The Property Inspection
In the vast majority of home purchases a San Carlos a property inspection will be conducted on the home for sale. Often times these reports are confusing, cannot come to specific conclusion and will need further explanation. Use the primer below to help you obtain a layman’s understanding of your inspection:
The Property Inspector
The first step is understanding the qualifications of your property inspector. All property inspectors should be licensed by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Next, take time to understand just how many inspections your particular inspector has conducted in San Carlos. San Carlos is unique and inspectors who truly understand the type of homes we have built here and inspect them on a regular basis will give you a more accurate home inspection report. Experienced San Carlos inspectors will also be familiar with the fact that our hills have natural springs, the White Oaks, Howard Park and Oak Park areas are built on adobe clay, typical building methods, common issues and drainage. An experienced San Carlos inspector will be able to combine all of the elements of a traditional property inspection with the known local conditions and give you a much more comprehensive picture of the condition of the property.
Understanding the Goal of the Property Inspection
Your property inspector is essentially trying to convey three areas of concern to you: (1) current and potential health and safety issues in the home; (2) a general diagnosis of the key areas of the home such as plumbing, electrical, foundation, etc.; and (3) the inspector is looking to call out the need for a specialist if the particular assessment goes beyond the expertise of the particular property inspector. Frequently, you will find that San Carlos inspections may call out the need for a specialist for the chimney, foundation and drainage.
Chimneys are frequently the subject of a special inspection in San Carlos. The process normally starts when the inspector notes that the chimney is loose. Generally, this is accomplished by the inspector standing on the roof and trying to physically shake the chimney. It is very common in San Carlos to find that the chimney is cracked at the roof line. The 1989 earthquake cracked many chimneys. Most of the time the homeowner is unaware of the cracking until the property inspection first identifies the issue. Generally, cracked chimneys are fixed by undergoing some type of retrofit process. Locally, Dean Designs in Redwood City is the best for retrofitting San Carlos chimneys.
Calling for a drainage expert is also very common in San Carlos property inspections. Our hills are filled with springs and our low lying areas have soil that is filled with adobe clay. Both of these natural surfaces do not exactly bode well for homes unless a drainage system is put into place. Depending on the location and particular design of your home, expected drainage solutions may be as simple as sump pumps and grading, to a fully engineered drainage solution for your entire lot. Costs can range from a few hundred dollars to a hundred thousand dollars, or more, depending on the severity of the drainage issue. If your property inspector has recommended a drainage specialist, take it seriously.
A foundation specialist may also be called for in your property inspection. Cracks in San Carlos foundations are very common. Understanding if the solution to fixing the crack is a simple epoxy injection, or if it is something much more expensive and time consuming is the job of the specialist. Additionally, the bolting system present in your San Carlos home may not be up to current standards. Whether the bolting system that is currently in place is enough to protect the home in the event of a major earthquake is also something the foundation specialist can help you in deciding.
Note to Sellers
Be very careful in selecting the property inspector and specialists for your home. Selecting an inspector or specialist who is not familiar to your agent or to San Carlos could yield a report that is inaccurate. Remember that all professional reports must be disclosed to potential buyers. Just because you have a report that you do not agree with, does not mean that you can simply discard it.