Buying a home in Arizona or anywhere in the country can be frightening for inexperienced home buyers. Fortunately Arizona home inspections are a great way to minimize risk and give the buyer a good overview of the property they are planning to purchase. However, there are some common myths about an Arizona home inspection that buyers and sellers should be aware of and not take as fact.
So you are thinking about getting your home appraised…Wait. Maybe it’s a home inspection? Now you are doubting yourself because the difference is tricky! Luckily, One Avenue Inspection is here to guide you through the Arizona real estate process with a short guide to home inspections versus home appraisals. Home appraisers and inspectors each play very important functions in setting the stage for real estate sales. Both generate reports that can be used to prevent the buyer from overpaying, but their roles are far from identical. [Read more…]
The Valley is notorious for its beautiful, brand new tract housing complexes. These homes, as you know, have all the glamorous details and facades that young buyers are looking for in a first or second home. However, many buyers become blinded by the appearance and will not take a home inspection as seriously. This is a mistake! Remember that a home’s value is only as good as its insides. One Avenue Inspection is here to make sure your perfect home is solid and functional, before you make a downpayment. According to M.P. McQueen of the Wall Street Journal, about 17% of the new houses built during the 2005 boom had significant structural and design flaws.
Home Inspection Checklist for New Houses
1. No new damage?
Often times when a seller moves their furniture and belongings out of the house, additional damage is inflicted on the walls and surfaces. Make sure to do a meticulous walk-through after the previous owner is out and before signing the final contracts!
2. Everything working?
Any appliances, light fixtures, and faucets that come with the new home should be scrutinized. Walk through the house and yard with a lamp or something requiring electricity and test each outlet. Don’t be afraid to turn on the washing machine and dishwasher to make sure they work. Lastly, remember to get copies of the warranties and owner’s manuals for all appliances from the seller.
3. Unseen cracks?
This might be more difficult to examine by yourself. With the help of an inspector and real estate home expert, you should analyze every inch of the roof, foundation, and pool area for cracks in the structure. Leaky roofs and cracked foundations are the most common serious problems in new homes. Left untouched, these damages could dance to the tune of thousands of dollars of repairs down the road.
Additionally, do not forget to open and close all windows and doors. Check for cracks and poor installation in the windows particularly, otherwise you might have future mold and leakage problems.
“One of the best defenses against buying a defective house is a thorough inspection by a state-licensed building-inspection engineer, experts say” (McQueen WSJ).
As always, One Avenue Inspection is available to walk through your home at any stage of construction or purchase! Give us a call for a quote. 623.299.2142
Whether you’re planning to sell your home or not, the laundry room always seems to be that one little overlooked detail in your home. It’s ironic that it is so necessary, yet so forgotten. With a few small touches, you can completely change the look and utility of your laundry room. A nice-looking laundry room can be the tipping point of buyers’ interest because cleanness and attention-to-detail stands out in a market filled with homes that look identical. It may not be the kids’ new favorite ‘hangout’, but a home laundry room remodel will leave you with peace of mind and a valuable selling point in your home.
What to expect from the home inspection of the laundry room:
Plumbing will be crucial come inspection time. The inspector will look for problems with the pipes and electrical fixtures, specifically exposed wiring, leaks, hot water valves, and the GFCI outlet.
Washer and dryer must be working and working well. If you have old machines, the inspector will likely recommend an update due to the vents and energy-usage.
Laundry sinks will have the same home inspection guidelines as the kitchen and bath areas. If you do not have one, consider buying and installing a laundry room sink for added value.
Make sure the gas line is capped off if it is not in use- this is crucial for safety and often forgotten by homeowners.
What to do to turn the laundry room into the home’s best selling point:
Replace your washer and dryer for energy-efficient models. This is not only beneficial for the selling value of the home, but your personal usage. A new washer machine can save you thousands of dollars on your energy and water bills every month (20% less energy; 35% less water). Look for the Energy Star labeled washer-dryers because new machines will instantly double the value and appeal of your laundry room.
Repaint the walls and/or cabinets. This is the easiest and most inexpensive way to give any room a facelift. Pick light, calming colors for a magazine look that sells. Too often the laundry room is the most dim and uninviting room in the home, but it does not have to be. Make the look of your laundry room reflect the function and purpose it brings to the home.
Declutter by installing extra storage space, like shelves and cabinets from floor to ceiling. Laundry rooms tend to become dumping grounds for the family’s clothes, shoes, backpacks, etc. Make a place for all the stuff! One Avenue Inspection also recommends adding a countertop or long table for folding as we have noticed that this detail particularly attracts buyers to the laundry room.
Show your laundry room a little TLC. After the work is done, let us approve it so that there are no future problems, like leaks or rot. Give One Avenue Inspection a call for any home tips or questions at 623.299.2142. Don’t forget that a periodic home inspection could save you thousands of dollars on future repairs in the long run!
With the holiday season upon us, we’re sure you are looking for ways to save money here and there. Fortunately, now that environmentally friendly products are becoming more common, they are also much cheaper, and some even pay for themselves. We here at One Avenue want you to enjoy the holiday season without feeling pressure on your wallets.
Here are a few simple home inspection tips for minimizing costs without sacrificing the warmth and joy of the season! [Read more…]
Most real estate surprises are the result of bad communication between the agent and the home buyer. If a home has some obvious imperfections and is put it on the market, it should be no surprise for the home inspection to confirm what you already know.
When a bad home inspection report occurs, it can be disappointing. When a inspection report shows serious structural problems, the buyer will probably back out. At the very least, properly dealing with the request for repairs is not as uncommon as people think because every home has flaws.
In fact, anything that uncovers a surprise problem with your house before close of escrow makes you that much less likely to get sued over the problem later on. If you agree to help the buyer with repairs, it’s very common to have them waive liability for later problems in exchange. You can feel more at peace with even bad inspection results when you start to view them as tools to eliminate future responsibility after the proper repairs are completed.
Even if you’re surprised by the inspection findings, good or bad, many buyers are not surprised when a home requires repairs. Many buyers will not interpret the reports as negatively as you do, and even if they do, a plan can be put into place to resolve any issues. Use your real estate agent and home inspection service as a resource.
Before anyone agrees to anything, get a couple of bids on the big ticket items from repair companies you choose or that are recommended by a company you trust. If nothing else, multiple bids will assuage your anxiety that the buyer’s team might have been fluffing the repair costs to get more out of you. Multiple bids are powerful in other ways too. Sometimes just showing the buyer that the repair may not be as urgent or as costly as they thought can cool both sides down and set the stage for a compromise. The compromise options are endless: you can do some repairs, give the buyer a credit, reduce the price, or do nothing at all, depending on what you can afford.
The home buying process can be confusing so allow time and attention to be spent on the details by a trusted real estate professional and a home inspection company working together for you.
One Avenue Inspection, works with real estate agents and their clients during one of the most sensitive times of the home buying process. Our goal is to educate real estate agents so they can use our home inspection reports to properly advocate for their clients. If you are a new real estate agent or an agent who has not worked closely with a home inspection company before, these tips will not only help you better understand our process, but how we can give you an advantage as an agent.
1. Learn what home inspectors do. Don’t be afraid to question us during the inspection. A good inspector will be glad to answer your questions in as much detail as you require. If you don’t understand something be sure to get it clarified with the inspector. Also, do as much research as possible to learn what to expect and what common problems might be.
2. Learn how to read home inspection reports. Inspection reports can vary significantly. Inspectors are free to choose the format and software (if they choose to use it) they use to generate reports. These reports will cover the same general information but can vary widely in their detail and organization. Most reports will include photos. At One Avenue, we will go over it with you and answer any questions you might have.
3. Realize all home inspectors are different. No two inspectors will inspect a house and have an identical report. Most home inspection companies not only take a licensing exam, but frequently update their education to keep up with the industry. The more an agent works with a home inspector, the more you will prefer one home inspector over another. While you don’t want to recommend any specific inspector (this puts liability on you), you will at least be able to guide your clients to a home inspection company that you have worked with and trust.
4. Make sure your clients know the purpose of a home inspection. Let your clients know that the purpose of a home inspection is to find major structural defects – not to have a way to back out of a contract. Many buyers believe they can make an offer and then be able to back out of a deal because of a leaky faucet.
5. Give your clients a checklist. You should include a checklist with your home inspection tips. Make sure they know their time frame, their deadlines, and what they should be asking the inspector during the home inspection.
As always, we are always here to answer any questions and to meet with you to discuss the home inspection process.
A typical home inspection includes a check of a house’s structural and mechanical condition, from the roof to the foundation, as well as tests for the presence of radon gas and the detection of wood-destroying insects. Depending on the seriousness of what the inspection uncovers, the buyer can walk away from the deal (most contracts include an inspection contingency in the event of major flaws) or negotiate with the seller for the necessary repairs.
These are the red flags that should send a buyer back to the negotiating table, according to home improvement expert Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit.
1. Termites and other live-in pests: The home you’ve fallen in love with may also be adored by the local termite population. The sooner termites are detected, the better. The same goes for other wood-devouring pests like powder-post beetles. Keep in mind that getting rid of the intruders is just the first step. Once the problem has been addressed, have a pest control expert advise you on what needs to be done in order to prevent their return.
2. Drainage issues: Poor drainage can lead to wood rot, wet basements, perennially wet crawlspaces, and major mold growth. Problems are usually caused by missing or damaged gutters, downspouts, or improper grading at ground level. Correcting grading and replacing gutters is a lot less costly than undoing damage caused by the accumulation of moisture.
3. Pervasive mold: Where moisture collects, so grows mold, a threat to human health as well as to a home’s structure. Improper ventilation can be the culprit in smaller, more contained spaces, such as bathrooms. But think twice about buying a property where mold is pervasive — that’s a sign of long-term moisture issues.
4. Faulty foundation: A cracked or crumbling foundation calls for attention and repair, with costs ranging from moderate to astronomically expensive. The topper of foundation expenses is the foundation that needs to be replaced altogether — a possibility if you insist on shopping “historic” properties. Be aware that their beautiful details and old-fashioned charms may come with epic underlying expenses.
6. Worn-out roofing: Enter any sale agreement with an awareness of your own cost tolerance for roof repair versus replacement. The age and type of roofing material will figure into your home inspector’s findings, as well as the price tag of repair or replacement. An older home still sheltered by asbestos roofing material, for example, requires costly disposal processes to prevent release of and exposure to its dangerous contents.
7. Toxic materials: Asbestos may be in a home’s finishes, calling for your consideration of containment and replacement costs. Other expensive finish issues include lead paint and, more recently, Chinese drywall, which found its way into homes built during the boom years of 2004 and 2005. This product’s sulfur off-gassing leads to illness as well as damage to home systems, so you’ll need to have it completely removed and replaced if it’s found in the home that you’re hoping to buy.
8. Outdated wiring: Home inspectors will typically open and inspect the main electrical panel, looking for overloaded circuits, proper grounding and the presence of any trouble spots like aluminum branch circuit wiring, a serious fire hazard.
There is not a home without a flaw, so remember to take a deep breath and to focus on the key elements of the home inspection process.