A qualified inspector discovers potentially costly problems with a home you are considering buying. A good inspector will also give maintenance advice and ultimately “peace of mind” about your home investment. All Arizona home buyers -- whether they are buying an older home in Downtown Phoenix or building a new home in Scottsdale -- should have the home professionally inspected after making an offer.
The home inspection industry is becoming more professional and regulated. There are professional organizations with codes of ethics, like the American Society of Home Inspectors, and the National Association of Home Inspectors, but membership is voluntary. In Arizona, the average home inspection costs $300, and is paid on the day the inspector examines the property. Higher or lower fees do not necessarily reflect the quality of the inspection or the expertise of the inspector.
The American Society of Home Inspectors recommends interviewing at least three professional inspectors to find one you trust and with whom you communicate well. I provide a list of local home inspectors for you to interview; friends and family members may also provide recommendations as well. Ask inspectors about their qualifications and affiliations. What is their experience in the construction or engineering industry? Do they have advanced training or accreditation from a professional organization? How long have they been inspecting homes in the area, what is their experience with area problems like drainage issues, pests or energy efficiencies?
Once you have found a qualified Arizona home inspector, it's important that you attend the inspection with your home inspector and myself. Some buyers want to climb into the attic with the inspector to look at the home's major systems. At the very least, be on site to examine the problem areas, ask questions, and learn about ongoing maintenance your house may need.
The standard home inspection report will review the current condition of the home's plumbing, heating and electrical systems. The report will also include info about the structure such as the foundation and basement, as well as the roof, attic, ceilings, walls, floors, doors and windows. It normally includes photos of problem areas and recommendations for repairs.