Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What exactly is a Home Inspection?

A typical home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property, performed for a fee. This type of inspection is designed to identify defects within individual systems and components relating to the physical structure and major mechanical systems of a home.

Why is a home inspection so important?

The purchase of a home is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. Forthat reason, it is particularly critical that you learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the potential for any major repairs before making the purchase. Our goal is to help you minimize the possibility of unpleasant surprises, unexpected costs and post-purchase headaches. Throughout the inspection process, your inspector will offer maintenance tips to extract the longest use out of mechanical items and keep your investment in tip top shape. To that end, we are available for postinspection consultations as well. After the home inspection, you will have a much better understanding of the property you are about to purchase, which is the very reason it is so important.

When is the proper time to order a home inspection?

In the case of a home buyer, a home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement is signed with the seller. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can schedule your inspection to meet your needs within the confines of your purchase agreement. In the case of a home seller, we are called just prior to listing their home with a realtor. There are multiple reasons pre-listing inspections provide the seller with an edge in the market.

Do I have to be present for the home inspection?

We prefer to invite our customers to participate in the home inspection process, when possible. It’s an educational opportunity for you to get to know your house before you make it your home! Here are some noteworthy reasons to consider:

  1. You will be on-hand to observe the inspector and ask questions directly.
  2. You will learn firsthand about the condition of the home so as to become familiar with its features and components.
  3. You can understand how various systems work and how to maintain them. Your inspector is a valuable resource for this type of insight; he will be happy to share his experience with you.

If for any reason you cannot be present at the home inspection, we do provide a comprehensive electronic report, including digital photos, videos and descriptions of any issues identified. Also, we ask that you please make us aware of any particular concerns you may have prior to our appointment so that we can address them during our process, whether or not you attend the inspection.

How long does a home inspection last?

A home inspection typically takes anywhere from 2 to 3 ½ hours. It really depends on the size, age and complexity of the home. Another factor that will impact the inspection duration is if the customer is present at the appointment and whether or not they have questions and concerns they would like answers to.

How much does a home inspection cost?

Our home inspection prices are based on age, square footage and peripheral options like a pool/spa system or unattached casita. Other factors include additional services such as asbestos sampling, mold inspections (both complete and limited), and energy audit reports.

We give each customer the same professional service regardless of the size or price of the home. Why not compare prices from several different home inspection services in your area, paying close attention to exactly what is included for the price. We proudly stand behind the outstanding value that we deliver for the money.

Is a home inspection just for new home buyers?

Not at all. It’s also for existing homeowners! If you are planning to sell your home, you know that eventually, your buyers are going to conduct an inspection. You may as well know what they are going to find by getting there first. It allows you to see your home through the eyes of a critical and neutral third party. This will give you a better understanding of issues which may be discovered by the buyer’s home inspection, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition so that defects won’t become negotiating stumbling blocks later. We proudly offer our professional inspection services to smooth out any potential transaction difficulties during the sale process.

Can a home actually “pass or fail” a home inspection?

Not Really. A home inspection is merely a thorough examination of the home’s current condition. To avoid any confusion, it’s helpful to know that we are not referring to an appraisal (which the bank requires to determine market value) nor a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. The objective for this type of inspection is not to “pass” or “fail” a house. Rather, to accurately and impartially describe its current condition and point out potential problems or concerns for your information as an interested party. We are hired to arm our client and their agent with carefully gathered knowledge in order to determine if the home meets their needs and standards.

Home Maintenance Questions

What if my inspector finds problems during the home inspection?

Relax. Please understand that it is rare for any home to be perfect, particularly if it is not brand new. Even an inspection of a new home may reveal important contractor oversights. If your home inspector does identify some areas of concern during the home inspection, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t buy the house. We are merely gathering information for you well in advance of the completion of sale, so that you are clued-in on what to expect and plan for. Oftentimes, you may be able to negotiate the purchase price of the home with the seller if significant issues are found, which may help you offset the required repair costs.

If the house checks out, did I really need a home inspection in the first place?

Most certainly, yes. It is always beneficial to enter new and unknown territory with as much information as possible, particularly since that information may very well help you avoid potential problems in the future. Now that your new home has been thoroughly inspected, you can complete your home purchase with confidence in its overall condition and its vital systems and components. We offer our professional services to aid you as a valuable resource in the often stressful process of making this lifechanging decision.

What are the key things to inspect before buying a house?

The most key things to inspect are also the most expensive to repair. Here’s a short list of some of the most critical things to inspect for: Asbestos, Lead paint, Foundation damage, HVAC repairs or replacement, Mold removal and remediation, Faulty roofing, Issues with sewer pipes or septic systems, Termites. Note that not all of these services are included in standard home inspections. Most home inspectors who offer these services charge additional fees for termite, mold, asbestos, or lead paint testing.

How to avoid buying a money pit?

You’re already taking the first step. Hiring a qualified home inspector is the single best way to avoid buying a “money pit”. If you really want to be sure, you may want to consider hiring an additional inspector, and investing in some more specialized services, such as sewer pipe examinations and termite inspections.

What are the common plumbing issues in homes?

There are a number of common plumbing issues in most homes, but most are not a major cause for concern. This could include dripping faucets, sinks and drains that are clogged and do not drain properly, faulty or failing water heaters, or low water pressure. The most important thing to inspect in a home’s plumbing system is the condition of the pipes. If your pipes and other major water systems are in good shape, fixing more minor issues is usually quite simple.

How long will a modern home last?

Most modern homes built with wooden structural supports and a concrete foundation are expected to last at least 100 years, and could easily reach 200 years. Naturally, this depends on the climate, how each home is cared for during its lifetime, and how well-built the home is. Some homes will, naturally, last longer than others.

What usually needs fixing in a fixer-upper house?

Well, each fixer-upper home is different. Once you have a home inspected, your inspector should be able to give you a list of any major systems – such as plumbing or wiring – that need to be repaired or replaced. Some of the other common systems that may need attention include the HVAC system, the roof, the structure of the home, and the doors and windows. Beyond this, you can fix things based on your personal preferences – re-arranging the kitchen and the bathrooms, for example, or adding new paint, appliances, and fixtures like sinks and toilets. It all depends on the house you’re buying – so make sure you hire a good inspector, and walk through the property a few times, to develop a “game plan”, and make sure you’re prepared for the purchase of a fixer-upper.

Make the Smart Decision

Hire Cal-Spec Inspections for premier, personalized, and professional home inspections.