The Kern County CREIA Chapter formed in 1992 when it split the San Joaquin Chapter so to have chapter meetings in the Fresno and the Bakersfield areas. Fermin Galvan has been the significant leader in the development of the Chapter and his has served as Chapter President or as a chapter officer since the formation of the chapter. More on the chapter leaders can be found below in the Chapter leadership section.
Bakersfield is the county seat for Kern County and it is located in the lower in southern part of the San Joaquin Valley. The valley is partially surrounded by three mountain ranges, the Temblor Range to the west, Tehachapi to the south and Sierra Nevada to the east. The Kern River flows through the valley providing rafting and fishing opportunities and water for the agriculture industry and cities in Kern County. Kern County is the leading oil-producing county in the continental U.S. and the fourth most productive agricultural county in the nation.
Bakersfield has a rich heritage that goes back 8,000 years to the Yokuts Indians who were the first people to settle in the San Joaquin Valley. Some of the early explorers were the Spaniards. The real growth and development of the town of Bakersfield began with the 1851 discovery of gold in the bed of the Kern River, the discovery of oil in 1895 and the introduction of track type tractor in 1903. With the discoveries of gold, oil and rich soil brought a rich cultural diversity to the area. The French introduced sheep ranching and brought Basque sheepherders, The Chinese came to build the railroads and the Greeks came to work them. The French, Basque, Italians, Mexicans, and Portuguese helped to establish farming south of Bakersfield. The City of Bakersfield is named after one of its early settlers, Colonel Thomas Baker.
The future of California is here in Bakersfield today. With miles of open fields for growth, and an population of 267,000 (13th largest city in California), Bakersfield is moving from a oil/petroleum based economy to a distribution hub for businesses and trucking firms and continues to be a major player in agriculture. With our new large convention center and hotel facilities would provide a great place for a CREIA convention. With the nearby attractions of river rafting, dining out at the different Basque eateries and being entertained at the Western US capital of country music, we all invite you to come and visit us in beautiful Kern County.
Casa Munoz Restaurant
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Contact: Dennis Bankson, CCI
A home inspection is an independent, unbiased review and report on a home’s systems, components and conditions. Consumers and real estate professions should expect no less than full professionalism, education, competence, credentials, knowledge, courtesy and an adherence to CREIA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The State of California does NOT license home inspectors. CREIA takes the lead in requiring adherence to our Code of Ethics and following our Standards of Practice. With more than 1,000 members, CREIA has been successfully setting the standard – in the field, in the courtroom and in the legislature – for more than a quarter of century. 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. We are the oldest and largest nonprofit state inspector association in the country…and we are California – specific in our education and consumer outreach. Since 1976, CREIA has been dedicated to enhancing consumer protection and promoting public awareness. CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a written test of property systems and complete 30 hours of education each year.
Many inspectors claim to be CREIA members or claim their reports meet or follow CREIA’s Standards of Practice. Do not be fooled; ask to see the CREIA BADGE. Only inspectors who meet CREIA’s rigorous professional and educational requirements may qualify as members and wear a badge. The membership badges have a printed expiration date, signifying the member as a current member in good standing. Ask your inspector to SHOW THE CREIA BADGE.
Additional Inspection Services
It is better to pay for your own inspection before putting your home on the market. Having a pre- listing inspection done will make the entire sale process easier. Find out about any hidden problems and get them corrected in advance, on your own terms. Alternatively, you can present the items "as is" and are reflected in the purchase price. Otherwise, you can count on the buyer's inspector finding them, at the worst possible time, causing delays, and costing you more money.
One of the key benefits of having the inspection done before listing the home for sale is that if there are any problems discovered that need to be repaired, you can have the repairs done on your own terms and on your own schedule. When a problem is not found until the buyer has an inspection performed, the deal you have worked so hard to get done may fall apart unless you act quickly to get the repairs done. On the other hand, you may have to take a lower price, in order to keep the deal moving. In either case, you will almost certainly have more headaches, and spend more money, than if you had known about the problem and had it repaired before negotiations began. You could save thousands by simply being able to shop around and get competitive bids from contractors, rather than being forced into paying for a "rush job" at the last minute. Another area where you can save money is in having flexibility to choose the materials used in repairs. Sales contracts usually specify repairs must be made using materials of "comparable quality". By identifying needed repairs early, you will have the option to save money by using less expensive materials or equipment for the repairs.
You can also benefit from simply offering certain items "as is". Often, you can negotiate with a buyer to accept items in the current condition by stipulating that they be reflected in the purchase price. Nevertheless, that same buyer may walk away from the deal if the conditions come as a surprise, after an offer has already been made. If the home is inspected before the house goes on the market, you will be aware of the condition of the house before an offer is made. This can help to avoid surprises and the deal is far less likely to fall apart. It takes a lot of effort to get a sales agreement signed in the first place. If the inspection turns up problems, the buyer will want to negotiate a new deal and that second sales agreement is usually even harder than the first one.
By having a pre-listing inspection done, you can identify problems early. You may choose to correct them or present them "as is"; assuring that the first offer you accept can move quickly and smoothly to closing without delays or costly surprises.
Mediation is a process of the parties making a decision between them utilizing the services of an impartial trained mediator. The mediation setting is informal and both sides are permitted opportunity to express both their factual position as well as their emotions on the matter. It is an efficient and usually inexpensive process. As with arbitration, is it recommended that you engage the services of someone familiar with real estate and inspection issues. We can help you locate mediators who are familiar with inspection and consumer issues.
Engaging an arbitrator is similar to having a judge, although the arbitrator may be an experienced trained layperson. After hearing both sides, the arbitrator makes a decision in the matter. Arbitration, like mediation, can be binding or non-binding. The parties involved determine this. It is recommended that you engage the services of someone familiar with real estate and inspection issues. In some cases, your contract with the inspector may require you to arbitrate any dispute that cannot be resolved. The contract may also stipulate an arbitration service provider that specialized in construction and inspection issues to better serve both parties. We can help you locate arbitrators who are familiar with inspection and consumer issues.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it all goes wrong, and you have no choice but to try to get help from the legal system. In California, the "legal system" includes a small claims court; an alternative designed to produce faster judgments at a reduced expense. Small claims court is designed to help people recover money, while arbitration or courts of greater jurisdiction are better alternatives for more complex problems. The amount of money that you can collect in California small-claims court is limited to $5000. Suing in small claims court in not a complicated procedure, and the whole process, from starting your lawsuit to collecting your judgment, might take only a few weeks. Please note that procedures may vary from county to county. Contact your local Small Claims Court for more information.
In the unfortunate event that your dispute rises to the level of a full court action, you (and your attorney) will probably be in need of expert witnesses who can testify as to the standards of practice for inspectors and to comment on the performance of the inspection in dispute. We offer an Expert Witness service for Litigation, Insurance and the Construction Industry. We are currently offering this service in the following areas: Home Inspections, Tile Roofing and Construction related Moisture Issues.
We can assist in finding research resources, pointing out false or weak assumptions provided by other experts, identifying investigative leads and performing any analytical procedures to prepare your case. We will work to begin immediately preserving and documenting evidence with digital photographs, testing or any measurements we feel necessary to preserve the facts in the case.
We understand the difference between acting as a consultant and becoming a testifying expert. As testifying experts, any written information can be discoverable and we try to take any precautions to avoid misleading statements. We will help in understanding both the strengths and weaknesses in the case. Remember, many qualified expert witnesses can have different opinions. We can help to point out those differences so that there is not unwarranted confidence in our opinions. It is always better to know the weaknesses of your case before it is in the courtroom.
If your case must proceed to the trial stage, we can assist in locating corroborative data, which can support our opinions. We have resources of information concerning construction defects, environmental hazards, building codes and excerpts from building, environmental and health journals. All of the above information helps us in becoming an advocate as opposed to simply an unbiased expert whose opinion happens to favor you or your client. We look over each case carefully to assure that the project we have been hired to work on is within the boundaries of our expertise. If we should require outside assistance, we will promptly indicate that and provide potential candidates that we have worked with on other projects or we know to have good reputations and excellent credentials. If arbitration or mediation is an option, we will act as an impartial third party to view the evidence and aid in the resolution of the case.
Many new homeowners had never even thought about having a home inspection on their new home! They said, "What could possibly be wrong, this is a new house", and were confronted with major defects after move-in or when the home was inspected for a buyer when it was later sold. Buying a new house is likely one of, if not the largest purchase decision you will ever make. The whole process is fraught with emotion and stress. A professional home inspection will substantially reduce the risk for your large investment in a new home. It just makes sense to learn as much as you can about the quality of your new home, before signing off on everything.
Building a new home is a tremendously complex endeavor. It involves many people, split up into sub-contractor groups, all having been awarded the contract by being the "LOW BIDDER", and each sub- contractor working on different parts and systems of the house. Over 90% of the labor force that builds homes today are not Union members or trade apprenticed. It's no secret that builders are having a difficult time finding skilled construction labor during the current building boom. With current city and municipal budgets under financial stress, it is not unusual for the average City/Municipal Inspector to have a workload of 25-30 inspections in a single day. City and Municipal Code Inspector's are hard pressed to cover every item in every home. Electrical outlets and switches are not inspected, appliances and major systems are not tested. The utilities have not been hooked-up/connected to the home during the municipal inspections. City inspectors do not enter attic spaces or go onto roofs. Improperly installed roofing materials are the most common defect found in new homes today, with moisture intrusion being the number one cause of construction defect lawsuits.
Even for the best builders, it is nearly impossible to complete this process without missing something. Maybe it's a plumbing fixture that didn't get tested for leak's, maybe it's an electrical component that isn't working, or any one of dozens of minor problems that can easily be overlooked in such a major undertaking. Sometimes it is more serious and could compromise the health and safety of your family or subject you to substantial expense to correct when you go to sell your home. We will look for such problems while it is still early enough for you to bring them up with the builder and have them corrected before you sign-off.
If your builder will not allow an independent third party, professional home inspection with a company of your choosing you should have reason for concern. What does the builder have to fear or hide? You may also choose to have an independent third party professional home inspection before your one year builder's warranty is up. State law specifies a number of items that a builder is responsible for beyond the one-year builder warranty. For the relatively small cost, a professional inspection of your new dream home can pay big dividends in peace of mind and getting any problems identified and corrected by the builder before they can become an unpleasant surprise.