There are three main contngencies that stand between you and your Pasadena home. A contingency is a condition that needs to be met prior to going forward with the escrow. They are:
1. You need to get approved for a loan
2. The property needs to appraise at its selling price.
3. You need to perform your due diligence and get a physical inspection. This includes going to the city to review permits and to ask any questions that might be of a concern to you. Getting a physical inspector to go out to do a general inspection of the property. Checking the local area, looking at the schools, etc.
If I may make a suggestion, as you're checking the neighborhood out, hiring an inspector for your general overview of the home, include a sewer inspection as one of your items to order and review.
The reason for this suggestion is simple, a physical inspector can give you a pretty good feel for the house, the Air Conditioning system, structure and can point you towards getting additional inspections if something is amiss. What they can not do is get into the pipes and make sure that they look okay.
A sewer inspection runs about $250-$300 in the Pasadena area. A plumber comes out with a special camera and runs it through the piping all the way to the sewer lines. You can see exactly what they do on a screen and will get a DVD with their findings. Its not much to spend considering that any issues uncovered could potentially cause you thousands of dollars.
I learned this the hard way, one of my sellers found out that their guest house was connected to a septic tank instead of city sewer lines through this inspection. My sellers did NOT know this. The city signed off on all plumbing for the guest house with no notation about the septic tank. The city did not know about the septic tank also. The buyer probably would not have known about this as well unless something went wrong down the road.
Its a small price to pay for peace of mind.
If you would like some references to sewer line inspection companies, please email me at Irina(at)PasadenaViews(dot)com or give me a call at 626-629-8439.
Good luck with the purchase of your home!