Congratulations, you’ve decided to buy your first home. Welcome to being your own landlord, property taxes and 30+ years of debt and adult level responsibility.
After you’ve met with a realtor and found your “dream home” there comes the home inspection. “What do I need a home inspection for?” you might ask yourself, “I’ve walked through that house so many times I know every nook and cranny.” These are all worthy questions, so I decided to go straight to the source and met with Joe Reilly from Strike First Inspections in Menifee. Here is what he had to say.
Q: What exactly is a home inspector?
A: A Home Inspector is someone who does visual non-intrusive inspection of the accessible areas of a residential dwelling.
Q: Does an H.I. make the necessary repairs?
A: The answer is NO. California Business Law 7197(a) states it is an unfair business practice for a home inspector, a
company that employs the inspector, or a company that is controlled by a company that also has a financial interest in a company employing a home inspector, to do any of the following:
- To perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs to a structure on which the inspector, or the inspector’s company, has prepared a home inspection report in the past 12 months.
- Inspect for a fee any property in which the inspector, or the inspector’s company, has any financial interest or any interest in the transfer of the property.
- To offer or deliver any compensation, inducement, or reward to the owner of the inspected property, the broker, or agent, for the referral of any business to the inspector or the inspection company.
- Accept an engagement to make an inspection or to prepare a report in which the employment itself or the fee payable for the inspection is contingent upon the conclusions in the report, preestablished findings, or the close of escrow.
- A home protection company that is affiliated with or that retains the home inspector does not violate this section if it performs repairs pursuant to claims made under the home protection contract.
Q: All that makes sense. If the guy getting paid to inspect is also the guy getting paid to make repairs, that is a conflict. Can a homeowner do an inspection themselves?
A: Of course,(and here is the “however”), the potential buyer or renter is understandably excited about purchasing or renting a home and they are busy visualizing where to put the sofa, T.V., and the trophy case, they are not looking at the small items that may turn into something big. Your home inspector does not have a vested interest in the property and is solely there to point out areas with deficiencies.
As I’ve pointed out before it’s your home and you need to maintain some responsibility over it. If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional wait until you hire an amateur. If you want to get a hold of Joe at Strike First his number is (951) 333-7182.
What lessons have you learned in the home buying process that you wish you had known? Leave them in the comments below.