What is a home Inspection and do I really need one?
A home inspection is like the annual checkup you get from your doctor, covering major systems and diagnosing problems large and small. While may states require sellers to provide buyers with property condition disclosures, here in Arizona it is called the Seller Property Disclosure Statement I recommend to all of my buyers hire an independent home inspector to examine the property. There are some things the seller may not have noticed. Foregoing the home inspection could cost buyers lots of money later. Let’s take a closer look at the home inspection.
What’s a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a detailed, itemized report prepared by a certified home inspector who determines the condition of home systems, identifies deterioration, and provides recommendations. Depending on the size and location of the house, the inspection could take between 2 and 5 hours.
I strongly advise my clients to do a home inspection, we are ensuring independently the major systems are in good condition and that there are no serious, expensive defects unknown to the seller or buyer. This is part of a buyer’s due diligence.
What Does the Home Inspector Examine?
The inspector examines key elements, ensuring proper operation, observing the condition, and noting damage:
The Exterior: Roof, driveway, walkways, steps, doors, decks, and siding among other elements.
The Structure: Foundation and framing. The inspector determines whether the foundation and framing are sound and the building skeleton can withstand the elements.
The Interior: Windows and doors; ceilings, walls, and floors; attic and basement.
- Plumbing and Electrical Systems: Water supply, heating, and drainage service entrance wires, breakers and fuses, and control panels as well as Heating, cooling, and ventilation/insulation
The inspector also looks for evidence that one system, such as leaky plumbing, has damaged or may damage another system such as walls or ceilings. While home inspectors are not specialists, they will recommend corrective actions. Other types of inspections may be necessary as well, such as a termite inspection and a radon inspection.
The Home Inspection Report
Introduction containing important definitions, date, type and age of the building, weather, and people present during the inspection
- Component sections (Roof, Exterior, Interior, etc.) detailing the items the inspector observed, styles and materials, comments, recommendations, photos, and videos
- Summary of discoveries, problems, and areas that require further investigation
Why is a Home Inspection Necessary when Buying a House?
There are several reasons a buyer needs a home inspection.
A home inspection contingency is a standard contingency included in real estate sales contracts. It makes the contract conditional upon the outcome of the home inspection report. Buyers may purchase the right to terminate the contract within a specified time frame if the home inspector discovers serious problems.
Repairs and Upgrades
A home inspector may recommend specific repairs or upgrades, for example installing banisters on staircases and replacing outdated windows for safety. I, as the buyer’s agent insert provisions into the contract requesting that the seller have these repairs completed before closing. Buyers and their agents should do a final walk through to ensure the agreed upon repairs are done and the house is in the expected condition before the closing.
I meet the inspector at the every home a client is under contract with and, I let him get to work, the average time it takes to complete is two and half to three hours, the buyer joins us after the inspector has completed his work and goes over the entire report with the buyer, the report includes photos and a narrative of the entire home. The home inspector answers questions, point out concerns, and explain systems. It’s a great opportunity for the buyer to learn more about the house he or she is about to purchase.
Not only is a home inspection a crucial part of a buyer’s due diligence to determine exactly what he or she is buying, it’s a golden opportunity to learn a lot of valuable information about the house, the operation of its systems, structures, and defects. The home inspection is also a tool for identifying and planning future repairs and upgrades.
The home inspector is another vital member of the team on the journey to home ownership.