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Due Diligence Vol.1 . . “The Home Inspection” Not Doing One Is Not Cool

Feb 23

filed under: Buying A Home, Home Inspections, Real Estate

Home inspectionSo here you are having gone through the first stages of buying a home. You spent time finding a home, you put in an offer and went through the purchase negotiations and have a signed and accepted contract. A little stressful, possibly a little hair raising at times, but you came through it. So now you are ready to move into the next phase of the home buying process, the home inspection.

This post will not cover the entire inspection process, that would be crazy. We will identify this post as Volume 1 and other posts on the inspection process will follow suit, volume 2 etc.

A Home Inspection by a licensed home inspector is an absolute must. Not doing one is not a wise decision.

The purpose of a home inspection is to determine if the property you are buying has issues that may require repair or replacement. It is not cool to not have a home inspection. This is not where you want to come up “frugal” and save a few bucks because you have a good friend that’s going to take a look at the house for you. Not only could you end up losing the friend, but you could be faced with some hefty unforeseen repairs up the road.

The home inspection is normally done within 10 days after your offer is accepted by the seller and should be done by a licensed Arizona home inspector that will be hired by you. Depending on the size of the home you are buying, if it has a pool, spa etc. or if it is a condominium, will determine the cost of the inspection. On average (less than 3,000 SF) inspection fees can run anywhere from $300 to $600.

Part of your Arizona home inspection will be a termite inspection.

In addition to the home inspection you will have a termite inspection. This is a separate inspection done by a licensed termite company hired by you. Don’t let that scare you, there is a saying in Arizona “that if you don’t have termites, you will get them eventually”. If there is evidence of termites, in almost all situations they are easily remediated. The cost of remediation can vary and asking the seller to pay to have this done is pretty much the norm.

Should you or do you need to be there for the entire home inspection? Your choice. .

Plan on the home inspector spending on average three to four hours inspecting the property. If it is a sizable property, I have seen inspectors spend close to an entire day inspecting a home. Since you are the one paying the inspector you can choose to be there during the inspection process or be there for the on site summary report at the end of the inspection.

If you decide to be there for the entire inspection, the majority of inspectors will not be answering questions while they are inspecting the property. They will be on the roof, in the attic, downstairs, outside, and feeding diligent detailed notes into their laptops that will spit out that summary report that I mentioned earlier.

Home inspectors are just that “inspectors”,  they raise red flags, they are not licensed contractors.

The summary report is a shortened version of the full inspection report. In this portion of the report the inspector will highlight items that are of a concern and may require additional evaluation by an outside contractor. You need to know the inspector is just that, an inspector. They know enough to raise red flags about specific items when necessary, but they are not licensed contractors.

Don’t panic, yes the report is long, trust me it may not be as bad as it appears and you have options.

Inspection reports are long and detailed and can sometimes scare or overwhelm a Buyer. After reading the report, you are going to be faced with a question of what in the Report should you be concerned about and therefore ask the Seller to repair or replace. You could be confronted with something in the report that concerns you enough that you want to cancel the contract. There are many options available to you once the inspection is completed and those will be talked about in another blog that will talk about what those options are. Just know we will be there with you and go through the report line by line and together determine what course of action is the right one for you.

Written by Howard Harris