The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Beyond The Home Inspection by Jacalyn Evone
Category - Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Articles
By Jacalyn Evone

The first thing most agents advise buyers to get is a home inspection or termite report. Both necessary in determining the condition of a property. The home inspection will review the health and safety issues of a property, including electrical, plumbing, and heating functionality. It looks at roof, structural, and foundation conditions, including many other conditional aspects of the property.

The termite report is specific in that it looks for infestations, damages from water, mold and mildew, and is an equally essential element in finalizing your decision to purchase. However, what you also need to consider is the Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure Report. This report should always be given to the buyer by the seller, and is routinely provided by industry professionals who have remained abreast of the disclosure requirement laws.

The problem is that many of these reports are frequently skimmed over by both the buyer and their agent.

When you think of natural disasters, what comes to mind are earthquakes, fire, and flooding. These zone disclosures will let you know whether or not the property you are considering is located partially or wholly within or near any of these designated areas. Through the use of official mapping, these hazard reports identify known or active earthquake faults, areas susceptible to strong ground shaking, landslides or other ground failures.

It looks at high density brush, timber or undergrowth areas, soil erosion areas that retard runoff of water; and landslide or rock fall areas, where homes encroach closely with unstable slopes or slide areas. Dam failures may or may not be caused by earthquakes, and in many areas, unbeknownst to the homeowners, there may be a number of dams that you would never know exist until disaster strikes. For example, in neighboring Alameda and Contra Costa Counties located in the northern California area, there are more than 56 dams, a number which would surprise many.

Katrina was a real wake up call, with consequences that continue to be discussed throughout the world. When considering your home purchase, make sure you take a real close look at the Natural Hazard Zone Disclosure as part of the home inspection process.



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