So you are getting a home inspection? Here is what you need to know.


What Is a Home Inspection?

Whole Home Inspections has come up with an analogy to help answer this question in its most basic form. “Home inspectors are like translators, we tell you what the home tells us.” We use all of our past and ongoing experiences to help us gather as much information as we can during the inspection so that we can then relay that information back to you. A good home inspector does a great job of translating what the home has revealed during the inspection without adding or subtracting what was learned in terms that you can understand (without you having to learn how to speak house).
Side note: We can only tell you what the home tells us.

Things you should know and keep in mind when getting a home inspection and reviewing the home inspection report:

A home inspection is performed according to the Standards of Professional Practice for Arizona Home Inspectors to provide the client with a better understanding of the property conditions, as observed at the time of the inspection. The inspection is a non-invasive, mostly visual-only examination of the property and components required by the state with limitations excluded. The report is based on observations of visible, safe, and readily accessible areas and apparent conditions at the time of inspection.

We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with these standards and fully reading your inspection agreement. This would help you understand in detail the systems and components covered and/or not covered in a home inspection. If you have any questions regarding the information in these documents, you should contact the inspection company.

The main focus of a home inspector is to identify observed material defects within the guidelines (SOP) of the inspection. We mainly look for items such as major defects, things that lead to major defects, and safety hazards/concerns.

Home inspections have several limitations:

We cannot/do not:

  • Determine life expectancy of a system or component
  • Determine the condition of underlying materials
  • Offer quotes to correct items of interest
  • Give any warranty or make predictions of future conditions
  • Move personal property to gain access to a blocked component
  • Enter in/on unsafe areas

More information about limitations can be found in the Standards of Practice (SOP), in your inspection agreement, and in your home inspection report.

Also, note that concerns brought to your attention by the home inspector would most often require further evaluation by a specialist to confirm the condition and provide further information.
A home inspection will not reveal every problem that exists or could ever exist but only those material defects that were observed at the time of inspection. Several factors could hide or not present material defects based on things such as our limitations and weather during the inspection.

Since a home inspection is a general overview with limitations, if you already have concerns with portions of the property, you should consider also scheduling a specialist. They would/should be able to perform more invasive evaluation(s) within your inspection timeframe to give you more information regarding those items of interest including costs associated with any required maintenance, repair, or replacement.

Consider scheduling a specialist if you are concerned or would like a more invasive evaluation with items such as but not limited to:

  • Older HVAC unit(s)
  • Condition of the roof underlayment, sewer pipe obstructions/condition, or any other inaccessible areas
  • Other things not included in a home inspection such as mold, asbestos, lead, pests
  • Are looking for information on the scope of work needed for repair or replacement including costs for correction(s)
  • If you notice defects such as large cracks in the foundation, walls, or pool surface/decking

Home inspectors can only provide you with information they have collected at the time of inspection. If you ever experience a problem with the home, one of your best resources can actually be your home inspector. In most cases, they can help you determine the best way to handle the concern such as, should you call a specialist, or is it an easy fix?

Remember, the home inspector is there to help give you a better understanding of the home. All homes require maintenance, and all homes require some additional investment to get them in the condition that is best suited for you and/or your family. We will help in any way that we can within our legal and ethical guidelines.


Serving the greater Phoenix, AZ area. Including, but not limited to, Scottsdale, Surprise, Sun City, Peoria, Glendale, Tolleson, Peoria, Goodyear, Sun City, Paradise Valley, Anthem, Litchfield Park, & all surrounding areas of AZ!

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