The Low-Down on Home Inspections

The Low-Down on Home Inspections

  • 12/11/17
When you’re buying a home for sale in Scottsdale or one of the surrounding communities, you’ll eventually need to hire a home inspector – but what are inspectors looking for, what happens if they find something, and what can you do with the knowledge the inspector provides you?

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of a house’s physical structure and systems. It’s performed by a qualified home inspector – someone trained to look for defects in a house.
Even if your lender doesn’t require an inspection, you’ll want one. This is the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and you want to learn as much as you can about the home’s condition before you make such a huge commitment. The inspection can give you the information you need to make the most informed decision possible.

What Do Home Inspectors Look For?

Home inspectors, as part of a standard inspection, search for issues that could affect your homeownership or the home’s value. The areas a standard inspection usually covers include:
  • Structural elements. Inspectors look at the construction of the visible foundation and search for evidence of sagging or bowing.
  • Grounds. Most inspectors look for leaks from a septic tank and ensure a proper drainage system is in place. They also check the condition of fences, sidewalks and driveways.
  • Roofs. A standard inspection usually includes checking on the condition of shingles and whether there have been roof repairs, as well as whether there’s any damage to the exterior of the chimney or gutters.
  • Exterior. Your inspector will check the condition of the home’s exterior, including its paint or siding and outdoor electrical outlets.
  • Interior. The inspector will check window, door and cupboard alignment, go into the attic to search for insulation, ventilation and signs of water damage, and check the systems and appliances.
  • Systems. Most inspectors check the condition of the home’s HVAC system, water heaters and fireplaces, as well as electrical systems to ensure breakers, outlets, light fixtures and fans are working and properly wired.
  • Appliances. Typically, home inspectors check stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances that will be included with the home’s purchase.
  • Basements and garages. Your inspector will check for a solid foundation and look for signs of water damage, as well as determine whether the electrical system meets code, outlets and garage door openers function properly, and more.

Although the inspection covers quite a bit of the home, from the foundation to the roof, you’ll most likely have to hire a specialized inspector to check out some fixtures (such as swimming pools). You’ll also have to hire specialty inspectors to look for things like:
  • Pest infestations
  • Asbestos
  • Radon gas
  • Lead paint
  • Toxic mold

What if the Inspector Turns Up Problem Areas?

A home can’t “fail” a home inspection. However, the inspector may uncover issues that you – and the seller – are unaware of, which means you may decide not to purchase the home after all. The inspector’s primary job is to describe the house’s physical condition and let you know what systems or components of the home might need replacement or major repairs.
If the inspector discovers issues that change your mind about purchasing the home, let your Scottsdale real estate agent know. (If you’ve already signed a purchase contract, you may be able to back out of the transaction with your earnest money intact. Your agent will give you the guidance you need in this type of situation!)

Follow Us on Instagram


Bringing together a team with the passion, dedication, and resources to help our clients reach their buying and selling goals. With you every step of the way.