Purchasing a home is likely the largest investment you’ll ever make. While finding the perfect house for your family is exciting, it’s equally important to make sure you understand the true condition of the property before buying. This is where hiring experienced, Arizona certified home inspectors can provide peace of mind and help safeguard your investment. Read on to learn why home inspections matter, how Arizona certification ensures competency, what happens during an inspection, key parts of the home to check, what to look for in an inspector, and how to get the most out of your inspection.
Why Home Inspections are Critical
A home inspection gives vital insight into a property’s overall condition before purchase. An inspector will assess the structural integrity, function, and safety of all systems, and identify any issues that may impact livability or require repairs. Cosmetic flaws won’t be noted, but significant problems like pests, leaks, electrical issues, plumbing, HVAC, or roofing will be flagged. An inspection isn’t meant to point out every minor defect, but to inform you of significant concerns that affect value and enjoyment. The detailed inspection report allows you to make a wise buying decision or re-negotiate with the seller to remedy problems. Skipping this step leaves you vulnerable to buying a money pit filled with hidden issues. An inspection provides essential information to protect your interests.
Benefits of Arizona Inspector Certification
In Arizona, home inspectors are required to earn certification and complete continuing education to maintain it. There are two prominent nationally recognized programs – the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Both require passing comprehensive exams, background checks, references, and continuing education. To obtain Arizona certification, inspectors must carry errors and omissions insurance, provide sample inspection reports, pass a state exam, and pay licensing fees. Certified inspectors agree to abide by codes of ethics and standards of practice to ensure professionalism. They focus solely on home inspection instead of using it as a side business. Homeowners can verify an inspector’s certification is active and valid through the Arizona Board of Technical Registration. This certification provides assurance of the inspector’s competence to thoroughly inspect a property.
What to Expect During an Inspection
A typical home inspection takes two to three hours for the onsite process. The inspector will first do a walk around the exterior checking the roof, chimney, drainage, siding and windows, decks, and grading around the foundation. Next, they’ll enter the home, examining all rooms from the attic to the basement. They’ll evaluate interior components like walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, outlets, plumbing and pipes, HVAC, water heater, and appliances. Systems will be activated to test functionality. Infrared cameras and moisture meters may be used to check for water leaks or energy loss. Measurements and photographs will be taken. Safety issues like mold, radon, or fire hazards will be identified. The inspector cannot move furniture or personal items, but will peek behind and under to observe issues. Once completed, the inspector provides a detailed written report highlighting any deficiencies noted.
Key Areas for Inspectors to Check
While inspectors examine the entire interior and exterior, some key areas deserve special attention:
Check the age, and condition of shingles/materials and any indications of water ponding or leakage. Evidence of leaks can signify damage.
Look for large cracks in walls or floors that suggest structural issues. Check for signs of water intrusion.
Confirm water pressure is adequate at all fixtures and flush toilets to ensure proper operation. Look under sinks for leaks or water damage. Test water heaters for functionality and leaks.
Check for fraying, and exposed wires test outlets with GFCI circuit analyzers. Assess the condition of the breaker panel and if capacity meets the current code.
Clean air filters improve efficiency. Inspect exterior condenser and lines for damage. Confirm HVAC adequately cools and heats the home.
Attic and basement:
Note any evidence of pests, water intrusion, or insufficient insulation. Check for proper ventilation.
How to Choose a Home Inspector
When researching home inspectors, only consider experienced professionals certified by ASHI or InterNACHI. Confirm their state license is current and they carry errors and omissions insurance. Look for inspectors who have completed 500+ inspections and have years of experience. They should provide customer reviews to showcase their attention to detail and communication skills. Set up interviews to get a feel for their expertise. Ask about their inspection process, and what standards they adhere to, and request a sample report. Also, inquire about what inspection tools they use. Avoid inspectors who rush through properties or don’t thoroughly assess all areas. Be wary of those who push for closing before the inspection is complete. The best inspectors take the time needed to properly evaluate all aspects of the home. An experienced certified inspector provides the most comprehensive assessment.
Getting the Most Value from Your Inspection
To gain the most peace of mind from a home inspection, follow these tips:
- Attend the inspection to better understand the property’s condition. Seeing issues firsthand helps you grasp the extent of repairs needed.
- Ask questions! Don’t be afraid to have the inspector point out areas of concern and explain what’s required to remedy problems.
- Review the standards and report format ahead of time so you understand what will be covered and can decipher report codes.
- Keep emotions out of it. Focus on the home’s physical condition, not how much you love its cosmetic features.
- Determine which issues are deal breakers if the seller is unwilling to negotiate repairs.
- Don’t let serious problems slide just because you love the home. Significant foundation concerns, roof leaks or extensive pest damage should give you pause.
- Use the report facts and repair estimates to negotiate credits or price reductions to offset future costs.
- Remember the inspection helps you make an educated buying decision, providing control over your investment.
Having a certified professional home inspector thoroughly evaluate a property before purchase can help safeguard your financial investment and provide invaluable peace of mind. Home inspections give you an objective, unbiased assessment of the home’s condition from an experienced specialist, arming you with information to make an informed buying decision. Certified Arizona inspectors have the proper credentials, insurance, experience, and ethics to serve your needs. They know exactly what to look for in structurally significant elements and functional systems most prone to issues. Their detailed inspection reports highlight deficiencies that affect livability, value and listing price. If you’re purchasing a home in Arizona, partnering with a certified home inspector serves a vital role in highlighting potential problems early so you can protect your interests and gain the best long-term value from your investment. Read more