San Francisco Real Estate: Escrow Out Loud

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#46: Thousands of Home Inspections

Season 1, Ep. 46

After a brief hiatus we're back with a brand new episode.


For most buyers, without previous experience in construction, knowing what to look out for when buying a property can be quite daunting. This week on Escrow Out Loud, our San Francisco Real Estate podcast, we talk to David Milne from Arch Home Inspections about the importance of home inspection.


[01:32] Why is it important for everyone to have a home inspection when buying a property? What it really comes down to is gathering information on the condition of the property, so that you can make the best decision going in. David explains there are normally two reports; one is a termite/pest inspection and the other is a contractor report which David would provide. A typical contractor's home inspection report includes everything from the foundations, exterior covering, roof condition, drainage conditions, water, the three utilities, water heater and heat system as well as looking for any alarm bells inside the building. Because a home inspection isn't really designed to cover appliances, David recommends people also consider a home warranty.


[05:17] The pest control inspectors are governed by a board that oversees them but in California there is no licensing for home inspection. What they do have is organizations such as ASHI and CREIA that provide governing standards to follow. What does home code compliance actually mean and how does it change over time?


[09:58] Since home inspectors are not regulated we should consider what the inspector's background is when choosing a good one. In David’s case experience in construction and working as a high-end trim installer made him an ideal fit for a career in home inspection.


[12:15] The process of home inspection can be an emotional and stressful process for everyone involved. For David his favorite inspectins are when dealing with first time buyers. He shares his favorite stories and explains how his approach is to reassure and relax them.


[14:14] Whether he is working with sellers, agents or buyers, David always aims to tell it as it is, without embellishing or leaning towards either side. A part of his job is to deal with objections and the best way he found to deal with this aspect of his job is to keep an open dialogue with people. He recommends that people talk to different contractors if they are not satisfied with the advice they are getting. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you are hearing similar advice from different people, you are on the right track.


[19:55] Property prices keep climbing in San Francisco and have come a long way in recent years. This means that, proportionally, the major systems and structures cost less to fix now days. Changing the foundation now costs just 5% of the purchase price and is not as relatively daunting.


[22:02] Before beginning his inspection, David likes to ask people what their plans for the property are and advise them accordingly. Most of San Francisco is old and built with old redwood which is great quality. How is the newer construction different? Finally, what to do with old foundations and why it is a good idea to bundle your projects to get the best bang for your buck!


Thank you for joining us for this week’s episode. We hope you enjoyed tuning in and join us again next week for part two of our interview with David!

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