What Should You Look At In Choosing A Home Inspector in Chandler – From Your Chandler Realtor
Most buyer’s agents always recommend that a home they put under contract be inspected by a certified home inspector. Realtors will recommend this for several reasons, two of which I can think of are 1. Relieve the agent of as much liability as possible and 2. Ensure that all defects to the property can be flushed out and repairs can be negotiated prior to the earnest money becoming non-refundable or the contract can be cancelled. For both reasons a home inspection is highly advisable. Now just because a home inspector is certified doesn’t necessarily ensure that they will do the very best job for the buyer.
Home inspectors as appraisers (used to function) have a bit of a dilemma, who is their client the buyer or the Realtor who refers them? This is why as a Chandler Realtor I always ask my buyers to select a home inspector on their own. I may give them a list to choose from but even that can be risky in that I have taken on the responsibility of narrowing the choices. Let the reader understand that a Realtor attempting to mitigate their liability is not self-centered, rather it is good business and the benefits accrue to the their clients.
Don’t Panic After You Get The Inspection Report – Especially in Arizona
Home inspectors have a elaborate “punch-list” program that they use when going through a home; often the print out is 30 to 50 pages, their scope of knowledge can only go so far as well, this is why lenders in Arizona demand termite inspections on every home in Arizona; and if termites are discovered and treated, this information is available as public records at the Office of Pest Management. I believe these records date back 5 years. We have a saying among us Realtors in Chandler “There are two kinds of homes: those that have had termites and those that are going to get termites”. Termites are a fact of life as are cutter beetles and other creepy crawlers. Homes that have been treated for termites are almost always termite free thereafter and the treating company will often offer an insurance policy for a fraction of the cost to re-treat the house if needed. Secondly in addition to your home inspector you should pay an HVAC company to check the A/C unit. Again as a word of caution these companies are less regulated than termite companies. Termite companies cannot treat a home without filing ample proof that an infestation was discovered. An Air Conditioning Company can sell you parts or even a new A/C unit even if it isn’t necessary. Referrals from friends are good sources A/C contractors as well as getting a second opinion if your first company should quote you and expensive price to repair the A/C unit or tell you that it needs to be replaced. Having been a real estate in Chandler for over a decade A/C problems are quite common since we live in a part of the country where these units are put to the test. Another point on A/C units is that if your home is on the border of requiring a 5 ton unit or 4 ton unit, often you are better off with the lighter unit. A reputable A/C company once told me that the too much tonnage will cause problems because the system will never balance itself and it will be turning on and off more than it should and this will wear down the motor and increase the electrical usage. My home was on the fringe of qualifying for a 5 ton unit but I opted for the 4 ton unit and it runs great.
What Else Should You Expect on A Home Inspection Report in Chandler AZ?
Home inspectors will test all of the electrical outlets and make sure that the ones near the kitchen and baths have the circuit breakers at the outlet, they should also check to see if the home was wired with copper or aluminium. Aluminium wire is an issue because it vibrates due to the flow of energy and often loosens from the fasteners and can be a fire hazard. Again this is not a huge issue and my good friend lives in a home built in 1974 with aluminium wire and hasn’t had a problem; So though this might be a red flag on a report it is really a non issue. Home Inspectors will also check the appliances and I would recommend that if they report one not working to double check it because often they might test the appliance on a day when it has a fluke and isn’t working.
Old historic homes by now have mostly been re-plumbed with copper pipes instead of the galvanized steel, if not this is a big issue, as with the homes that were constructed in Chandler in the 1990’s with polyurethane PVC. For some reason when the plastic plumbing pipes were being used in construction, Chandler was going through a growth spurt and hence we saw the lion’s share of the polyurethane PVC in these Chandler homes, of all the cities in the Valley; Chandler seems to have most of this plumbing – hopefully most has been abated. These have been known to rot and break. But to be fair to nature and the second law of thermodynamics; everything is running down and especially in Arizona. So don’t panic when you get a report about something being a bit worn-out. The Home Inspector should also check the water heater, look for foundation cracks, water spots that have been covered, and anytime a home has been remodeled – the inspector must check to make sure that if a doorway on a load-bearing wall was widened – a Glue-lam beam was put in place to support the doorway and prevent ceiling sag (the best indication that the remodel was not done right). My friend bought a home and noticed in the foyer a bit of a sag and sure enough the previous owner didn’t put a beam over the doorway that was widened. Now instead of paying a structural engineer $500 to tell him what he already knew, he simply called a contractor to give him a price quote and submitted the repair request on the buyer notification to the seller of items that needed to be repaired.
When Should You Panic Upon Reviewing a Home Inspection Report?
Most homes for sale in Chandler or any part of the Valley are going to have issues; some inspectors feel the need to make a long list to show that they are doing their job. Often I have found that these long lists kill more deals than they need and if you set your expectations to the degree that the perfect home doesn’t exist, most of the minutia will not bother you nor kill the deal for your dream home. What I find troubling on home inspection reports are foundation cracks, severe mold problems roof repairs or replacements, and seldom I will see a home that the termites damaged beyond repair. But beyond this most everything can be fixed and surprisingly with little cost. Home inspectors have a real issue with pointing out cosmetic issues that might not be pretty but non-threatening to the integrity of the home. They will also point out when wood or trees are too close to the home which could leave the home susceptible to termite infestation.
What is My Advice When Reading Your Home Inspection Report?
I recommend that we read it together, and look for any red flags that need to be addressed and fixed or replaced by the seller. Again there is no perfect home in Chandler with the abusive heat and everything in the universe is running down; so please adjust you expectations accordingly and don’t lose your dream home over a relatively small issue. We can always request that the seller fix or repair the list of issues from the home inspector and sometimes the seller is not in the position to finance the repair or replacement. At this point we have to ask ourselves if we wish to proceed with the home or cancel the contract and start looking again. However, having been a Realtor in the Valley for over 13 years I have reviewed hundreds and hundreds of home inspection reports and if we go over this together, I can typically show you how we can get these issues taken care of either by the seller or a very reasonable contractor. So Rule #1 Don’t Panic when you get a report that shows flaws with the property. I have never seen a report that says “Gee this home is perfect”. Expect the home inspector to find something wrong since the perfect home doesn’t exist. I would bet you that 10 out of 10 home inspectors would find a long list of issues with a home that was newly constructed and never lived in! I have been a Gold Canyon Realtor and know the area quite well and what to expect on a home inspection. I am also a San Tan Valley Realtor and know the issues of the fishers (falults in the ground due to ground water removal) and other issues indigenous to this part of the Valley. Don’t hesitate to call me!
If you have any questions about your home inspection report – get with your Realtor, if you don’t have a Realtor in Chandler, please read my credentials and contact me. I would be honored to represent you in the purchase or sale of your home.