Frequently Asked Questions
Are your inspectors licensed?
California does not offer or mandate licensing for home inspectors.
LaRocca Inspections requires certification once each new inspector’s credentials are obtained. Each inspector is required to be a member of either the California Real Estate Inspectors Association (CREIA) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). These associations offer testing and certification, along with required continuing education in order to remain membership.
LaRocca Inspections’ general inspectors follow the CREIA Standards of Practice. Click on the link for further information: https://www.creia.org/creia-standards-of-practice.
What does a general physical inspection consist of?
An examination of the five major systems and components of the dwelling(s), parking structure, the interior and exterior, along with the immediate adjacent grounds.
The five major systems and components are:
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
The inspector will focus on material defects in these three categories:
- Safety Hazards
- Not Functioning Properly
- At the Ends of Their Service Lives
For our definitions, scope, standards of practice, and exclusions, please click on this link: https://www.creia.org/creia-standards-of-practice
Do you have insurance?
Yes, each of our inspectors carries errors and omissions insurance and we have general liability insurance in order to protect our clients.
In the contract, the California Association of Realtors® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions, under the Buyer’s Investigation of Property And Matters Affecting Property - section D it states:
“Buyer shall carry, or Buyer shall require anyone acting on Buyer’s behalf to carry, policies of liability…”
What will my report look like?
Your inspection report is tailored to the property we are inspecting for you. It will include photos, descriptions, and details as to the safety, functionality or serviceability of the five major systems and components. Along with recommendations for further evaluation, specialty inspections, service, or replacement.
When can I expect my report?
Typically for an average size home, the report will be emailed about 24 hours after the inspection is completed, and up to 48 hours for larger homes and estate properties. If special arrangements need to be made, please speak with your inspector at the time of the inspection.
Does your company offer repair services?
LaRocca Inspections does not offer repair services because it is a conflict of interest. We will not benefit from the findings in our inspections. The inspector is solely focused on impartial inspection services.
We provide a Contractor Referral directory on our website to assist our clients in knowing where to start to find many types of services.
Do I have to attend the inspection?
We highly recommend that you attend your inspections so you can ask questions, discuss findings, see what the inspector is referring to in-person and not just in the report. You are not required to in order for the inspection to be performed.
If you are the buyer of a home or investment property:
- This will be one of the very few opportunities to familiarize yourself with the home and grounds, garage and/or other structure(s). In fact, it may be the longest period of time afforded to a buyer to spend inside and on the property.
- You are provided with the right to an inspection contingency period in your Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions, your contract. It behooves you to take advantage of it.
- In the California Association of Realtors® Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory it states under Buyer Rights and Duties:
- You should conduct thorough investigations of the Property both personally and with appropriate professionals.
- From California Civil code 2079.5: Nothing in this article relieves a buyer or prospective buyer of the duty to exercise reasonable care to protect himself or herself, including those facts which are known to or within the diligent attention and observation of the buyer or prospective buyer.
If you are the seller of a home or investment property:
- Being on site for your pre-listing inspection is important in case any questions arise from the inspector.
- If you have any questions or concerns, it is important to have those answered at the time of the inspection, whenever possible.
- If the inspector finds a significant defect, your inspector can show you and discuss it with you at the time of the inspection briefing.
Do all utilities have to be on for a general physical inspection?
Yes. A complete general inspection cannot be performed if one or more utilities are not on at the time of the inspection. It is an additional cost and will be added time to the inspection process if the inspector has to come back out to complete the original inspection. It is a Seller’s duty to have all utilities on through to the date of possession.
In the contract, the California Association of Realtors® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions, under the Buyer’s Investigation of Property And Matters Affecting Property - section C it states:
“Seller shall have water, gas, electricity and all operable pilot lights on for Buyer’s Investigations and through the date possession is made available to Buyer.”
Do I need to read all of the report?
Yes. The entire report is what a client pays for and it contains the results of the inspection. It contains photos, details and recommendations. Not only for items a client decides are key to decisions being made regarding a real estate transaction, but also for future decisions, maintenance and more. The inspection report contains valuable information on each page for one’s knowledge and use of the home or building overall.
The California Association of Realtors® Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory under Buyer Rights and Duties it states:
“You should read all written reports given to you and discuss those reports with the persons who prepared them.”
Please contact your inspector directly or contact our Client Services Manager for any questions you may have after reading your report. Please have your report at-hand when calling so it can be reviewed with you.
Is a home inspection required when I buy a home?
It is highly recommended as part of a Buyer’s due diligence in California. It is also provided as a standard right to Buyers in California.
California Civil code, the California Association of Realtors® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions, the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory, and other Buyer advisories given to clients during a real estate transaction, advise performing investigations and professional property inspections as part of a buyer’s rights and duties. Because real estate is a major financial investment.
Sellers do not always know the condition of the home.
Most lenders do not require a home inspection; check with your lender and insurance company to verify if any inspections are required.
Are home inspections and appraisals the same?
No, they aren’t the same. Inspections and appraisals are two different services:
An appraisal is an estimated value of the home, specifically done for the purpose of qualifying for a mortgage.
A professional home inspection is an unbiased report of the current physical condition of the home; an appraisal is not an examination and assessment of the current condition of the five major systems and components, interior and exterior. A true home inspection will not provide an estimated value of a home or property.
Can my home “fail” a home inspection?
There isn’t a pass or fail when it comes to home inspections.
Home inspectors are there to discover the condition of the home. This allows you to make informed decisions for your next steps.
LaRocca Inspections’ general inspectors follow the CREIA Standards, please click on the link for further information: https://www.creia.org/creia-standards-of-practice
What if the home inspection does not find any material defects?
Then you have just spent a nominal fee for peace of mind regarding the condition of the home.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you have done part of your due diligence to make informed decisions about your next steps. Knowledge is power.
Why would I want to get a pre-listing inspection before selling my house?
The California Association of Realtors® Seller’s Advisory state
You should consider doing what you can to prepare your Property for sale, such as correcting any defects or other problems, making cosmetic improvements, and staging. Many people are not aware of defects in or problems with their own Property. One way to make yourself aware is to obtain professional inspections prior to sale.
We recommend pre-listing inspections to avoid the untimely surprises and pressures of renegotiating credits for repair (aka renegotiating your profit) while under contract. Delays or cancellations due to inspection findings happen. Be proactive.
We want to help you increase your options as a Seller:
- Decide what to address in the inspection reports on your terms
- Set the listing price based upon the true condition of the property
- Disclose the complete picture to prospective buyers before accepting an offer
- Buyers can submit offers with higher confidence
- Attract the right buyer for your property and its condition
- Have a smoother transaction
- Reduce negotiating points
- Bypass untimely delays
I was given a previous inspection report? Why should I spend my own money to have another general inspection performed?
If the seller has given you a pre-listing inspection report, it’s a good indication of the consideration and transparency the seller has for you as a buyer.
However, it does not replace your due diligence in performing your own personal investigations and professional inspections of the property. You have your own needs and wants for the home. You may have your own questions and concerns.
The California Association of Realtors® “Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory” under Buyer Rights and Duties states:
- You should retain your own professional even if Seller or Broker has provided you with existing reports.
- You should read all written reports given to you and discuss those reports with the persons who prepared them.
If you do not have your own inspection performed, keep in mind:
Something may have changed between the time the inspection was performed and the inspection contingency period. Including repairs made on behalf of the seller.
You won’t be under contract with the inspection company or inspector. There would be no recourse for you, should it be needed in the future.
The insurance coverage, such as errors and omissions insurance and general liability insurance, would not cover your claim should the need arise.
You would not have the opportunity to attend the inspection and ask questions regarding your areas of concern and be shown the systems or components for better familiarity as the future homeowner.
Questions you have about the inspection report may not be answered by that inspector, because you would not be their client.
It is a good idea to have your own inspection performed for many reasons.
We can provide a Review inspection, within 30 days of the previous inspection if it was performed by us, for a 30% discount in price. Performed by the same inspector who performed the inspection, originally. You could attend the inspection, ask your questions, receive the on-site briefing, have a contract with us, including our errors & omissions insurance and general liability insurance.
Do you walk on the roof during the inspection?
It’s not always necessary to walk on the roof to inspect it.
Your LaRocca Inspections’ inspector will walk on the roof, as long as the roof is accessible with a 13-foot ladder, there is no risk of causing damage to the roof, and there’s no risk of personal harm to the inspector.
If he or she cannot walk on the roof, the inspector will inspect from multiple locations, including viewing from the top of the 13-foot ladder, using binoculars from the ground, and from second-story windows.
Do you inspect under the house through the crawlspace?
Yes, our inspectors will inspect any and all accessible areas including under the house through the crawlspace. If there is an opening that is accessible, with adequate space and clearance, without risk of damage to the structure or harm to the inspector performing the inspection, following our standards of practice.
Do you inspect the pool?
Yes, we can. It is an additional fee.
There are two types of swimming pool inspections. One is mandated by the State of California and is a 7-point safety inspection. The second type is an examination of the physical condition and components of the swimming pool.
Do you inspect the chimney?
Yes, an exterior visual assessment of the chimney and fireplace is part of the general physical inspection.
Please note that this is not a Level 2 chimney inspection that will examine the interior of the chimney and fireplace from all accessible areas, top to bottom as the National Fire Protection Association recommends, any time a home transfers ownership.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states: A Level 2 Chimney Inspection shall be conducted upon sale or transfer of property. (see the NFPA 211: Standard for Chimneys, Fireplaces, Vents, and Solid Fuel-Burning Appliances publication.)
A Level 2 chimney inspection is a comprehensive video examination of the chimney and fireplace system. This type of inspection utilizes a specific kind of video camera to see and record the condition of the chimney inside. A chimney inspector must have specialized knowledge to properly determine the safety and usage of the system. The structural condition of the system is also determined.
Our Chimney Check inspectors can provide this service using specialized equipment and expertise for a Level 2 chimney inspection and report.
Is water pressure checked?
We check water volume with multiple fixtures running at the same time to assess satisfactory levels. If water volume drops significantly when several fixtures are running concurrently, it will be noted in your inspection report. Don’t forget to read the report.
What about mold?
If mold is visibly observable in one or more areas at the time of inspection, it will be noted in the inspection report.
The California Association of Realtors® “Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory” under the Mold Section states:
In addition, Mold is often undetectable from a visual inspection, a professional general property inspection and even a structural pest control inspection.
If Buyer wants further information, Broker recommends that Buyer have the Property tested for Mold by an environmental hygienist or other appropriate professional during Buyer’s inspection contingency period.
Our Moisture and Mold Check inspectors can provide this service using specialized equipment to detect areas of moisture and test for mold. If samples are needed these will be taken to an accredited lab for analysis.
Do you inspect the sewer lines?
It is a separate inspection service. Specialized video camera equipment is used to inspect the line underground for breaks, cracks, root intrusions, or other significant issues, and proper connection to a public or private sewer.
Our Sewer Line Check inspectors offer this service and deliver written and narrated video reports.
A homeowner’s responsibility is for the entire sewer line. This includes any issues its condition can cause not only within the homeowner’s property, but all the way to the middle of the public street, if that’s where the sewer connection is located.
If ever needed, the replacement of a sewer line can cost tens of thousands of dollars. So, the timely maintenance, service or repair of a sewer line can save a lot of money, time, unsanitary and embarrassing situations inside and outside the home.