If you’re considering buying a home in San Francisco soon, you’ll want to have it inspected. Purchasing a home is a major commitment, and you want to be sure the property has no structural problems or hidden red flags. But, it’s also crucial that you find an inspector with a good reputation so you can trust that they’ll give you a thorough report.
Luckily there are many dependable San Francisco home inspectors you can rely on to do meticulous work at an affordable price. But you must still do your due diligence to find the right candidate for the job. Here are a few tips and recommendations for finding the best home inspectors in San Francisco.
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How to Find a Home Inspector in San Francisco – Tips & What to Look for
Before you begin looking at companies to hire, you must understand what makes a good home inspector. It’s tough to decide on the right candidate if you don’t know what home inspectors look for and what credentials an inspector should have.
California home inspectors are not required to be licensed; however, they are regulated by chapter 338 of the Trade Practice Act. Passed in 1996, the law prevents unethical behavior during California home inspections. Courts are encouraged to reference the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics established by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) when determining whether an inspector is acting ethically.
So there is no statewide requirement for licensure or a government body responsible for regulating inspectors. However, even if they are not licensed, home inspectors can be certified by ASHI or the CREIA to prove that they are willing to adhere to the code of conduct established by those organizations. They may also become a member of a trade organization such as the International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), a not-for-profit that provides certifications and educational programs to home inspectors and other real estate professionals. So if you see that a candidate has either of these certifications, it’s usually a good sign.
Another good indicator of the qualifications of a home inspector is how many years they’ve been in the business. The more years of experience they have, the more home types they’ve likely seen, and the better equipped they are to spot potential issues compared to a novice inspector. Some inspectors even have previous experience in construction, so they are better equipped to spot structural issues and shoddy repairs. But, also be sure to cross-reference any info they provide on their website against reviews from past clients to ensure they have a solid reputation.
Also, keep an eye out for any advanced training such as a home engineer’s license, chimney inspection certification, or pest control. You may also want to pay attention to what is included in the inspection and whether they use advanced techniques or ancillary services such as thermal imaging or drone photos.
San Francisco home inspectors do a total examination of a building from top to bottom, including the foundation, roof, HVAC, septic system, electrical, and plumbing. Inspectors will also keep an eye out for mold, termites, and any other red flags. So any advanced techniques that set one company apart from other home inspectors should be noted. It’s always wise to ask for a sample report to compare and contrast with other home inspectors . A good inspector will provide thorough detail and photographs to back up their assessment, whereas a report from an inexperienced candidate may show a rushed job and lack of detail.
Although you may decide to ask your broker for recommendations when buying a home, be cautious of hiring anyone based solely on this recommendation unless you know them well and trust them. Real estate agents have the incentive to close the transaction and sometimes make deals with certain home inspectors to pass homes that may have issues. So always do your own research regardless of where you get the recommendation.
Bay Area Home Inspections – Experienced San Francisco Home Inspectors
- Address: 551 25th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
- Phone: (415) 515-3355
- Cost: Estimates available online
Bay Area Home Inspections is one of the premier home inspectors in San Francisco, with 5-star reviews on Google and Yelp. They’ve been in business since 2008 and offer various commercial and residential inspection services. They provide an honest and thorough review based on over 300 factors that usually take 1 to 4 hours to compile. Every San Francisco home inspector on their team has a minimum of 10 years of experience and must complete at least 160 hours of continuing education annually. They also use the latest technological advancements to ensure all San Francisco home inspections are as accurate as possible, including infrared scanners, leak detection devices, and efficiency software.
Golden Gate Home Inspections – Fast, Professional Home Inspectors
- Address: 201 Spear St, Suite 1100, San Francisco, CA 94105
- Phone: (415) 878-1331
- Cost: Estimates available online
Golden Gate Home Inspectors also boasts one of the best reputations in the Bay area. They promise an unbiased review and fast turnaround times to get an honest and thorough home report when needed. Their typical turnaround time is just 1-2 business days, but they can often do same-day reports for tighter deadlines. All of their San Francisco home inspectors are certified by either ASHI or InterNACHI and adhere to all the current industry standards. Plus, they have over 20 years of experience in the industry and over 200 5-star reviews on Google and Yelp. They offer inspections for single-family homes, condos, multifamily buildings, commercial properties, and roof and specialty reviews to accommodate a wide variety of clients.
PCA Inspections – Certified Bay Area Home Inspectors
- Address: 2453 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94123
- Phone: (415) 771-8877
- Cost: Request an inspection online
PCA Inspections is a leading California home inspection company with a long history of excellence. They are fully certified by both ASHI and the CREIA and have membership in other organizations such as the American Concrete Institute and the National Association of Realtors. They provide an easy-to-read report with photos, notes, diagrams, and recommendations on improving safety and environmental efficiency. Plus, they have great reviews on Google and Yelp and plenty of glowing testimonials on their website from past clients.
HomeSentry Inspections – Open and Honest San Francisco Home Inspectors
- Address: HomeSentry Inspection Pacifica, CA 94044
- Phone: (650) 420-8815
- Cost: $475 (up to 3500 square feet)
HomeSentry Inspections is a company that is all about integrity and inclusion. They encourage clients to be present during the home inspection process and ask any questions they may have, which is always a good sign. Their inspectors even offer general tips on safety, homecare, and maintenance to help you maintain the condition of your new home well after the inspection is over. Their San Francisco home inspectors provide a detailed report that thoroughly describes the home’s condition including the roof, exterior, structure, heating, cooling, insulation and ventilation, plumbing, and interior. The report is typically available within 24 hours and can be accessed online. They are also certified by ASHI, InterNACHI, and various other reputable organizations.
Arch Home Inspections – Friendly, Reliable California Home Inspector
- Address: 521 Frederick Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
- Phone: (415) 452-4000
- Cost: Call or email to request a quote
Arch Home Inspections is a company owned and operated by David Milne, a construction expert with more than 20 years of experience doing San Francisco home inspections. They offer a vast array of inspection services that include a detailed report on all the major structures of the home, including the roof, foundation, chimney, heating systems, air conditioning, installation, electrical, plumbing, and more. Plus, they have plenty of great resources on the website for buyers and sellers, such as guides on what San Francisco home inspectors look for and why a quality inspection is important. Not to mention, they are also ASHI-certified and have numerous 5-star reviews on Google and Yelp.
Elite Home and Commercial Property Inspections – 5-Star Rated San Francisco Home Inspectors
- Address: 350 Main Street. Suite H8, Pleasanton, CA, 94566, US
- Phone: (925) 922-4460
- Cost: Call for pricing
Elite Home and Commercial Property Inspectors is a family-home inspection business owned by Barbara and Scott Turner. Scott is a construction professional with more than 20 years of experience in the industry. Their California licensed home inspectors are certified and accredited by various reputable organizations, including InterNACHI, the California Association of Realtors, and the Inspection Certification Associates. Elite was even recognized with the 2022 Best of Pleasanton Award in the Commercial Real Estate Inspector category by the Pleasanton Award Program. Their certified California home inspectors look at various building types, including condos, single-family homes, ADUs, duplexes, and pools, and have great reviews on all major platforms.
Map of Home Inspections in San Francisco
San Francisco Home Inspections FAQ
Who Pays for the Home Inspection in San Francisco?
It’s typically the homebuyer’s responsibility to schedule and pay for the inspection because it is part of the due diligence process unless the seller is motivated to move quickly and offers to help pay for some of the closing costs.
What’s Included in a Home Inspection?
A home inspection typically lasts a few hours while the inspector verifies the condition of the home’s crucial elements, including the interior, exterior, foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, and more. They will then compile a detailed report about the property’s condition and provide recommendations on repairs or maintenance.
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in San Francisco?
The cost of a home inspection will vary based on many factors, including the type of building, the square footage, and how quickly it needs to be completed. But they typically cost anywhere from about $300-$500 for the average single-family home.
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