Your Realtor® will negotiate an inspection period during which time you will have the right to inspect nearly every aspect of the home, the neighborhood, the school district, etc. Whatever is a material matter to you short of tearing out walls or flooring is your right and obligation to evaluate. If you discover something during the inspection period that is unacceptable to you that the seller either cannot or will not remedy, you may cancel the purchase contract and have your earnest moneyreturned to you. This affords protection from purchasing a home with the potential to be a money pit, or does not fit your life-style in terms of the structure or the neighborhood. While you can do all kinds of research about the community, most of us have NOT been in the home construction business, and have no idea what the difference is between an eave and a fascia board. It is best to hire an expert to carefully look things over.
Home inspectors are well versed in the nuts and bolts of home building. A good one will typically have a construction background. Becoming a licensed home inspector in Arizona, requires 84 hours of training, passing an exam, and conducting 30 supervised inspections. They must demonstrate proficiency in evaluating structural systems, roofing, plumbing, electrical systems, insulation and ventilation, HVAC systems and exterior issues such as grading.
The inspector will report whether each item is working as intended or needs monitoring or repair. The inspector may recommend further evaluation by a specialized technician. For instance, if the general home inspector notes that the air conditioning unit is not cooling as well as it should, he may recommend that an a/c technician evaluate further. Perhaps the roof is in need of a more thorough evaluation and estimate by a roofer. Or the pool requires a more detailed inspection of a component not functioning optimally. In most cases, a home will require only a general inspection and perhaps a termite inspection (often required by a lender). However I have seen buyers choose to have several additional inspections including mold, structural engineering, or chimney evaluations. You have the right to do as many inspections within your inspection period as you feel necessary. Just keep in mind that there is typically an out-of-pocket cost associated with each trade person you call on.
What does a home inspector NOT inspect?
There are clear limitations in what a home inspector will evaluate and what they will not. Anything that might result in damage to the property in order to inspect will not be inspected. If there is a leak behind a wall that shows no observable evidence, the inspector is not responsible for that inspection item. If inspection of an item requires a necessary service, such as gas or water which is not turned on, that item will not be inspected. There are a number of standard exclusions and limitations to an inspection that you should be made aware of prior to a home inspection.
If you would like more information about home inspections or referral to experience inspectors, contact The Sharyn Younger Team at 480-589-2347.