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There are few guarantees in life, but a home inspection report turning up “issues” with your new house is probably one of them.

An outcropping of the “distressed property days” is the evolution of Home Inspections” in Gilbert, AZ and every other town and city where real estate is bought and sold.Home Inspector funny


Before a Buyer has title to the property they will want to hire a professional home inspector to perform an extensive check of all operating systems, construction,  roof, and exterior conditions called a Home Inspection.  The Arizona AAR Purchase Contract provides that all appliances and other home equipment that conveys with the house be in “good working order,” at the time of close of escrow.  The job of the home inspector is to earn his $400 (average) fee by pointing out every broken electric outlet cover, burned out light bulb, crack in the ceiling, and more importantly the AC that does not cool properly.

Home Inspectors come in various sizes and shapes and level of competence and social graces.  Can and does a sale in Gilbert, AZ rise and fall on how well the Home Inspector does his job, including how he presents the findings to my Buyer?  Absolutely!!

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Home Inspector Clip ArtHere are a few pointers to keep in mind when you meet with your Home Inspector for the findings review:

His job is to point out “everything” that he finds “not in perfect condition” about the house. 
      -He can be sued for missing something critical, but not likely for filling up the report with “everything” listed.
Focus on those items that are Health and Safety concerns, first. 
      -These may include wiring at the breaker, DIY improvements, loose flooring, roof tiles cracked or broken, etc.
Next, Does all the home equipment that conveys with the house work as it was designed?
And last, but not least… cosmetic issues such as paint flaws, cracks in walls, overgrown landscaping that touches the house, etc.  
      -Cosmetic issues are normally a function of age.  Try to be fair with the Seller and use some uncommon-sense judgement in what you ask to be repaired, taking into consideration such things as “Seller concessions toward Buyer closing costs, etc.”
bull-bear-market_slide1If both the Buyer and Seller will approach the home inspection as a necessity and not a curse, there is a strong likelihood the transaction will still close escrow.






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1. Asbestos

We’ve learned much about asbestos since the days when this cancer-causing substance was used as fake snow and breathed in by actors in movies — The Wizard of Oz poppy field scene, for one. But pre-1975 homes could have asbestos in roofing felt or in roof penetration sealant. The tape used to seal ducts, cement board siding (transite), and older tiling (usually in 9-by-9 tiles) could also contain asbestos.

Unless disturbed, asbestos isn’t usually problematic. “Asbestos in siding or 9-by-9 floor tiles isn’t a huge issue and can be remediated by covering them with other materials to protect them from damage,” says Welmoed Sisson, a Maryland home inspector. “Asbestos insulation around pipes that is friable [crumbling] is a serious health issue and should be remediated by a qualified asbestos abatement contractor prior to closing.”

2. Radon in the basement

Radon, a naturally occurring, radioactive, carcinogenic gas, can sometimes be found in homes, usually in basements or crawl spaces. “But in today’s tight homes, it can filter up through the entire structure,” says Sisson. Although most homes don’t have a radon problem, if yours does, you should fix it. “Radon levels above 4.0 picocuries per liter call for the installation of an active remediation system.” This could cost between $1,500 and $2,500. If you can’t afford to solve a radon problem before you sell, you could offer to come down on your asking price so the buyer can have this done.

3. A buried oil tank

If you’re buying a home built between the 1930s and the 1990s, there’s a chance something large is buried on the property. Unfortunately, it’s not treasure — it’s an oil tank. “The seller really needs to take care of this,” says Sisson. If the tank was buried properly or professionally decommissioned, and the seller can show you suitable paperwork showing it was done right, you could leave it there. Or you could ask to have it removed. “An intact tank with no leakage can run upwards of $5,000 to dig up,” Sisson says. But if an inspection shows that the tank is leaking, it could costs tens of thousands of dollars (or more if groundwater is affected) to correct.


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4. Exposed wiring

If you’re buying a house from a seller who fancied themselves as a jack-of-all-trades (but was not really good at any trade) and you find exposed wiring, what should you do? “This is generally not a huge issue,” says Sisson. Exposed wiring, however, can pose a safety hazard. A bigger concern is knob-and-tube wiring (old-style wiring that is pretty common in homes built before 1930). That system rarely holds up for more than 80 years. “Outdated [or exposed] wiring should be updated, but it’s preferable to have your own contractor do it so you have control over the quality of the work and can be sure proper permits have been obtained,” says Sisson. This means it might be something the buyer should take care of — and negotiate that the work be reflected in the home’s price.

5. Black mold

If hearing about black mold conjures up images of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, you might freak if an inspection report shows your potential new home is filled with it. Plus, “just having the word ‘mold’ on an inspection report can kill financing,” says Sisson. It’s even worse if you or anyone in your family has a respiratory condition. In that case, “It may be prudent to pass on the house altogether.” But if you really want the home, have the seller hire a professional to get rid of the mold. And then have the place tested again before you buy.

6. Termites

If your inspection report reveals termite damage, it will be a tough sell. And fixing the damage will be expensive. “All the affected elements must be exposed, damaged pieces removed and replaced, and the remainder of the house treated,” says Sisson. A house with termite damage also calls for an inspection by a structural engineer to “report on the integrity of the framing and whether any additional support members need to be added.” If you want to buy a house with termite damage, do so only after you have paperwork from the termite company (paperwork that you would show your lender) stating that the house now has a termite warranty.

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If you want to learn about some financing options, or if you’re looking to get pre-qualified, contact Marc Trejo at Sun American Mortgage Company: 602-743-4885.



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