Once your offer has been accepted and you’re in escrow to buy a home, you’ll have a certain amount of time to inspect the property and remove contingencies. Your agent will guide you through what inspections are necessary depending on your unique situation. There are some inspections that are common to almost all home purchases in San Diego and should be completed for peace of mind.
A home inspector will review the structure of the home and all of its associated systems. The home inspector is often the first person to inspect the home during the escrow process, as they often identify potential problems in the property that will require a follow-up inspection by a specialist. For example, a home inspector may feel that there’s an issue with the plumbing and recommend you call a plumber to see what the problem is, how to fix it, and what it will cost.
The home inspector will give you an inspection report for your review and records. Following the inspection, you have the option to negotiate with the seller the completion of any of the repairs, a credit for the work, or in the alternative pay for the repairs yourself. If none of these options are acceptable, you can elect to cancel the escrow.
If you are securing a loan, on the property, there are some issues a lender will require to be addressed and fixed prior to closing. It’s important to have strong representation at this time of the transaction because many repairs are costly and you don’t want them overlooked.
All homes in San Diego should have a termite inspection, unless waived on the purchase contract. If you are getting a loan, most lenders will require a termite clearance (meaning any problems on the property have been addressed and treated) prior to closing escrow.
The seller typically pays for the cost of the termite inspection. The buyer will receive a copy of the termite report, which will be divided into Section 1 and Section 2 items. Section 1 items will need to be addressed in order for the home to close escrow and the seller usually pays for these Section 1 items. Section 2 items are usually covered by the buyer as they are not a requirement for the home to close escrow, but may be something the buyer wants to address in the future. The main difference between Section 1 and Section 2 items is that Section 1 usually refers to remedying active termite infestation or repairing dry rot or damage from termites. Section 2 items usually refer to conditions present in the home that could lead to a future infestation of termites, damage, or dry rot.
Some homes in San Diego County have a septic system and/or a well on the property. If the home you are buying has either or both of these, you will want to get them inspected.
When the septic system is inspected, any known issues will need to be remedied by the seller in order to receive a septic system certificate that it is in good working order.
If there is a well on the property, a well inspection company will need to come out and review how the system is functioning. They will also test the water for coliform bacteria and certain metals and minerals that could be harmful to the health of your family or your home. You will receive a copy of all test results.
There are many other inspections available for a home (roof, pool, foundation, mold, sewer lines, roof, windows, etc) but these are three of the most common ones to consider. Every property is unique so it’s important that you work with an agent who has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the escrow process.
Thinking of buying a home in San Diego County? I would be happy to put my expertise to work for you – call (858) 735-5767 today!