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Who needs a home inspection, the buyer or seller?


Last updated 7/3/2017 at Noon

Everyone should know that when buying a home, it is prudent to have an independent third party inspect the major systems of the home so that you’ll know what condition they are in, avoiding most expensive surprises. As a seller of Fallbrook area homes, MASON Real Estate recommends having a home inspection done before the marketing of your home. Then upon review, take care of what needs to be done before placing it for sale.

By commissioning a pre-inspection and correcting any deficiencies’ you’ll be able to market the home as truly ‘turn-key’ enabling you to ask for the highest and best price the market will bear.

The primary areas of interest focus around 10 major systems that all homes have in common.

APPLIANCES: Every appliance should be run for a full cycle and verified that they are all working correctly and not leaking or giving off any unpleasant odors. The best appliances are the ones that match one another and are Energy Star certified. Remember, kitchens sell houses and upgraded appliances sell kitchens.

HVAC: The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system and the hot water heater should all operate without emitting any loud noises or odors. All plumbing should be corrosion free, filters should all be clean and new and the system should show signs of regular maintenance.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM: All outlets and switches should be grounded and working properly; GFCI outlets should be installed in wet areas, such as kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and exterior walls. Does the panel and breakers appear modern and working properly? Do they have sufficient amps to run a modern household?

PLUMBING: Inspect for leaks, rust, corrosion or other damage to the pipes and connections. Do all the drains function properly? Is the water pressure and temperature where it should be? If there is a septic system, you’ll want a thorough inspection that there are no cracks and that its working properly.

ATTIC & ROOF: Are there any missing shingles? Are they deteriorating? What condition are the gutters in? Does the chimney appear to be structurally sound without any cracks? Look inside the attic for the insulation. Is it even throughout the attic? Is there a radiant barrier?

EXTERIOR SURFACES: Here in the Temecula/Murrieta Valley many of our homes for sale have hairline cracks in the exterior stucco – this is normal with the settling that takes place. Check to make certain that the exterior surfaces are all properly painted and calked and don’t have other damage. Eaves and soffits should be inspected for water damage and the presence of termites (by a certified termite inspector, of course). Check to make sure that the ground cover is not making contact with exterior walls. Sprinklers should all be working properly and not spraying on exterior walls or fences.

STRUCTURE: Visually check the structure for bows in the ceiling. Do all the windows and doors close properly? Is the home properly bolted to the foundation?

LAND: Does the land slope away from the house? Try rolling a water bottle and see how it goes. Check out the driveway, walk ways, patio and any other paved surfaces for cracks or upheavals could be a sign of a natural force that may have also caused damage to your foundation.

DETACHED BUILDINGS: Detached garages, sheds and other out-buildings should be thoroughly inspected to ensure they can withstand the elements. The roof, foundation and the sealing elements are all critical to these structures as is the termite inspection.

BASEMENTS: Not many homes in the Temecula – Murrieta Valley have a basement or cellar. Of course, exceptions can be found and when they are, they should be thoroughly inspected for any moisture or cracking. Make sure to seek out any potential mildew or mold.

This list is by no means to be considered all-inclusive or as a substitute for hiring the right home inspection. It certainly will not replace an appraisal or other mandated inspection. This is to help you identify any potential issues that will undoubtedly be uncovered in the sale process. As a seller, you’ll want to know what they are in advance so you can either repair them or account for them in your asking price. As a homebuyer, you’ll want to know as much about your possible new home as you can before you remove your contingencies.

When your inspectors show up, plan on being there. Allow them to focus on their task at hand, making note of any questions you have. At the end of the inspection, the Inspector should have no problem reviewing all of their findings with you on the spot as well as issuing a comprehensive report complete with photos of all areas in need of attention.

more information, call Mike Mason at (951) 296-8887 and enabling yourself to make an informed, educated decision. Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters can be emailed to Mike Mason, Realtor® & Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate. LIC: 01483044, Board of Director (since 2011) Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR).


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