today. In California, the home inspection process and related deadlines are built into the real estate purchase agreement by default. Although there is no law requiring you to have any inspections done, we strongly encourage our clients to have them done - on every home. A typical home inspection takes several hours and generally costs anywhere from about $400 to $1,000. You should end up with a written inspection report that you'll want to review carefully. Many times home inspectors will spend time at the end of their job discussing their findings and pointing out any problem area(s) and possible solutions. Pest inspections are also encouraged.
Home inspectors will visually evaluate major components of the home like the foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc., and report their findings in the inspection report. The main idea is to alert you to any potential problems and allow you an opportunity to address them, or at least be aware of them before closing. The process is somewhat negative by nature, i.e. looking for problems that need to be addressed, but good inspectors will also point out the positive aspects of the home. A home inspection is not an appraisal and it's not really intended to be completely exhaustive in nature; it's a process designed to allow a third party to visually inspect the property and recommend potential corrective action(s). It's also not a given that the Seller will address all or even any of the items your inspector finds.
There are different styles of inspectors, different experience levels, certification(s), training, etc. The State of California does not currently license, certify, or register home inspectors. Look for certifications like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and consider interviewing more than one inspector to find the best fit for you. Click here, then click on the highlighted link to watch a "Virtual Home Inspection", published by ASHI. Certifications are no guarantee, but ASHI is a respected one and this video provides a lot of good information.
Pest and property inspections are normal parts of buying and selling homes in the Sacramento real estate market. Consult with your home inspector, access the resources here, or submit the form below to request more information. Our goal in any transaction is to make sure you make an informed decision about your new home.