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How Do You Complete A Big Bear Property Inspection With 5 Ft. Of Snow On The Ground?

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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.


  1. Tyler so glad you brought that up since those inspections are happening in less than desirable conditions and everyone wants to know everything about the property before closing. The new owner will not be pleased if any surprises show up under that deck or garage in the Spring that couldve been resolved beforehand. So yes, I will definitely do what you advise for sure. Thanks.

    One more thing that was brought to my attention along the same lines having to do with snow and inspections is the utility situation. Bob Chaney writes the following:

    “Another thing which is occuring lately is that the Gas Co. and Water Co. won’t turn on their meters if they are covered with snow–they did not dig! (it is up to the homeowner or agent to provide access to the meters). We don’t know that they aren’t turned “on” until I show up at the house and there is a tag on the door or kitchen counter (they don’t call you to inform you).
    The Gas Co. won’t turn furnace or water heaters “on” if the vents are covered with snow above the roof (they will keep the meter locked off).

    Also, I can’t find stop-and-waste valves under snow (they should be revealed). And I won’t turn water “on” to the home if the sub-area crawl space is blocked with snow-ice, because I have to check for all drain valves being “closed” prior to turning water “on” (so I don’t flood the place).”

    Another thing to consider!

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