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5 Home Inspection Tips

by Karen Picarello

When you are buying a house, you may be dealing with a whole lot of people who want to get a sale. The homeowners have staged the home, so it looks great. The real estate agent wants his or her commission. It is difficult to know who to trust in these situations, and that is why home inspections are so necessary.

You can find a good home inspector by asking your real estate agent. You should probably make your contract contingent on a good report, and you should plan to be present during the inspection. They usually take a few hours and cost less than $1,000. Here are a few other tips about home inspections:

1. Insurance

Home inspectors do have some liability, but they can legally limit their liability to the cost of the inspection. If they miss that your furnace needs replaced, the amount of the inspection is not going to cover the cost of the furnace. That is why you should not hire a home inspector that has this in their contract. Instead, look for home inspectors that have insurance. They can purchase Errors & Omissions insurance that covers them for up to one million dollars.

2. Professional Inspectors Group

Formal training is not always a specific requirement for home inspectors, so it is nice to know whether or not your inspector has it. Ask if your inspector belongs to any professional groups, and then look up those groups to see what they require for membership. This will tell you a lot about their ability.

3. Ancillary Testing

If you need ancillary testing, it is nice to know if your inspector can do it. This is for things such as mold or radon. Your inspector may do it for a fee, or you may have to hire a specialist.

4. Reviews

The internet has made it hard to hide if you are a bad home inspector, so use this tool to evaluate your potential inspector. Check out sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, and find out what people are saying about your inspector candidate.

5. What Isn’t Included

Lastly, find out what won’t be included on the inspection. You may want to look at a sample report to find out what will be inspected, and ask questions.

You may want to call your potential home inspector and give him a quick phone interview. If he or she seems shady, go with somebody else! There is something to be said for intuition, and feeling good about your home inspector choice will likely yield better results.

Home Inspection

by Karen Picarello

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When looking to buy or sell a house, you will absolutely be dealing with home inspection. However, there are not only many misconceptions about home appraisal, but there is also confusion about how to properly utilize a home inspector’s services, when they can be employed, and what you should expect from a competent home inspector.

First, when dealing with a home inspection, you should know what they will be looking for. Depending on the structure and the records of the house, home inspectors will look at many of the various components of the property. Here are some of the things a home inspector will look at.

  1. The Foundation. One of the most basic elements of a home inspection is ensuring that the structure is sound. A solid foundation, as well as proper framing atop it should all be features which will stand up to weather and time. No one wants a house that could collapse.
  2. The Roof and Exterior. A home inspection should examine exterior features of the house such as trim, siding, and look for external damage. Also, home inspectors will look at the condition of the roof, in the hope that your home will not have unknown leaks. Ideally, a home inspector will be able to get information about the age and lifespan of the roof.
  3. Plumbing and Electrical. Ensuring that all of the houses systems are operational is also critical. Faulty electrical systems cause headache when trying to live in a house but can also be a serious fire risk. Plumbing problems can cause water damage, which could cause structural issues necessitating expensive repairs over time.
  4. General Condition of the house. Things like exterior and internal damage, heating systems, ducts, water damage, and the condition of various areas of the house are all important things to know before you purchase a home.

With this understanding of what the home inspector will be looking at, you should also be aware of a few other things. The first is ensuring that you, as a buyer, have located a reputable and licensed home inspector. Do not use an inspector affiliated with the seller or someone else involved in the sale. If you have reliable and recent service records, it can be ok to not pay for certain inspection services, but make sure you are following all local laws and regulations. Just remember, you are paying for peace of mind that the potentially largest investment you ever make will not turn into a loss. 

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TeamPicarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
888-548-8713
Fax: (480)860-8755