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The quick answer is you don’t. At least not a complete inspection.
If you are buying or selling a home in Big Bear during the winter months, it is best to address the issue of snow covered decks and inaccessible areas upfront, before the inspections are completed.
Currently, we are seeing many termite inspections and home inspections coming back incomplete. Because of all the snow we’ve received this winter, a lot of houses are still covered in snow. If the termite co. and home inspector cannot get to an area, or they cannot see the area, they will exclude it from their report.
Here’s my advice.
For buyers – make sure to write into your offer contract to the seller that “all decking and house perimeter to be cleared of snow for buyer inspections.” This gets the issue addressed upfront rather than waiting for the reports to come back incomplete and then having this discussion. Make it clear the seller needs to do this prior to the inspections.
For sellers – if you know your home is going to escrow, or that inspections are going to occur, take the initiative and clear your decks of snow. Shovel a 1-2 ft. path around the perimeter of your home. Make sure the all exterior access areas – garage, detached buildings, subarea, water heater, FAU – to your property are accessible.
These are little things that create frustration and delays with any home sale. Dealing with the issue upfront will help lessen the delays.