Understanding Your Home Inspection

Understanding Your Home Inspection

Buying and selling a home can be a long and frustrating process for both sides.  For buyers, when your offer is accepted, it can feel like you are finally on your way to ownership.  For sellers, getting the promise of the right amount can be a relief and signal that you are almost ready to move on.  However, having the home inspected is a crucial step which can make or break this transaction.  That is why understanding your Arizona home inspection is a vital part of the process.

What does an Arizona Home Inspection Involve?

When a home inspector looks at a property, he or she is performing a limited visual evaluation of its mechanical elements and structure.  The inspector will note apparent problems such as visible termite activity, leaking pipes, roof damage, exterior wood rot, and non-functional built-in appliances.  The evaluation will also involve examining areas such as the foundation, walls, gutters, water valves, and your heating and air conditioning system.  However, in-depth examinations of potentially hidden issues such as mold or non-visible insect or animal infestation are generally outside the scope of a basic inspection.   The inspection is considered a snapshot of the home’s condition on that day and therefore will not necessarily cover some future defects.

Are Arizona Home Inspectors Regulated?

Arizona home inspectors are regulated by the Arizona Board of Technical Registration (BTR) which requires that an individual complete 80 hours of instruction at an approved school, pass the National Home Inspector Exam, and perform 30 training inspections with a certified inspector before being certified.  All inspectors must also provide their fingerprints for an FBI background check.   

What Should the Inspection Report Cover?

All certified home inspectors must provide the requesting party with a written report.  Your inspection report will typically be categorized according to location and will include a detailed analysis of the area’s condition, including any noted problems.  For instance, an inspection of the roof could result in findings that several shingles are missing or that there is weather-related damage.  The overall status of the roof and these problems would be described in your report.  More detailed reports usually include photographs of all of the spaces which were evaluated and a narrative of any issues noted.  An inspector could issue a shorter checklist style report, but it will not contain as much information.  In most cases, the narrative style report is better as it gives the buyer a fuller picture of the home they are considering purchasing.

To someone who does not regularly review this type of information, the report may read as if so many things are wrong with the home that it’s not worth buying.  However, your real estate professional should be able to go through the explanations and provide insight as to what the inspector’s comments mean and if there is cause for concern.  Down the road, if there is a problem which either the seller failed to disclose or the inspector should have caught, having a realtor who is also an attorney can help you address this situation and get the advocacy you need.

Attorney Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who has the expertise you need at every stage of your real estate transaction.  If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona and throughout the state of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.

 

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