It is always advisable to have a home inspection conducted on your behalf. It allows you to find out about problems, and negotiate any issues that have been uncovered. You may even decide to exit the deal. In fact, the number one reason that deals fall through is due to issues uncovered by the home inspection report, according to recent research conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) based on data collected from December 2016 through February 2018.
However, there are special items to consider prior to hiring someone to inspect your potential Los Angeles’ home. This is particularly true if you are relocating to L.A. since you are bound to discover differences in the process.
No license required
It is important to realize that California does not require any minimum standards for home inspectors. This means the state does not oblige him/her to pass an exam, have a license, a minimum experience requirement, or any other qualifications. This is different than other states, including New York which mandates 140 hours of approved education, performing 100 home inspections, and passing a test, along with a 24 hour approved continued education requirement in order to renew his/her license.
However, you can find a licensed home inspector. One way is to search through associations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors.
With its balmy year-round weather, many Los Angeles homes have pools. You can either hire your existing home inspector to extend the service to the pool or have a dedicated pool inspector conduct it. You can ask questions to know his/her experience and competence in order for you to raise your confidence level, no matter which route you take.
In either case, the inspection should cover the equipment and its safety.
Choosing an L.A. home inspector
Inspectors typically base their fees on the home’s square footage. Typically, it is in the $200 to $500 range, although the amount varies widely. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand what the inspection entails. You may also pay more for a well-established firm.
There are a variety of sources you can use to find an inspector. Your real estate agent is a good starting place. At Elika Real Estate, we offer a free referral service to connect you to the right buyer’s agent. Remember, an exclusive buyer’s agent is on your side and has a fiduciary duty to you. Referrals from friends and family is another good source. You can use the Internet, although we suggest proceeding along these lines with caution.
You should speak to each inspector prior to making the decision. This is one area where experience counts, so you want to find out how long he/she has been in business, and the average tenure of the inspectors if there are employees. You should also dig deeper to find out if the experience matches up with your needs. For instance, if you are looking to buy a condo and he/she has only done single-family homes, this is not a good match.
The home inspector fills out a report. You can ask to see his/her previous work to determine if it is thorough. Lastly, the inspector should never ask to complete the required work since this is a clear conflict.