For those of you who are thinking of buying a home, please consider some up front ideas and the cost of them. Buying a home costs money. It isn’t expensive when you compare the cost of inspections for example vs. the purchase of a home. The average cost of a home inspection in Nevada County and areas around is between $450 and $600. When you compare the price to NOT knowing the conditions of a property, it is amazing.
Most people, however, don’t personally KNOW a home inspector, so how do you go about finding the perfect one for you? As with anything, the best source to find an inspector is a referral from a friend or someone who has had a positive experience with a home inspection. Good sources to finding a home inspector are professional trade associations, usually under the “find an inspector” category. There are two quality associations available in California: the California Real Estate Inspection Association, and the American Society of Home Inspectors. Both organizations require their members to pass an exam showing competence in the home inspection profession along with requiring that each member maintains continuing educational credits each year, CREIA requiring 30 hours per year and ASHI requiring 20 hours per year. Both organizations have similar missions being primarily consumer protection and awareness along with educating their members. There are a number of inspectors in California that belong to both organizations, all the better for the home buying public.
The most important connection you can have is a solid personal relationship with area experts. Each county in the state has different building practices and codes. It is important that you have someone knowledgeable in the building codes of the STATE but also the nuances for the local environment as well. In my opinion, it is helpful to have several names from people you trust. I have a short list of trusted inspectors. The reason it is a short list is due to my strong desire to only work with the best and brightest and I tend to be very conservative with handing out names. People have to prove themselves to me. After nearly thirty years in this industry, I have to say I am a bit jaded but some of the “inspectors”. I try to remain up beat, but I have little faith in someone who is too impressed with their own expertise (ego is a deal killer for me). Some of the inspectors I have had to deal with lately are so “check box” oriented that if the custom home they are inspecting has anything unusual, they just are clueless.
So as in all things, do your homework. Make sure you are comfortable with the references. Have more than one reference if possible, and, of course, trust your real estate professional. I don’t know everyone, but I do know good people. And when I meet a new inspector, as I did just last week, who I found to be really GOOD, I add them to my list.
Finally, show up for the inspections. Especially the home inspection. This is your chance to interface with the inspector and he/she can explain the report to you. Be sure you ask questions until you understand. Don’t be shy, you paid for this time. Take the time off work if you must, it is that important. And if you are my client, you know I too will be there to lend support, ask questions on your behalf, and generally keep things on track.
Want to know more? Call me!