Q. Do you accept credit cards?

A: We accept major credit and debit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover. You can use them to pay online, or you can present your card to us at the time of the inspection.

Q. How soon can you go out and inspect the houses?

A: This will depend on the volume of the market. Usually, I can respond to a request for a home inspection within 3-5 days, or sooner. Most purchase contracts in Arizona will have either a 7- or 10-day inspection period. We have seen 3- and 5-day periods in hot, seller markets though as well. Just depends on the volume. Best way to know how long will be to call us at 480-861-6648. I have been able to service a client in as short a time as a day or two when necessary.

Q. How long will it take after the inspection for me to get the report?

A: Reports are available to my client same day or next day. I spend a little more time on site sometimes to make sure I can do this, but it is worth it to provide that level of service. I also provide up to a 30-minute on-site summary of major findings for my client and their realtor.

Q. Do your reports contain images?

A: All reports include pictures for inspection items. All reports conform to the State of Arizona's Standards of Professional Practices as well. My full reports will include between 150 and 200 or more photographs (typically) taken at the time of inspection to show exactly what I am seeing.

Q. Are you licensed and insured?

A: Absolutely and not just because the state requires it. It is the right thing to do.

Q. Where does most of your business come from?

A: My business comes from a variety of source: on-line from people looking for home inspections in the metropolitan Phoenix Arizona area, from realtor referrals, and from previous clients using me more than once.

Q. What tools/equipment do you use for inspections?

A: I currently use standard tools (screwdriver, mirror, pliers) as well as electrical testers, IR thermometer, moisture meter, gas leak detector, water pressure gauge, a magnet, and ladders. I am also beginning to use an IR camera for specific concerns. Of course, I also extensively use my flashlights - it is where the name Shining Light came from.

Q. How long will the inspection take?

A: Inspections can last from two hours to all day. It depends on the size of the property, its age and what you want done. I keep my inspection calendar to no more than two per day so that I can give each the focus and attention that it deserves.

Q. Are you ok with me meeting you there during the inspection?

A: Absolutely! I have clients from want to be there the entire time to just want to be there for the summary to I will just wait for the report. The last one usually from clients that have used me before. You are the one paying for the inspection. All that I ask is that you allow me to do the inspection, but I will answer your questions.

Q. Do you email the report?

A: Actually, I usually do not but I can if that is what you want. Reports can be large. I have had clients that requested I email them a copy and I have done that. I use software called HomeGauge that allows me to process the reports quickly but also will store the report on-line for us so that you and your realtor can access it easily. Then, if you want to print it out, it will convert it to PDF for you and allow you to download it where you can print what you want. The software also has a Create Request List (CRL) tool that will take all findings and organize them for use so that you can send requests for quotes to contractors or use to help negotiate with a seller.

Q. Do you work on weekends?

A: Yes, I will do an inspection on a Saturday if needed.

Q. Is there anything I should do on my end prior to the inspection taking place?

A: Schedule early in the inspection period. You can call when you submit to offer to see when I or any inspector will have time to schedule the inspection. An inspector will typically need to know the address of the property, how large the home is and how old it is. Are there other areas that will need inspection? Are there additional buildings? Is there a pool and / or spa? Will you need a termite inspection? On older homes, you may want a sewer line inspection. What else do you expect from the inspection? Work directly with the inspector on these areas to provide you the inspection that will meet your needs. There really is no such thing as one size fits all. I will do the best that I can to meet your needs, but you need to tell me what you need. Also try to understand your wants versus your needs as well.

Q. As a Home Inspector, what do you really provide?

A: I can tell you what I provide. I provide a third-party evaluation of the functionality for the major systems in a home. Home inspectors do not typically dismantle equipment or doing damage. As such, we will open things that a homeowner might open when doing routine checks or maintenance such as changing a filter. This is a limited visual inspection. Home inspectors do use basic tools to help or confirm what we visually see. For example, we may use a moisture meter to help determine is there is a water leak or a water pressure gauge to make sure that the water pressure entering a property is not too low or too high. Overall, we provide an analysis of the condition of the property on the date of the inspection for our clients. Included in this are the following systems to the extent that we can see them: structure, exterior, interior, electrical, roofing, plumbing, heating, central air conditioning / cooling, insulation, and ventilation. I do provide a pamphlet with more details about our standards of practice and code of ethics to each of my clients, so you know the details.

Q. Do I really need to have a home inspection?

A: In a word, not really: just like you do not need an annual medical checkup to look at your health or a realtor to help you in real estate - but it really is a good idea! It is all up to you. If you value having a trained and licensed professional to provide an unbiased evaluation of the current condition of the property before you buy it, sell it, or try to remodel it then having a home inspection to inform you (and your agent) can lead to better decisions about the home. You are making a large investment for a home and trained professionals like home inspectors can help. You control the home inspection. You pick them, you pay for them, and they work for you - no one else.

Q. I am having a home built by a builder. I know that they have supervision and qualify control functions. Do I really need a home inspector too?

A: In a word, I recommend it. A builder has homes at various stages of construction all at once. A supervisor and quality control people cannot be everywhere all the time. No one is perfect. Having a home inspector can be an added level of protection to make sure that your dream home is just that. Obviously, having a home inspection before close of escrow is important but so is finding a home inspector that will do a pre-drywall inspection. I do these because this allows us to see what is really within the home before it is all covered up. These have proven to be particularly important for clients. It is a whole lot easier to correct issues early in construction. I do these two inspections as a bundle, so you are not paying full amounts for both inspections. Lastly, builders provide a warranty for a year or more. I do an 11-month warranty inspection - see how the home is holding up with a year of use.

Q. How much do you charge for a home inspection?

A: There are various things that go into calculating a fee for a home inspection. Size of the home, age of the home, inspections wanted (if anything) over and above a "typical" home inspection, and the anticipated complexity (such as basements or crawl spaces). For me, my base charge is $250 for home up to 1,000 square feet of living space. Things will go up from there and all my inspections include my travel equivalent to ~1 hour (~55 miles) from my base location. So little if any travel charges. Best way to find out is to contact us via phone, e-mail or requesting a scheduled inspection online directly. I do not charge for giving you a quote and I stand behind my quotes.

Q. How long do your inspections take?

A: I spend the time needed for an inspection. I schedule no more than two inspections per day so that I can give each one the time that it (and you) deserves. It does not matter if it is a condominium, townhouse, mobile home, modular home, big or small - it is going to be your home and I give it the time that it needs. So, I will take anywhere from 2 hours for a smaller home to a full day for a larger one (4000+ square feet). When I quote I price, I also provide the amount of time that I think it will need and then add 30 minutes so that I can provide you with a focused summary at the end.

Q. So what DON'T you do on an inspection?

A: Good question. First thing I look at is if what I am going to do is safe. This is true for both me and the system of the house that I am looking at. For example, I typically walk a roof as it gives me the best perspective to evaluate that roof. But if I determine that it is not safe to walk it, then I put in my report that I did not walk it, why I did not and then provide the evaluation of what I could see. I do the same for air conditioning. First rule in home inspection is not to damage the home you are inspecting. Sometimes, if it is cold and has been for a few days, it is not considered to be safe to run the air conditioning or heat pump in cooling mode for extended periods of time to really see how well it performs. I also use the knowledge of those systems to determine if data I would get are worth the attempt. I say exactly what I did and why, and the provide my evaluation of the condition on the date of inspection.

Q. Do you do follow-up inspections?

A: Yes. These have an additional cost associated with the number of items I am doing and, of course, an additional trip to the property. These are a re-inspection of those items.

Q. Do you have a sample report that I can look at?

A: Absolutely. I have a couple and they will be in a separate area of my web page.

Q. How will I know if an issue that you find is something I need to be concerned about or not?

A. Usually you can tell by how I have written the comment. Well, and the pictures or videos that I provide in the report. Additionally, I try to categorize issues as either MONITOR (keep an eye on this), REVIEW (something to think about but not particularly concerning right now), ATTENTION (something that I believe needs to be fixed or further evaluated by a specialist) or SAFETY (these need to be addressed but also something that is a safety concern like electrical issues for example). For my reports, if you are my client, you can always call and ask a question. I will answer all that I ethically can.