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Who needs a home inspection - the buyer or seller?

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Issue 08, Volume 18.
John Occhi, Mike Mason
Special to the Valley News
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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 a Temecula/Murrieta Valley homes, MASON Real Estate recommends having a home inspection done prior to the marketing of your home. Then upon review, take care of what needs to be done prior to 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 these 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; i.e. kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, 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 of 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 it’s working properly.

Attic and 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 caulked 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 of 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


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 home buyer, 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.

Call us today and get the information you need to make the right decision. The info is free, call now! (951) 296-8887

Questions regarding available inventory and/or other real estate matters please contact me, Mike Mason, Broker/Owner of MASON Real Estate Cal. BRE: 01483044, Board of Director of your Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors® (SRCAR), Traveling State Director, California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.).



Comment Profile ImageBlake Alexander
Comment #1 | Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 8:03 am
As a mortgage loan originator, I encourage all buyers to choose their own home inspector. Go to and it will let you post the data about the property (takes about 30 seconds). This data is then distributed to home inspectors that are active in the area of the house. The buyer stays anonymous so they don't get a bunch of sales calls. The home inspectors quote ("bid") their fees against each other while the buyer can watch (which is sort of entertaining). Ideally, this buyer has efficiently been able to "zero in" on a pool of home inspectors that can offer the best rates, and has the ability to view each inspector's contact information, biography, experience, credentials, etc. The buyer can call none of them, all of them, one of them, or a few of them talk about proceeding with an inspection. FYI the website also allows borrowers and homeowners to get bids for mortgages and real estate listing agents in the same exact fashion.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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