Buying a House in Orange County CA? Disclosures are Key!
…means buying the foundation, walls, roof, pipes, wires, doors, windows, furnace, fireplaces,
appliances, sinks, toilets, bath tubs, showers, faucets, cabinets, and door bell. Just to name a few of the parts and systems that make up a modern house. What a buyer sees when they fall in love with your house is the tip of the ice berg in terms of the actual condition these parts and systems. Which is why most people buying a house in Orange County CA rely on these three steps in the course of the transaction to evaluate the condition of the parts and systems of the house that are both above and below surface level.
The Sellers’ Disclosures
Today, sellers are required to complete a number of forms which probe them to reveal the current and past condition of their house. They have to check off the parts and systems that their house contains (such as a range, oven, garbage disposal, central air conditioning, pool heater, sump pump, fire sprinklers, and the list goes on…) and to indicate which, if any, of these is not in operating condition. In addition, the seller answers four pages of questions that ask “are you (seller) aware of” things including “an Order from a government health official identifying the Property as being contaminated by methamphetamine.” If the seller answers yes to this question, the form asks for a copy of the Order to be attached. The seller is also asked about insurance claims in the last five years, and any material facts or defects not otherwise disclosed to the buyer. These forms have gotten longer and more specific over the years in an attempt to make the condition of the home, as known by the seller, as clear as possible.
The Agent Visual Inspection Disclosure
Most brokers in Orange County require both the agent representing the seller and the agent representing the buyer to complete this three page questionnaire which requires the agents to go through every room inside the house, the garage, the yard and the exterior, making note of anything unusual they see. As you might guess, these vary in terms of what it noted, but this form specifies that the agent’s duty is limited to conducting a reasonably competent and diligent visual inspection of reasonably and normally accessible areas of only the Property being offered for sale.
The Home Inspection Report
Most brokers in Orange County recommend all buyers to get a home inspection. The home inspector will look at each of the parts and systems of the house and document and usually photograph the operation and condition of each. While the format of the reports and the specificity of their finding vary from person to person and company to company, generally speaking, their report will be the most detailed and inclusive. It is crucial for home buyers to read and comprehend the contents of this report to understand what’s going on with the house they’re buying.
In addition to these disclosures, when you’re buying a house in Orange County CA today, you’ll also have the appraisal report (if the buyer is getting a home loan to purchase the house,) the pest inspection report, the title report, the Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure report, a guide to earthquake safety handbook, and the sellers’ affidavit of non-foreign status.
Suffice it to say that if the walls could talk, this is what they’d tell you.
I’m Leslie Eskildsen, Realtor.
Call me. Text me. 949-678-3373
Email me. Leslie@LeslieEskildsen.com
Helping you make the right move in Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Dana Point, Corona Del Mar, and other Orange County communities.