One couple hired an inspector who missed several problems. Here's how their mistakes can help you.
First-time homebuyers Kelly and Jason Issokson were so excited when they bought their 1925 bungalow in Los Angeles.
"We didn't ever think that we would ever be able to buy a house with the amount of student loan debt and wanting to start a family. We didn't really think this would be a possibility for us," said Kelly Issokson.
At the time of purchase the Issoksons thought they did everything right, including hiring a home inspector, an inspector recommended by their real estate agent.
Although the inspector provided the couple with a 41-page report, he missed several expensive problems and safety issues with the home.
Those issues were pointed out by Rick Yerger, a certified inspector with Building Specs Home Inspection Service that Eyewitness News asked to look at the Issoksons' house.
Among the problems was the electrical panel.
"It wasn't done correctly, plus it's missing the AFCI circuit breakers," said Yerger.
A gas line problem was also missed.
"You have a gas union underneath the house," said Yerger. "We would red-flag that. That's supposed to be a gas union underneath the house."
And while our camera was rolling, the shower pan and drain underneath the house began leaking.
"You have a plumbing leak. The sewer's leaking," said Yerger. "That's sewage right there. That's right underneath your shower."
The lesson here: Make sure you hire an inspector who is certified by at least one of these inspector associations:
CREIA (California Real Estate Inspection Association); NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors); or NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors).
Although certification is not a requirement, it usually means the inspector has been trained, tested, and adheres to a code of ethics and standards.
The Issoksons' inspector stated in his report that he was certified through NACHI, but when I contacted NACHI they told me he was a member, but he let his certification almost four few years ago.
"We're proceeding to contact each of the parties, particularly the inspector, the selling agent, our agent as well," said Jason Issokson. "It was our agent's recommendation that we use this inspector specifically. So we feel like they're partly responsible for this as well."
Your home is probably the biggest purchase you'll ever make. Be sure it's everything you thought it would be before you finalize any deal.