The guideline for the E 2018 describes a property condition assessment as “the process by which a person or entity observes a property, interviews sources, and reviews available documentation for the purpose of developing an opinion and preparing a PCR (Property Condition Report) of a commercial real estate’s current physical condition. At the option of the user, a PCA may include a higher level of inquiry and due diligence than the baseline scope described within this guide or, at the user’s option, it may include a lower level of inquiry or due diligence than the baseline scope described in this guide.”
Let’s define what is meant by “baseline” according to the guide: “the minimum level of observations, due diligence, inquiry/research, documentation review, and preparation of opinions of probable costs to remedy material physical deficiencies for conducting a PCA as described in this guide.”
It should be understood that concealed physical deficiencies are excluded in PCA’s and they are not generally technically exhaustive. This means that what the inspector can’t see is not included in the PCA and the use of instruments, testing, calculations, exploratory probing of the property, etc., is not generally part of a PCA. This is because the cost and time involved in gathering this information may far outweigh the value of the information to the customer.
It is important to understand that the ASTM E 2018 is a guideline for voluntary use by parties who desire to obtain a baseline PCA of commercial real estate. As is made clear by the above reference, the scope of the PCA is up to the user and can range from a baseline assessment of the property to much greater, in depth investigation of the property by various experts. In other words, it’s the customer’s choice as to the overall scope of the PCA based on their requirements and what purpose the PCA is to serve. A professional inspector can help determine the scope needed for the customer’s particular needs.
We personally advise anyone who is going to have a commercial piece of
real estate inspected ensure that these standards are used. This will
give you virtually all the basic information needed to make an educated decision.
Aside from the standards being followed, the most important aspect to any real estate inspection is who you hire to do the looking. How much judgment does he/she have as to the importance of what he finds? Do they know how to communicate findings in a way that is useful to you or your client?
At Commercial Real Estate Inspectors, LLC in Los Angeles, we have over 30 years of collective experience delivering real estate inspections. Our unique RISK Assessment® adheres to the ASTM E2018 standard and fits almost every buyer’s needs. We can also expand it to include any detail required.
Call (888) 277-2716 today for a free quote from our property condition assessments in Los Angeles.