Home Inspection

Foundation

Of all problems to have with a home, foundation problems are probably the least desirable and the source of a home owner’s greatest frustration.  The root cause of foundation problems is difficult to identify. Correcting foundation problems is both costly and disruptive to a home owner’s quality of life. Also, there are few problems that instinctively drive potential buyers away (and sale price down) than foundation problems.

Flood Hazard Areas

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated certain areas throughout the US as flood hazard zones. Owners of real property located in a flood hazard zone are required by law to disclose this fact to prospective buyers.  Property in flood hazard areas can encounter difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing as well as favorable homeowners insurance rates and coverage.   

Environmental Hazards

Asbestos, electromagnetic fields, formaldehyde, hazardous waste, lead, mold, radon…these are but a few of the common environmental hazards buyers of which buyers should be aware.  San Francisco real estate is a huge financial investment and carries with it much risk and much reward. To mitigate risk, buyers are advised to employ qualified inspectors to determine the presence or lack thereof of any known environmental hazards. 

Electromagnetic Fields

Buyers are increasingly more concerned with the effects of prolonged exposure to electromagnetic fields.  Currently there is no conclusive evidence of such exposure contributing to health risks. As such, there are no formal laws governing a seller’s responsibility regarding disclosure.  However, buyers who are concerned should stipulate their desire to have an electromagnetic field exposure test conducted by a qualified professional as part of their home inspection.  Though the seller is not required by law to accommodate this request this does not mean it can’t be negotiated.

Boiler Ordinance

The San Francisco boiler ordinance became effective in July, 1993 after San Francisco residents complained about the suspect safety of boilers in some residential buildings as well as the boilers ability to provide minimum levels of heating comfort.  The boiler ordinance states that: