Is Your Home Inspector Legit? Why Buyers Should Inspect Their Inspectors
Of the roughly 30,000 U.S. home inspectors nationally, those in about 15 states don’t need to be licensed, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. Among the non-licensure states—you guessed it includes California.
How to inspect the home inspectors—and find a winner
Good sources to finding a Home Inspector are professional trade associations. There are two quality associations available in California: the California Real Estate Inspection Association, CREIA and the American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI. 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.
The client should interview all potential Inspectors they are considering and ask the following:
Is the inspector a member of CREIA and/or ASHI?
What does the inspection cover? Make sure the inspection and the inspection report meet all applicable requirements and comply with the CREIA and/or ASHI Standards of Practice. Both Standards of Practice are recognized by the California Legislature
How long has the inspector been practicing and how many inspections have they completed?
Does the inspector’s company offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection? This is against the CREIA and ASHI Code of Ethics as it is a defined conflict of interest
How long will the inspection take? The average for a single inspection is 2 to 3 hours for a typical single-family house; anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection. Some inspection firms send a team of inspectors and the time frame may be shorter
Does the inspector prepare a written report? Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style
Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag
Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his or her expertise up to date? One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his professionalism and service to the consumer
As for what to do if problems crop up that the inspector should have found, the first course of action should be to contact the inspector directly to discuss the issue. No corrective work should be undertaken before the inspector has an opportunity to review the report and be given the chance to revisit the property. Good inspectors will make good on their services if they missed something that should have been discovered during the course of the inspection. Keep in mind that the inspector is operating per an accepted Standards of Practice which states what is required to be inspected and what is not. Also many Inspectors carry professional liability, errors and omission insurance (although it is not required).
The California Association of Realtor’s measure of what it took to buy a local home in the fourth quarter shows three of four Southern California counties with falling affordability. This index tracks what share of households can afford a median-priced, single-family house.
Los Angeles County: It was the only local county with improving affordability, as 28% of households could afford to buy. At year’s end, an L.A. household must earn at least $99,230 to afford the typical monthly house payment of $2,480 on the $503,400 median-priced home.
Orange County: The least affordable county in the region with 22% Households must earn $146,880 to comfortably pay house payments of $3,670 on the $745,160 median-priced house.
Riverside County: Affordability fell to 41%. Households must earn $70,250 to comfortably pay the house payment of $1,760 on the $356,380 median-priced home.
San Bernardino County: This is the region’s affordability hotspot at 54%. Households must earn $49,500 to comfortably pay house payments of $1,240 on the $251,100 median-priced home.
Statewide affordability in the fourth quarter was 31%, the same as the previous quarter but up a notch from 30 percent in 2015’s fourth quarter.
Least affordable counties? San Francisco (13%), San Mateo (15%) and Santa Cruz (17%.)
This week’s listing is a great income property in Capistrano Beach. You have to come in with a substantial down payment in order to make a profit each month, BUT the appreciation potential in this area is huge.
26151 Via California
Unit 1: 3 bed, 2.5 bath
Unit 2: 2 bed, 2.5 bath
3,600 square feet total
Here’s why I think this is a great buy:
Like I said, the appreciation potential is huge. With the revival of the nearby Dana Point Harbor and Lantern District, along with planned upgrades to Capo Beach, property values should rise in the future
Both units are spacious and clean. There is an opportunity for some nice renovations, but the properties could rent as is for now
Highly-rated schools: Palisades Elementary is an 8, Shorecliffs Middle School is an 8, and San Juan Hills High is a 9