May 2006 (Palm Springs, Calif) — Celebrating its 30th anniversary, 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 there myths and misconceptions associated with retaining the services of professional home inspector. In an ongoing series, CREIA presents Part One of the series “Myths & Realities About Home Inspections”. An additional listing of common myths can be found online at www.CREIA.org.
Myth: You only need a general contractor to do a home inspection.
REALITY: While having been a general contractor may be useful, a professional home inspector must possess an intricate combination of disciplines, skills, and learning, of which general construction is only one part. In addition to common construction knowledge, an inspector must recognize and evaluate various patterns of deterioration and wear affecting building structures and mechanics, conditions that would not be familiar to persons who deal primarily with new structures. An inspector must also maintain an applied knowledge of building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and fire safety, typically more familiar to specialty tradesmen such as electricians, plumbers, roofers, heating contractors, etc. This knowledge cannot be confined to current building requirements only. An inspector deals with structures of all ages and must have a general idea of which standards were in effect when a particular home was built.
Myth: A termite inspection is all you need to know about a home you’re buying.
REALITY: Although inspecting for termites is an important aspect of the home buying process, buyers and sellers should not to confuse a termite inspection with a home inspection performed a professional real estate inspector. In California, a termite or other wood destroying organism inspection can only be performed by a properly licensed Structural Pest Control Operator. The California Structural Pest Control Board oversees the licensing of this profession. Unless licensed to do so, a professional home inspector may not issue a report on termites or other wood destroying organisms. A professional home inspector who finds evidence of such activity will usually recommend that a qualified termite inspector be consulted. A professional home inspection will address the overall performance of the accessible structural elements, the functionality of the major systems, and some safety aspects of a home and its various components. The purpose of this process is to ensure that a homebuyer has a better understanding what is being purchased, prior to completing the transaction. By consulting with both a termite inspector and a professional home inspector, a consumer will receive valuable information on structural and operational conditions within the property.
Make sure you retain the services of a qualified inspector who is trained and experienced in home inspection and their respective field. It is also very important that your inspector be a member of a professional association such as CREIA to ensure continued education. Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed 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.