Blanco County News
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After Closer Inspection, I’ll Take It!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008 • Posted July 29, 2008 10:00 PM

Before you make that big leap to buy a home, stop and make sure you know what you are getting into. One of the best ways to ensure you are getting what you paid for is by hiring a reputable inspector to do an overall assessment of the property. A thorough inspection will give you some peace of mind, but there are limitations to what these professionals do. Understanding exactly what is involved in a standard real estate inspection will allow you to make a smart consumer choice.

What is it?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of your home. However if an inspector cannot access a particular area, such as a steep roof, it will not receive a thorough assessment. The standard inspector’s report usually includes an evaluation of the central air conditioning system, the heating system, inside plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and attic (if accessible), ceilings, foundation, interior floors, and the home’s overall structure.

Do I really need one?

Learning as much as you can about the condition of the property you are looking to buy can eliminate surprises. A home inspection will also give you a better picture of what the home is worth and what repairs are needed.

Most buyers contact a home inspector immediately following the signing of the purchase contract. The inspection is typically done within a few days. If your purchase contract contains a termination option period, you will want to complete the inspection before the end of the option period.

Home inspections are not just for buyers. Before putting your home on the market, you might also consider having it professionally inspected. This will give you a good idea of what the buyer’s inspector might find and an opportunity to make any repairs needed to increase the overall value of your home.

What should I ask?

Of course, the obvious questions come to mind when considering hiring a professional inspector, such as fees and scheduling. But there are a number of other questions I would suggest you ask before securing their services.

• What will the inspection include? Be sure to ask for specifics.

• What type of training and licenses do you hold? Have you been licensed in Texas?

• Will you provide a written inspection report?

• Do you climb onto the roof to inspect it?

• Can you provide a list of references?

• Is there an additional fee to reinspect the house after repairs have been completed?

These are just a few of the questions you might ask. In most cases, standard inspections do not include septic tanks, swimming pools, and many will not conduct environmental hazard tests or termite inspection. If a more thorough inspection is important to you or if the inspector finds something beyond his expertise, you should consider hiring a specialist to examine these particular areas.

Fees and additional recommendations

Inspection fees vary depending on the home’s location, systems, and size. Don’t let cost be the sole determining factor. It is more important that the professional you hire have the skill and experience necessary to do the job right. Unlike many states in the U.S. , Texas law requires that all home inspectors be licensed. I recommend getting referrals from friends and talking with your Texas Realtor.

While some people choose not to be present during a home inspection, I recommend you be there. Not only will you see first-hand what your inspector is examining, you will learn things about your home you might not have known otherwise, such as how certain systems work and how to maintain them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

A professional inspection is a key element of purchasing a home, but it is important to understand that the likelihood of your potential home being in perfect condition is slim. You should expect some problems to be revealed. If there are major problems, you and your Realtor can discuss how to proceed. If the seller is inflexible, the inspection information can be extremely valuable in determining whether you believe the condition of the home is equivalent to its price. Talk to your Texas Realtor about the importance of a professional real estate inspection. For more information on home inspections, visit.

For services, contact RE/MAX Genesis at830-833-2000 or lightfoot.com.

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