Home inspections: Their purpose and process

What’s a home inspection?

A home inspection is a thorough examination of the structure and systems of a house. It provides a snapshot of the current condition of the home. A home inspection can help to reduce the risk associated with purchasing a home. However, the inspector cannot predict future events or changes in performance due to changes in use or occupancy. Inspections will include areas that need repair or replacement, as well as potential safety and health issues.

Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) requires inspectors to be licensed. They must also adhere to the TREC Standards of Practice for inspections of residential properties with one to four families. The Standards of Practice define the minimum standards of inspection that inspectors must follow for parts, components, and systems commonly found in real estate improvements.

Remember that the inspector does not have to move furniture or other stored items. It is a good idea for the inspector to have clear access to all major parts of the house before the inspection begins.

The inspector will indicate in the report which items were present (NP), not present (NI), or inadequate (I). Inoperability, material damage, water penetration, damage, and deterioration are all examples of general deficiencies. The report does not require either the Seller or the Buyer to repair or take other actions for any items. Parties to the contract for sale or purchase of the home are free to decide whether to correct a hazard or take other actions.

Keep in mind that the report may contain items that relate to safety or building codes. Very few homes will be able to comply with these. These conditions may not have been in violation of building codes or other common practices at the time the home was built. They may also have been ‘grandfathered,’ as they existed prior to codes banning such conditions. If these conditions are not in compliance with the law, an inspection must be done.

Why would I need a home inspector?

Your home purchase may be your largest single investment. You will want to know as much information as possible about the condition of your home before you buy it. This will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. A home inspection can help you identify potential repairs and maintenance needs to protect your investment. You will learn more about the property and be able to make an informed decision on whether or not you want to buy it.

How much does a home inspection cost?

A typical inspection fee for single-family properties varies depending on the size, age, and particular features (slab foundation, crawl space, etc ) as well as any possible options systems that may be inspected. A home inspection typically costs between $250 and $400. This includes any optional services such as lawn sprinkler systems, swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs and their equipment, outbuildings, outdoor cooking equipment, gas supply systems, private water wells, septic systems, and whole-house vacuum systems, and other built-in appliances. The potential costs of having a home inspection done should not be considered.

When should I schedule my home inspection?

After signing the purchase contract, schedule your home inspection immediately. You will need to know about potential problems and schedule additional inspections. Also, you’ll want to be able to negotiate repairs with your Owner. All this must take place during your option period. If it occurs outside the period of your option period and you do not extend the option period to purchase the home, you will be obligated to buy the home regardless of any additional issues.

Do I need to attend the inspection?

If you are the Buyer, it is a good idea to have the inspector contact you before the inspection is complete. You should allow yourself sufficient time to reach the inspector and do a final walkthrough. He will be happy to point out any problems and answer any questions. You, the Seller, have the right to attend. However, I suggest that you don’t follow the inspector around the house trying not to justify any deficiencies he makes.

What happens if there are deficiencies in your home?

You should not buy the house if the inspector finds any defects. The inspector only informs you of the possible outcomes. You might be able to negotiate the big issues, while minor problems can be fixed by you once you have purchased the home. Don’t ‘nitpick’ any item in the report. This is a great way to impress the Seller.

To summarize, many sellers have a home inspection San Antonio TX performed before listing their home to verify the state and maintenance of the property.

Lone Star Inspections
32882 Interstate 10 West Suite 203, Boerne, TX 78006
210-643-4588

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