Being someone who tries as much as possible to eat healthy, drink water and keep active, I realized recently that I had not had a physical examination with blood work in some time. I called my doctor’s office and set an appointment. Thankfully, at almost 57 years of age, I am grateful that all looks good. Please take this as a gentle reminder to get your physical.

Believe it or not your home also needs a physical examination. I always share that our homes are a “living and breathing thing” – figuratively. Every year you should have a scheduled time to walk your home and see if you notice any obvious concerns. I ask Tom prior to the raining season to walk the property and make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear. You only need to experience water pouring down your walls at 2 a.m. due to clogged gutters full of debris one time to put a reminder on the calendar.

Since I am not a licensed contractor and/or an inspector, I reached out to two experts in their field: Ray Carrier, Owner of Take Care Termite and Don Searcy, Owner of Rest EZ Home Inspections. I have had the pleasure of working with these two companies for 22 years. I reached out to both of them to share some great information.

“It is much better to be proactive than reactive regarding maintenance or pest prevention in your home and it will save you money to have an inspection done,” said Carrier. “On an inspection, we would be looking for entry points for pests and rodents. Such as gaps and openings. Also, looking for signs of their activity, such as droppings or damage they have caused. We also would be looking for things that are conducive to damage or infestation such as soil against wood members, sprinkler spraying against the house, plumbing leaks, unpainted wood, and trim.” Homeowners can help prevent damage and infestation by keeping things caulked, sealed, and painted and taking care of any water leaks or vegetation close to the house. As an aside, when purchasing a home, it is also important to be proactive by getting a pest inspection and have the above items also possibly identified.

Searcy shared that “the purchase of a home is probably the biggest expense you will have. It is important to know the condition of the home and the components within it.”

A home inspection will give you the insight you need to know before you spend your hard-earned money. It is a visual non-intrusive inspection of the property. Just like going to the doctor for a physical, a home should be inspected every few years to make sure it is in good shape. Clients are encouraged, whenever possible, to attend the home inspection. The home inspection will list the condition and age of major components. If the home has a raised foundation, we will crawl the sub area and list any issues or defects under the home. The attic will also be inspected for condition and insulation. We will check all electrical and plumbing and run all the appliances in the home.

“So, remember get a home inspection it’s good to do, so you can Rest EZ with us,” said Searcy.

Bottom Line: Awesome information to remind us that whether we are buying a home, or we presently own a home, professional pest and home inspections are a great tool use to keep your home healthy and keep your living environment safe for the long term.

• Donna A. Baker, CRS ABR SFR CDPE is the Broker-Owner of At Home Real Estate Group selling real estate for 21 years. Her memberships include National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Certified Residential Specialists, Central Valley Association of Realtors, Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Distressed Property Expert®, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. In addition, Donna teaches monthly at the Central Valley Association of Realtors New Realtor Member Orientation and serves as the Chairman for the Tracy Real Estate Marketing Council and as a Board member for the McHenry House a local rehab shelter.

Donna has lived in Tracy since 1989 with her patient husband Tom of 32 years and has two awesome children, Trevor and Ally. Contact her at

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