You’ve finally found a house that’s just right for you and your family. But before you invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in that “perfect” home, find out what’s not so perfect about it.
Houses include many complicated components, such as heating and cooling systems, electrical wiring, plumbing, a roof, siding, windows… you get the idea. No matter how observant you are, you’re probably not qualified to perform an assessment of all those items before you commit to the purchase. However, a licensed home inspector can give you a pretty good picture of the overall condition of the house and its parts. Armed with a report from a qualified inspector, you can make a better-informed decision about your purchase of a home.
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of your home. A typical inspection covers the electrical, heating, and air-conditioning systems; plumbing; roof; interior walls and ceilings; insulation; windows; doors; fireplace and chimney; appliances; and foundation. It may include septic systems, swimming pools, and hot tubs, but you’ll want to verify that before you hire an inspector. Keep in mind that if an inspector cannot access a particular area, such as a very steep roof, he won’t be able to inspect it.
Timing is everything
You will want to contact a home inspector right after you sign a purchase contract. That way, you can schedule the inspection before the contract’s termination option period expires. This approach enables you to follow up on any problems uncovered by the inspector.
The time to find an inspector, though, is before you sign a contract on a house. Make sure you identify at least two inspectors in case one is unavailable. Ask friends and family and your Texas Realtor® for their inspector recommendations and follow up with some research of your own.
Once you settle on some potential inspectors, ask them questions about their services. Here are some suggestions:
• What is your fee?
• What will the inspection include? (Ask for a list of items that are included and excluded.)
• How long will the inspection take, and can I attend it? (Be wary of an inspector who doesn’t want you around.)
• What type of training and licenses do you hold? (Make sure he’s licensed in Texas.)
• Will you provide a written inspection report?
• How do you inspect the roof?
• Will you provide a list of references?
• If repairs are made based on your initial inspection, is there an additional fee to have you re-inspect that the house?
Talk to a specialist
A home inspector’s job is to find problems, not fix them. If your inspector finds a problem with a house’s wiring, call an electrician. You can get an estimate of the cost and severity of the repair and decide how to proceed with your purchase.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find a home without any problems – even newly constructed ones typically have flaws – but a home inspection can make you a better-informed homebuyer. Once you know the condition of your dream house, you and your Texas Realtor® can discuss how to proceed.
For more information on home inspections and the homebuying process, visit TexasRealEstate.com.
For your real estate needs, contact RE/MAX Genesis at 830-833-2000.