Did you buy a home without getting it inspected? Have you lived in your current home for more than 3 years?
If you, or someone you know did not get a Home Inspection when buying a home OR if you own a home, this information is for you. We have put together a short list of helpful things that any homeowner can/should do to better understand the condition of their home.
We put this information together to help homeowners as we are seeing a growing need. Phoenix home inventory has been so low that people are resorting to drastic measures to get their dream home. We’ve heard of 20+ offers being submitted and seen people offer way over asking, include a reduced inspection timeframe and even skipping the Home Inspection all together.
The Home Inspection is a very informative and important part of the process. Even if you plan on buying the home no matter what comes up during the inspection timeframe, we highly recommend getting your home inspected.
10 Tips if you bought your home without getting a Home Inspection or have been in your home for over 3 years. (In no particular order)
1. Check the city water meter:
This may help you determine if there is any unseen water loss to the home. This is a great resource and it’s free! Just make sure to check this when no water in the home is being used such as the dishwasher running or irrigation being used. If there is movement at the water meter:
1st Turn off the pool auto fill (if there is one) and then recheck the meter to see if there is still movement.
2nd Turn off the water to the irrigation system and recheck the meter. If there is still movement call a plumber to help determine where the water loss is.
3rd You can then turn off the water to your home to help determine if the water loss is somewhere between the meter and the home.
2. Run water for at least 7 minutes:
Make sure to watch out for leaks and over filling basins. This may help you determine if there is an issue with the drainage system, however this is not a definitive test. The best way to know its condition is to have a sewer scope inspection done by a licensed plumber like Robins Plumbing or an independent sewer scope company like Camera Inspection Pros check it out.
They can provide you with some really helpful information.
3. Find out the age of the HVAC system and if it uses R-22 refrigerant:
R-22 refrigerant has been phased out and is no longer being produced. This may make servicing your HVAC system(s) more costly than newer units. If your system uses R-22 refrigerant you may want to consult with an HVAC specialist to help determine the best time to upgrade or replace the HVAC unit(s) for newer more efficient models. In the long run, replacing the system(s) may be more economical in terms of maintenance fees and energy bills, especially when it's a planned replacement.
4. Find out the age of the water heater and look for any signs of needing maintenance:
Such as but not limited to: leaking/rust/corrosion, popping sounds, flue displacement, melted/distorted rings around gas water heater plumbing pipes that set on top on the water heater. If you experience any of these conditions, we recommend contacting a plumber for a further/full evaluation. If maintained the typical life expectance for a gas water heater is 8 to 12 years and electric water heaters around 10 to 15 years. Although important on all water heaters, if you have a tankless water heater it is highly recommended to have yearly maintenance.
5. Look for cracks:
Larger cracks and/or signs of displacement (crack at different heights/depths) are conditions that may be a sign of an issue that would require further evaluation (depending of the location and severity) to help determine what/if any correction is needed.
6. Clean out your dryer vent!:
Around 90% of homes we inspect have dryer vents in a condition that require cleaning , which is a fire hazard. Some homeowners may choose to do this themselves, however there are several companies in the Valley that provide this service at a reasonable cost. Also, if old washing machine hoses (standard rubber) were left behind by the previous owner or you are using them, we recommend considering using a more reliable hose such as braided steel or replacing the hoses. It's recommended to replace rubber hoses every 3-5 years.
7. Get the roof and attic evaluated:
Have this done by someone insured since these are unsafe areas that most homeowners should not be going. Evaluation can help you determine if there are any areas in need of correction such as but not limited to: missing large amounts of insulation, damaged structural components, signs of leaks or pests, electrical hazards, deteriorated/missing roof components, etc. It’s also recommended to have periodic roof evaluations, with our high heat and monsoon winds conditions can change quickly.
8. Hire an electrician:
Have them check inside the electrical panel(s), check safety devices such as GFCI & AFCI and also at least check a representative number of outlets. There are a lot of homes that have hidden electrical hazards.
9. Get a Termite Inspection:
Homes in the Valley (Phoenix and surrounding areas) have a high probability of having and/or getting termites. A company like A-Agents could do an independent Termite Inspection they can help find signs of termites and provide you with treatments options. Signs of termites can sometimes be hard to see, so getting an extra look by a licensed specialist with a trained eye is worth it.
Side note: Slump block homes and homes with post tension foundations are not exempt from getting termites.
10. Get a Home Inspection:
It’s never too late to get a Home Inspection (Home Wellness Inspection). We highly recommend getting a Home Inspection if you didn’t originally get one, did not feel the one you had was detailed enough or you have been living in your home for more than 3 years.
Home Inspectors have a wealth of useful information and a unique perspective that can be hard to find in one place. Although you may think you know your home better than anyone else, a Home Inspector is likely able to provide some additional useful information that can help further protect you and your family and/or save you from some large future expenses.
Therefore getting a licensed/certified Home Inspector from a top rated company, like Whole Home Inspections can help you better understand your home, while looking for safety concerns and major defects. As part of the Home Inspection, the inspector will make recommendations for items to be monitored, corrected or further/more invasive evaluation by a specialist if/where needed. These recommendations are beneficial for you to add or start a home maintenance program, get ahead of potential costly repairs and be aware of safety concerns. Home Inspectors are a great unbiased resource to better understand your home.
If you have any questions, please submit them in the link below or post them in social media, the answer may help someone else as well:
Here are some more useful resources/links:
What’s Covered in a Home Inspection?
Frequently Asked Home inspection Related Questions
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Damaged, displaced and/or missing screens at attic vents can lead to pests in the attic. We recommend checking to see if any corrections are needed.
Whole Home Inspections, LLC
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