Home Inspection

Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance

Under San Francisco’s Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance, a seller, before transfer of title can occur, must have an energy inspection verifying that all applicable conservation applications have been installed per the Department of Building Inspection (DBI). This inspection is filed with the DBI and recorded with the county. Sellers are not required to spend more than 1% of the greater of the purchase price or assessed value to comply with the upgrade requirements. In the case of 1 or 2 unit buildings, the cost can not exceed $1300. 

Physical Conditions

Under California Civil Code Section 2079.50 it states that it is the home buyer’s responsibility to seek out information and protect their interest when purchasing a home.  As such every buyer is advised to seek out experts to inspect a home –existing or new- for possible defects.  Generally speaking, unless a seller guarantees the condition or useful life of a component of their home in the purchase contract, the buyer is on their own to absorb any risks associated with ownership of the property. 

Pest Inspection

Most real estate transactions require a pest control inspection. The main purpose is to determine the presence or absence of wood destroying pests or organisms as well as the level of infestation. A certified pest control inspector conducts the inspection and provides a written report to both the person requesting the inspection as well as the Structural Pest Control Board.  The written report –the structural pest control certification- describes the level of infestation, if any, describes the work necessary to correct the problem, and notes what work, if any, has been completed at the time of the report. 

Natural Hazard Zones

The State of California has defined six natural hazard zones.  Real property owners are required to provide a prospective buyer with a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement is the property in question is located in one of these zones.  It is important to note that properties located in these zones are often limited in terms of their ability to be developed, obtain insurance, or receive government assistance in the instance of a disaster.  Buyers are advised to seek out expert advice is a seller identifies a property as a natural hazard zone.   


Mold is an increasingly larger concern among home buyers and renters as more and more people are associating ill health with the presence of mold.  Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statements usually have questions pertaining to the owners knowledge of the presence of mold on the property.