Scottsdale Home Inspections

A Scottsdale home inspection isn’t just a good idea. It’s imperative if you’re contemplating buying a starter home or “fixer-upper.” Before you buy any house – regardless of its age, size or condition – select a qualified home inspector to thoroughly inspect it and provide you with a complete report. Here are a few areas in your prospective home you and your inspector should check out.

Scottsdale Home Inspection: Avoiding a "Money Pit"

There’s a classic 1986 Tom Hanks movie entitled “The Money Pit” in which a young couple sinks their entire life savings into a home that is, quite literally, falling apart. A comedy of calamities ensues as they try to handle each disaster the “money pit” they purchased throws their way.

Typical fixer-uppers are less expensive and offer the best potential growth in value. As a result, they are popular with first-time buyers. While a fresh coat of paint and some landscaping or other curb appeal improvements can help the property, it’s more important to make sure the house is structurally sound. Once that’s determined, further improvements can be made that may potentially increase its value, appearance and livability. The key is to avoid issues in the house that could create your family’s money pit. Let’s look at the benefits of a Scottsdale home inspection in several key areas.

Get a Scottsdale home inspection and avoid buying a money pit.

General Structure of the Home

The most important part of any home is its foundation. If it was constructed properly, the home should be on a sturdy foundation, usually reinforced with steel and a concrete perimeter wall below ground with concrete footings. Make sure the structure of the house is straight and solid. Inspect exterior walls to ensure they are plumb and straight – from top to bottom. In addition, the floors should be flat and level. Look for doors that don’t open or close properly or that don’t fit squarely in the door jambs. That could indicate structural problems or settling issues that have created issues. Lastly, the floor should have a solid, sturdy feel to it. If it feels springy or “soft” it could mean the floor joists need greater support or potential repair.

Cracks 

Large cracks in the foundation are warning signs. They can often represent structural issues that may lead to expensive foundation repair. If the interior walls in your prospective home have cracks, it could indicate settling or movement has occurred over time. That’s usually caused by unstable or shifting soil or potential drainage issues. Those problems can often be difficult and expensive to solve. Minor cracks above the corners of windows and doors are less worrisome. They can usually be remedied with a little cosmetic work using filler and touch up paint.

Drainage

Your Scottsdale home inspection should also include a closer look into how well your gutters and downspouts operate. Their sole job is to efficiently move water away from the house. Look for signs of drainage problems. Check to see if there are watermarks or moisture near the corners of the exterior walls and lower places near the home’s immediate perimeter. Have your home inspector thoroughly inspect the basement or crawlspace for signs of flooding, standing water, or excessive moisture. Moisture can create a perfect environment for mold. While some types of mold are not problematic and easily removed, other types may require considerable expense. Your home inspector will know the difference and will recommend the best course of action.

Plumbing

Determine whether your fixer-upper’s plumbing consists of copper or steel water pipes. As steel pipes age, they may become blocked with natural sediments which can reduce water pressure and restrict water flow. Here’s a test you can perform to check your water pressure – even the most experienced Scottsdale home inspection professionals do this. Turn on the bathtub spout in the bathroom located the furthest from the water heater. Then, while the water’s running, turn on the bathroom sink faucets and flush the toilet. If the water flow coming from the bathtub spout slows down a good bit, it may be time to re-pipe the plumbing.

Electrical

Another determination you should make in your fixer-upper is whether the house has an outdated and undersized main electrical service panel. Check to see if the main electrical circuit breaker (fuse box panel) has a maximum capacity of 100 amps or less. If it does, it’s undersized for a typical family. In addition, the house should be equipped with 220-volt service. Check to see if there are three main wires from the power company’s pole to the house. If so, the house likely has 220-volt service. If there are only two wires, there’s probably only 110-volt service. Lastly, you can check for 220-volt outlets that accommodate appliances like clothes dryers or electric ovens.

Heating and Cooling

It’s important in your Scottsdale home inspection to determine the approximate age and type of heating system in the home – and whether all the rooms are heated. Look in the attic and walls for insulation. Adding more insulation in the attic usually isn’t a very expensive or difficult task. However, adding insulation in the walls can add up quickly. Have a home inspection professional check by removing electrical outlet covers.

Roofing

The easiest way to tell if your prospective home has a leaky roof is to check for water stains in the ceiling or attic. Instead of actually climbing on the roof to examine the shingles and other materials, we suggest you hire a Scottsdale home inspection professional whose trained to do that sort of work and knows what to look for.

Architecture and Design

One last recommendation is to check out the house’s general layout and architectural appearance. Homes with a distinct style like a ranch-styled home, a Cape Cod or salt box home are perennial favorites. These homes and others are relatively easy to upgrade and perform improvements to – and that work will likely increase the home’s value – turning your fixer upper into a nicely restored older home that will be more marketable when the time comes to sell.

You can find more articles pertaining to Scottsdale home inspections in the Scottsdale Home Inspections section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

We also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook and would love for you to follow us there as well.

Scottsdale home inspections are an integral part of the real estate buying process. While inspections are not always required, most experts agree they are important. A thorough home inspection provides a home buyer with the peace of mind that there aren't major issues with the house they're considering buying. In some cases, an inspection may reveal problems that need to be addressed before the sale of the home can be consummated. Here are six home inspection issues likely to kill a real estate deal.

Scottsdale Home Inspections – The Bad News

Scottsdale home inspections are important in the real estate buying process.

A qualified home inspector is trained to look at and document everything in the home inspection ranging from a blown fuse to a cracked foundation. Some issues are, of course, worse than others. If you're contemplating buying a home being inspected, it's imperative you concentrate on issues discovered that pose a structural or home systems threat. They could cost thousands of dollars in repairs.

Those issues will ultimately affect the likelihood the sale will go through as planned. Naturally, everything is negotiable in a home sale, but home inspection problems need to be resolved before the seller and the buyer are satisfied.

Let's look at Scottsdale home inspections issues that may derail a home sale.

Asbestos
Public awareness of asbestos has been raised substantially since the early days when this cancer-causing material was used as artificial snow in stage and movie productions. The poppy field scene in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," is one example. Homes built before 1975 could contain asbestos in the felt material used in roofing or the roof penetration sealant. In addition, the tape used to seal ventilation and heating ducts, cement board siding and older tiles may also contain harmful asbestos.

One home inspector points says the presence of asbestos isn't a major issue unless it's disturbed or removed during remodeling. Usually, the asbestos can be covered with other materials to protect it from damage. However, deteriorating asbestos insulation found around pipes can be a serious health issue. It's important a qualified asbestos abatement contractor remove it prior to the home closing.

Basement Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring, carcinogenic and radioactive gas. It is often found in the crawl spaces or basements of older homes. The problem with radon is it can filter up through the entire home's structure. While most homes are free of radon gas, if an inspector discovers radon in the course of his Scottsdale home inspections, it should be remedied. Cost estimates range between $1,500 and $2,500.

Buried Oil Tank
Homes built between 1930 and the 1990s often have oil tanks buried on the property. If an inspection discovers the tank is leaking or deteriorating, it must be dug up and removed. An intact tank with no leakage can cost more than $5,000 to dig up and dispose of. If the tank is leaking, the cost could more than double – especially if the groundwater has been adversely affected. A tank that was buried properly, shows no signs or leaking or deteriorating, and was professionally decommissioned can remain on the property – but the home buyer assume's the risk and responsibility of removing the tank in the future if a problem occurs. It's best to address buried oil tank issues in advance.

Wiring Exposed
Exposed wiring can present a safety hazard. Do-it-yourselfers who haven't been properly trained are often responsible for exposed wiring issues. In addition, the knob-and-tube wiring common in homes built prior to 1930 rarely lasts and should be updated by a qualified electrical contractor.

Black Mold
Scottsdale home inspections that include black mold in their reports are often deal breakers. They can stop a mortgage financing commitment dead in its tracks. If you have a spouse or family member with respiratory conditions it's probably a good idea to move on to another property. At a minimum, have the seller hire a professional remediation company to get rid of the black mold. And, be sure to have the home re-tested after the work is completed.

Termites
A home inspection that reveals termite damage will be difficult to sell. Fixing the damage is usually expensive and time-consuming. In addition, a home with termite damage requires an additional inspection by a structural engineering expert to examine the integrity of the home's framing to see if additional support is required. Home buyers who elect to buy a house with termite damage should do so only after they receive documentation from a termite company stating the house is covered by a termite warranty.

A Final Word on Scottsdale Home Inspections

If you're selling your home, major issues revealed by a home inspection scare away potential buyers. But before you panic and rush out to try and fix the issue yourself or pay someone to do so, consider negotiating with the buyer. If the buyer likes the home enough, they may be willing to offer a little less and have the work performed once they become the new owners. However, buyers should be aware of this: know how much the proposed repairs will cost, and how much you're willing to spend. In the long run that will save you money, time and headaches.

You can find more articles pertaining to Scottsdale home inspections in the Scottsdale Home Inspections section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

We also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook and would love for you to follow us there as well.

Scottsdale home inspections have become an important commodity in today's real estate market. Home buying can be a fun adventure. However, it can also be worrisome, stressful and problematic. The last thing you want or need during the home buying process is to make your purchase, move in your newly-found home and discover there are problems that can only be repaired by lots of time, money and headaches. If only you were aware of the problems or repairs before you signed on the dotted line. Frankly, that's exactly why Scottsdale home inspections are not just a good idea – they're the best idea. Let's take a closer look at why home inspections are important, what they cover, how much they cost and why they're worth every penny.

Scottsdale Home Inspections: Learning More

Scottsdale home inspections are an important commodity in today's real estate market. 

What should a good home inspection include?
There's no "one size fits all" for Scottsdale home inspections. Every home is different, and home inspections, although they generally cover most all the main components of the house, may vary. The advice most real estate professionals give is to find out ahead of time what the inspection will cover and what it won't. That way, there shouldn't be surprises or disappointments. Upon completion of the inspection, the inspector will provide a written report with a list of problem areas discovered, including supporting photographs. These areas are covered in a normal home inspection:

• Appliances
• Plumbing
• Foundation
• Roof
• Attic
• Electrical system
• HVAC
• Fireplaces
• Interior and exterior (general overview)

In addition, there are other areas that may require specialized certification in order to have them inspected and evaluated. An additional inspector will likely be needed and that inspection may cost additional. Here are some additional areas for which you may wish to hire a specialist to handle:

• Termites and other pests
• Asbestos
• Radon

Home inspections should be non-invasive and non-intrusive – the inspector shouldn't make holes in the drywall, damage fixtures or remove roofing shingles. If the inspector recommends more invasive procedures be made he should inform the homeowner. Those additional examinations should only be made with the written permission of the homeowner. Therefore, it's probably a good idea to be present when the Scottsdale home inspection takes place.

What costs can I expect?
Some buyers try to save money by electing not to have an inspection performed. And while hiring an inspector is an additional expense, it will more than pay for itself if it helps you avoid problems, expensive repairs and buying a proverbial "lemon."

Average home inspection costs are in the neighborhood of $300 to $400. Depending on the size of a smaller home (say, 1,000 square feet or less) or in the case of a condominium the cost could be closer to $200-$250. A larger home of 2,000 square feet or more would cost approximately $400-$500.

While price is important, a more important factor is the experience and qualifications of the home inspector or Scottsdale home inspections company. Consider this when contracting for a home inspection:

• As mentioned above, inspection costs vary from market to market and inspector to inspector. The best thing to do is to ask the company ahead of time what you will be charged
Home inspection fees are calculated differently. Some inspectors charge a flat rate based on the square footage of the home, taking into consideration the living area, area under roof, or the amount of time it takes to perform the inspection. If you have a large house and the inspector is charging on the amount of time the inspection will take, expect to pay more.
A home's age will also have a bearing on the amount charged. Newer homes can usually be inspected in 2-3 hours, but older homes may take 4-5 hours. Remember, an older house has a longer history, and longer histories often mean more repairs, potential problems and a closer look.
• One last tip: As with most things, you get what you pay for. The lowest price doesn't always equal the best results. Make sure your Scottsdale home inspections professional is certified and qualified.

What about extra costs?
A quote provided up front from a reputable home inspector will likely be pretty accurate. Nevertheless, it's a good idea to know about extra costs that you may incur. One example is a detached garage. Some home inspectors consider the garage as part of the house and include it in the price. Others consider it an additional building and may charge extra for its inspection. In addition, if your house has extras that most houses may not, such as a swimming pool, septic system or outbuildings you should probably expect to pay additional for them. Due to health and environmental concerns there are often items that may incur additional costs. These may include:

Radon testing – Expect to pay an additional $100 or more to test your home for radon
Asbestos – While newer homes probably don't contain harmful asbestos, older homes may. Expect to pay a minimum of $400-$500 for inspection and testing. Plus, asbestos removal can be a very expensive proposition – depending on the amount of asbestos. Expect the cost to be as little as $500 or as much as $25,000 or more!
Mold – Most homes cost around $750-$900 to have mold tests. If mold is discovered, professional removal could run as much as $2,500 or more.
Lead – Homes built before 1978 should be inspected for the presence of lead in paint and the water pipes. The test for lead would probably cost around $300. If the results come back positive for lead in either the paint or the pipes, lead removal could cost from $1,000-$2,500 or more
Sewer scope – Often overlooked, the inspection of your sewer could be worthwhile if your home is more than 20 years old. Sewer pipes could be blocked by expanding tree roots or other obstructions. The cost of having a sewer scope performed will be roughly $100-$300

And what about the unexpected costs?
While Scottsdale home inspections are not required, they are recommended. Trying to save a few hundred dollars today could result in having to pay a few thousand dollars down the proverbial road. Some unexpected items include the following, along with their approximate cost:

Repairs to the foundation – Depending on the issue and how it's fixed, the cost range may be $500-$1,000     
Electrical issues – The cost of bringing an older home "up to code" could range from $10,000-$15,000
Plumbing issues – Older plumbing can often contain unseen problems. The cost to perform repairs or maintenance by a licensed plumber would be in the $250 range
HVAC – A new furnace can cost between $2,000-$12,000. Parts for repairs may run $500-$750. Water heaters will run $600-$1,000
Windows – If you replace only the windows, you can expect to pay $300-$700 each, and $500-$1,000 each for both the window and frame
Flooring – Floor joists often need to be replaced in older homes. They usually cost $100-$300 each. If an entire section of joists need replacing the cost can be $5,000-$10,000. If the house needs to be jacked up and have all joists replaced, expect to pay $10,000-$30,000 or more!

A last word on Scottsdale home inspections: The old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" has never been truer. If you find a home you want to buy, consider investing in the cost of a home inspection. It could save you a small fortune over the long haul and provide you valuable peace of mind.

A Scottsdale home inspection may not necessarily be required, but it’s usually a good idea and a popular recommendation from industry insiders and real estate agents. However, hiring the right inspection company or home inspector is very important.

Because home inspection horror stories can and do happen, some prospective buyers seek the expertise of two home inspectors — the real estate equivalent of the proverbial "second opinion." In this case, each inspector can act to double-check each other.

A Scottsdale home inspection can be an integral part in the decision making process of buying a home.

Hiring a Qualified Scottsdale Home Inspection Company

Beware of these tell-tale signs (red flags) that you've hired the wrong home inspector.

If your home inspector insists on working alone, it could be a sign that he's not doing a thorough job and isn't fully communicating potential issues or problems to you. It's best to at least be present while he conducts the inspection. Many times even if he doesn't rate a specific area of your home as needing future maintenance or repair, he may, at a minimum, comment on shoddy workmanship or poor-quality repairs that you may otherwise not know about.

The inspector isn't properly licensed. If you're having a Scottsdale home inspection performed, you'll want to make sure your inspector is licensed in the state where the home is located. This may be especially prevalent if you live close to a neighboring state. Chance are the inspector will be licensed in both states… but don't automatically assume that to be the case. Most importantly, if your home inspector isn't licensed, the inspection carries no legitimacy with respect to recommended repairs used as negotiation tools with the seller.

The inspector's communication regarding building codes is unclear or confusing. Let's be honest, unless you're familiar with building codes and regulations, you're relying solely on the inspector to explain and notate them as they relate to your Scottsdale home inspection. A good inspector will indicate various items or areas of the home that may need future attention and include a footnote as an explanation of what the code requires to "back up" his findings. Because building codes are always changing and evolving. It's important for an inspector to explain what he means if, for example, he indicates on his report that many of the home components don't, meet the building codes when in fact the only homes that would do so are ones built very recently.

For more articles pertaining to a Scottsdale home inspection, see the Scottsdale Home Inspection section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and we're also on Facebook. We'd love for you to check us out there as well.

A Scottsdale home inspection is not only a good idea, but it’s usually a requirement before purchasing. The purpose of a home inspection is to check out all the basic elements of the home. A good home inspector will make recommendations if he sees something that needs attention or isn’t quite up to par.

Consider These Scottsdale Home Inspection Parts

  • The Structure – The home should be on a solid foundation and should include a strong frame for optimum support.
  • Interior Elements – The doors, walls, floors and windows should be in good repair.
  • Roofing – The roof shouldn’t have missing or loose shingles, or aging components that would weaken the roof or lead to leaks or decay.
  • Systems in Good Condition – Interior working conveniences such as plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical, and appliances should be in good shape and functioning at their highest capacity.
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A complete Scottsdale home inspection could be your only opportunity to identify any problems that may exist in the house you’re getting ready to buy. Knowing those problems up front will help you decide what may need to be done to get the property “ship-shape,” or whether you may continue to keep searching for a home that better fits your needs.
See more articles pertaining to getting a Scottsdale home inspection in the Scottsdale Home Inspections section of our site below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.
Remember, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there too.