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The Importance of Home Inspections: An Interview with Hendrie Javier of The House Mouse

By Hendrie Javier

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

I've been involved in one form or another in the construction industry since I was 19years old (30+ years). House Mouse Home Inspections opened its doors in 2001 and has performed well over 3,000 home inspections. Our service area includes all of Santa Clarita, San Fernando, Antelope, San Gabriel, Simi valley areas and all points in between. Our inspections cover exterior grading, fences, walls, structural components, siding, roof,windows ,doors, heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing, water heater, fireplace, chimney, attics, kitchen appliances, pools, etc. We literally test, observe and report on the hundreds of items of your home. Our inspection reports include more than 50 pages of detailed descriptions, observations and recommendations as well as photographs to give you a visual understanding of our report narratives. We also include technical illustrations to help you understand the way the component is supposed to look after it's been repaired. Buying a home can be a stressful yet exciting experience. There are many things to consider when making what will probably be the most significant purchase of your life. Choosing an experienced and knowledgeable home inspector can help you through one of the most important aspects of the home buying process. I will do everything I can to ensure that you are informed and aware about the condition of your new home.

How does a home inspection fit into the home buying process?

A home inspection is a very important component of the home buying process. A professional home inspection will help you understand the actual condition of the home prior to your purchase. There may be relatively minor concerns that you may have spotted during your various visits, but there may also be major concerns or potential safety issues that may affect your decision to buy the house.

Once the financing process is complete, the home inspection is typically performed after escrow has started. You have a certain number of days to conduct the discovery process, which in part includes the home inspection. It is best to have the home inspection scheduled as soon as possible, because if there are items or issues that may need further examination or review by a specialist, you will need the extra time to consult with them prior to the close of escrow.

Why would you need additional inspections or consultations?

A professional home inspection report will help you understand the the apparent condition of the hundreds of various components and systems of the home. If there are damaged, inoperable, improper or faulty items present, further review by a specialist (a plumber, electrician, heating/cooling, roofer, etc.) would be needed to determine the extent of the problem and/or give cost estimates for repair or replacement. That cost may affect your decision to purchase the home or better help you negotiate some financial compensation from the seller up to and including a lower sell price.

What are the most common defects that you find in homes in Southern California?

The most common defects I've run into in over 3,000 inspections would probably be water heater defects, improperly wired electrical outlets and improperly grounded subpanels. There are a lot more defects especially with do-it-yourself homeowners that I typically run into, but these are the three that immediately come to mind.

What are two or three problems that usually go unnoticed, that can be a quick fix for homeowners?

Unnoticed by who? "Quick fix items" is a relative term. I've been in this business long enough to know that everyone has different skillsets. A quick fix for one, is a serious contention and complaint by another. But typically, things like checking batteries in smoke detectors, weather strip doors, running toilets, leaking fixtures, etc., any items that are in constant use will require some form of homeowner maintenance or repair.

What advice would you give to someone who thinks they might have a potential environmental hazard in their home?

Mention this to your home inspector when you schedule the inspection. Even though the inspection does not include environmental testing for items such as mold, asbestos, radon or lead-based paint. During the course of the inspection, your inspector should be able to determine if there are any concerns or red flags present, and, if there are, recommend further review by an environmental specialist for estimates for repair or correction as needed.

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