Monday, November 12, 2012

The ins and outs of the home inspection process | Freedom ...

Getting a home inspection is a crucial part of the homebuying process. With this information, you can get a better idea of the condition of a home. Once you have this knowledge, you understand how much the property is actually worth and can better gauge your offer.

If you are planning to use an FHA or VA mortgage to purchase a home, you will almost always need an inspection. This will ensure the agencies are supporting a loan for a home in decent condition. Failure to do so could result in financial hardship for a buyer after they move in and need to make much-needed repairs.

Freedom Mortgage recently got in touch with home inspector Sam J of Phoenix, Arizona, for some additional details of the process and what buyers can expect.

What does a home inspection generally entail? How long does it take? What doesn?t a home inspection include?
A home inspection in the State of Arizona consists of nine categories:
1. Grounds
2. Structure
3. Exterior
4. Electrical
5. Roofing
6. Plumbing
7. Heating/Cooling
8. Insulation
9. Interior

Under each category are sub categories, totaling about 78 items that will be reported on. In addition, we may also inspect swimming pools, Jacuzzis and separate structures, such as guesthouses or storage sheds.

In general, a comprehensive average home inspection will take approximately 2 ? 2.5 hours to complete, and an additional 2-4 hours to write the report. However, several factors such as square footage or age of the home can impact the average time.

How does an inspection differ from an appraisal?
Think of a home inspector as a general practitioner. Our job is to inform the potential buyer of the condition of the dwelling, by evaluating the 9 categories mentioned above. We are not experts in any one area, however we have a good knowledge of several areas. An appraisal is usually done by the lending bank and used to determine the amount that the home is worth.

Why should buyers make sure an inspection is part a your home sale contract? What are some of the most common problems an untrained observer might miss if they tried to forgo an inspection? Roughly how much would they cost to repair?
I often hear this question. A home inspection gives the potential buyer peace of mind on what may be the single-largest purchase of a lifetime. A typical inspection costs between $250-$400, which is an inexpensive price to pay with so much at stake.

Many homeowners may choose to skip this process, however it could be a costly mistake. Could you identify a foundation issue, which may cost thousands to repair, or an unsafe electrical panel that could cause a fire? What about insufficient insulation that could cost you hundreds of dollars in heating or cooling bills? A good home inspector can bring these types of issues to your attention.

Why should buyers accompany their home inspector?
I always recommend that the buyer and their real estate agent arrive about 20 minutes prior to the end of the inspection. While most all inspection reports will have pictures identifying areas of concern, we prefer to show these areas to the potential buyer and give recommendations of how to correct these areas. Most potential buyers feel more comfortable seeing what the inspector is referencing in their report.

Arizona, in particular, has seen a high-rate of foreclosures, but it?s a nationwide issue. How would you compare the condition of foreclosures and other properties for sale?
You are correct. Arizona has had many foreclosures and short sales within the past few years.? While the methods used to inspect a property remain the same, the condition of the property may not be as consistent.

Within the last year we have inspected several foreclosures. This is when the owner walks away from the property and in many cases they feel as if they were cheated by the bank and chooses to damage the home. I have seen anything from holes in the walls, doors and ceiling to all the fixtures removed and sold.? In a few cases I have found that the previous owners poured cement in the drains.


Freedom Mortgage is a leading lender in all 50 states and is eager to assist you in qualifying for a mortgage. Checking out Freedom?s home mortgage rate calculator is just a stepping stone on your journey to becoming a homeowner.

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