NBI's Monthly
Real Estate Newsletter


(800) 466-2466


Dear Robert;

In this issue we cover the latest requirements for sewer laterals, which local authorities are rapidly adding to a home seller's to-do list to fix prior to "title transfer." This is not part of our role as home inspectors, but we want you and your home-selling clients to be up-to-date.

Call on us whenever you need a home and termite inspection. We look forward to serving you and your clients. And, do not miss this month's coupon, a $100 value, at the bottom.


In This Issue

Sewer Laterals on Regulatory Radar

Spot the problem!

A Home: Shelter vs. Investment

The NBI All-in-One Inspection Package


Sewer Laterals on Regulatory Radar

If you plan to sell a house in many Northern California communities, you had

Money down the drain

An old sewer lateral could cost a seller serious money. They need to plan ahead for that expense.

better have up-to-date information about the condition of your sewer lateral. Back in 2006, cities like Berkeley, Lakeport and a number of other started mandating laterals be inspected and, if needed, repaired "before title is transferred." The City of Richmond and a few others went so far as to mandate that all apartment buildings, commercial and industrial properties inspect their sewer connections within one year of the new code's effective date.

Now this new compliance item has caught on with a major player: Starting January 1, 2011, the East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) will require homeowners to conduct a sewer lateral inspection and make any repairs necessary to bring it into proper repair if the owner is:

  • Selling the home
  • Obtaining a permit for building or modifying a property where the cost will be more than $100,000
  • Increasing or decreasing the type of EBMUD water service and a new water meter is required.

Check page 36 of the EBMUD policy for details. (Find the link to the policy pdf near the bottom.)

Here is a link to a sample compliance certificate.

NBI does not inspect the interior of the sewer lateral line, but our inspectors can often identify evidence of past repairs or conditions deemed likely to affect the sewer lateral and make appropriate recommendations.


Spot the Problem!

This wall furnace looks ok, and it ran fine when turned on. What could be the problem?Wall furnace
















A quick check outside finds the vent for the furnace. It was not blocked. Is there really a problem here?External furnace vent










To find the answer, check at the bottom of the right-hand column.



Your client's home: Shelter and Investment

A home's main function is as shelter to keep you warm and dry. A house can take a lot of abuse and still function as shelter. Termites can chew at the corners, the dryer vent can tear and the foundation can crack, but the occupants will still be safe.

Most people want to maintain their quality of life, however, and also keep up the potential resale value of their investment. So letting the property degrade through neglect is a big mistake your clients will all make: Problems that go unaddressed become very expensive to fix when they finally threaten the soundness of the structure and reduce its resale value.

Unfortunately, most homeowners who are not thinking about selling neglect basic home maintenance chores that could cheaply protect their investment. Take the initiative to remind them about regular maintenance needs. Click here for maintenance tips to share with your client.


A home inspection is designed to spot the problems that expose the occupants to physical risks, but also those that may reduce the long-term value of the house. Getting a home inspected occasionally (especially older homes) makes a lot of sense if your clients have lived there a long time.


The NBI All-in-One Inspection Package

Why hire two or more inspectors to handle the home and pest inspections? We are seasoned pros at doing both! Plus, our package price will save your client money. Without sacrificing any quality.


PLUS, We are the only known pest inspection company in Northern California that does not perform corrective work on properties we inspect, which means you are GUARANTEED our complete impartiality when doing a home and pest inspection.

One visit, one price, both reports done simultaneously.

Thank you for taking the time to read through our monthly newsletter. We hope you found it useful. If not, let us know! We look forward to your feedback. E-mail comments to answerman@teamnbi.com.

Keep us on your list. We stand ready to make you look good and get that deal closed!




Robert Swickard, President

Invite us to your office to train your team on "pre-inspection" techniques!

We have put hundreds of agents through a short training session on basic inspection techniques that will make you a more savvy agent when managing client expectations.
Call us to schedule a time for your office. We look forward to it!

(800) 466-2466


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The "Spot the Problem" answer is this way

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Answer to "Spot the Problem"

Under current building standards, exhaust flues should be discharged outdoors at a point where it cannot again be readily drawn into the structure. 

Vent to Window

Generally, exhaust openings should not be less than three feet from doors or openable windows. The existing exhaust vent serving this furnace terminates next to an openable window, creating the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning of the homes' occupants.




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