Congratulations! You’re under contract for your dream home! Tip Number 1 is looking at the SPDS. That stands for the seller’s property disclosure statement. This is a form that the seller provides to the buyer, and it talks about the age of the appliances, the hot water heater, the AC unit, the plumbing, and also gives you an idea what the utilities will be.
It is important to give the SPDS to the home inspector so that they could be alerted to any issues with the home before they step foot on the property. The inspector’s job is to look at five things: the structure, the roof, the plumbing, the electrical, and the HVAC. The purpose of the inspection is to minimize any up-front cost to the buyer. So the inspector will look for any defects in the home. So, how long is the inspection period? The inspection period is typically 10 days in the state of Arizona, and it starts the day after the contract has been signed by both parties. So if the contract was signed today, then the inspection period would start tomorrow.
So, you may ask, “Nicole, should I attend the inspection?” That’s Tip Number 2. Yes, you should attend the inspection. If you happen to be out of town, it’s not the end of the world, but attending the inspection is important because the inspection period is one of the most crucial time periods during the home purchase process. When I say, “Attend the inspection,” what I really mean is you attend the wrap-up at the end. You don’t want to be there during the entire inspection process. You’re going to slow the inspector down. It could take twice as long for that person to get through your home.
Now you are wondering, “What do you inspect?”. You inspect the home. If you have a pool, you inspect that and the spa. You also inspect termites in the home in the state of Arizona. If you find termites on your inspection report, it’s not a big worry. It’s very common in the state of Arizona. If you are purchasing an older home, this leads me to Tip Number 3. You will want to get a sewer scope. Older homes typically have galvanized pipes, and it’s a very good idea to get a sewer scope to make sure that everything looks okay with the pipes underneath the home.
So how much does it cost? A typical home is about 1800 square feet, and the prices can run, for that home inspection itself, from 300 to 500. The termite inspection is usually around $65. The pool and spa inspection can run from 50 to $100. The sewer scope can be from $150 to $250. So the costs do add up, but it’s well worth the price to have that peace of mind on your home.
A typical home inspection lasts between three and four hours. Obviously, the bigger the home, the longer the inspection will take. The wrap-up takes about 30 minutes if it’s a clean inspection, and can last a lot longer if there’s problems with the home.
Tip Number 4, get an expert analysis on the home, and do your due diligence. When you get the inspection report back, the inspector may find issues with the roof, the plumbing, the electrical, the pool, etc. So I always recommend to my buyers to get an expert out there in that field and do a closer analysis of the problems with the home.
Remember that all of this needs to happen within the time period of the inspection. So it’s important to start that inspection and get it done as soon as you’re under contract so you have time for the experts to get into the home and give you their opinion. Your inspector may give you a brief summary on-site right after the inspection and point out the issues with the home, and that can be eight, 10, 15 pages. Within 24 hours, you should be getting a very lengthy report with pictures, and it can be 50 pages long. It’s important to go through that page by page and really understand the issues with the home.
You have the inspection in hand, and you’ve analyzed all of the issues. Now it’s time to respond with the BINSR, and that’s the buyer’s response to the inspection. The buyer must submit the BINSR to the seller by midnight of the last day of the inspection. The seller has five days to respond to the buyer, and then the buyer has another five days to respond to the seller. So, as you can see, there’s a lot of time period deadlines to pay attention to. So it’s important to get that inspection done right away, right after you’re under contract, so you have time to negotiate if necessary.
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