August 2006 (Palm Springs, Calif.) - In an ongoing series during its 30th anniversary year, the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) cautions home buyers and sellers, as well as all individuals involved in real estate transactions, that there are myths and misconceptions associated with retaining the services of a professional home inspector. CREIA presents Part Four of the continuing series “Myths & Realities about Home Inspections”.
Myth: A newly constructed home does not need an inspection.
REALITY: No matter how good a job your builder does, a competent home inspector may find defective conditions that managed to slip through the cracks of the construction and municipal inspection processes. A new home construction inspection is an independent, third party inspection to ensure that the work completed is in compliance with plans, specifications, and the construction schedule. Once a home is built, many conditions that could have been observed during construction are now covered and are no longer visible for inspection. Often an improperly installed or poorly constructed condition that could have been visually reviewed during construction becomes covered or concealed later in the building process cause a potential financial burden for the property owner for future corrective action. For these reasons, it is important that a home be inspected during construction by the buyer’s representative whenever possible so that any reportable defects can be corrected before completion and transfer of title. A detailed inspection report can provide a pick-up list for the contractor, before you occupy your new home; be sure to hire a professional home inspector for a final review of the project.
Myth: An inspection is not needed as long as an appraiser has viewed the property.
REALITY: While appraisers are skilled at the valuation of properties, they are not home inspectors. Appraisers perform a different service with a different level of expertise than a professional home inspector - they generally do not climb on roofs, open electrical service panels, or examine furnaces or other appliances. They are not trained to perform home inspections to recognized standards, a process which typically requires two to three hours on-site for a single-family home. Appraisers only establish the value of the property for mortgage purposes. Buyers need to secure their own home inspection through the services of a qualified inspector and satisfy themselves about the condition of the property.
Make sure you retain the services of a qualified inspector who is trained and experienced in home inspection. It is also very important that your inspector be a member of a professional association such as CREIA to ensure qualifications and continued education. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection profession and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed and maintained by the Association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a written test of property systems and complete 30 hours of education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances that affect property inspection and the business of real estate inspection.
CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education. To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you click here or call CREIA at (800) 388-8443.