Are Home Inspections Required in California?

    Home inspections are non-invasive inspections that are used to give buyers a greater understanding of the condition of the home they are looking to buy. Home inspections tell buyers the true state of the property they are considering buying and identify any potential issues with the property.

    Are Home Inspections Required?

    Buyers are not required to have a home inspection, but they are strongly encouraged to get one. Home inspections are designed to give buyers all the information possible for the property they are in contract to purchase.

    The California Real Estate Inspection Association defines a home inspection as “a noninvasive, physical examination, of real property, of the mechanical, electrical, or plumbing systems or the structural and essential components of a residential dwelling of one to four units designed to identify material defects in those systems, structures, and components.”

    Home inspections will reveal more about the property than buyers might have noticed while taking the open house tour. A home inspector may uncover issues with a home’s electrical setup, foundation, or plumbing.

    Home Inspections Are Worthwhile

    A house is a huge investment for buyers. Buyers will want to know the true condition of the property to make sure that they are offering a fair price for the condition of the home. Buyers will also want to know what repairs they could potentially be taking on with the property or possibly negotiate repairs with the seller.
    Home inspections are relatively inexpensive. The average home inspection costs about $315 and can go up to $400+ depending on the property size. All things considered, to pay a few hundred dollars to know the true condition of a property is an invaluable deal.

    Why Some Buyers Waive Home Inspections

    Sometimes buyers will waive their home inspection rights in their contingencies. A home inspection contingency is usually standard in purchase agreements, however, some buyers will choose to waive contingencies altogether to make their offer stand out more; a non-contingent offer is extremely enticing to a seller. This is especially common when there are multiple offers on the table. In general, when there are multiple offers and too many contingencies, waiving home inspections among other things will make their offer more likely to be chosen.

    Home Inspections vs. Home Appraisals

    Home inspections should not be confused with home appraisals. The two may sound similar, but they have very distinct differences.

    A home appraisal focuses only on establishing the market value of the property. Appraisals are done to ensure that the mortgage loan does not exceed the true value of the property. Home appraisals are almost always required whenever taking a loan out to purchase a home.

    A home inspection focuses on the condition of the home. It’s performed to evaluate the true state of the home. Home inspectors examine the property and specifically look for flaws or defects. The home inspection is purely for the buyer’s knowledge and peace of mind to give them more insight into the overall condition of the property.

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