Home inspections provide a level of objectivity in evaluating a home. It is recommended that any home, even a new home, be inspected. Home inspectors play the role of the objective third party. Typically, home inspectors evaluate a property within the option period which is usually 5-10 days after the effective date of the contract. A typical North Texas home inspection will cost about $450 to $2,000 depending upon the size of the home and take a 3-6 hours; prices also fluctuate by area. Inspection allows buyers and sellers to resolve problems prior to closing. Even though Texas has no home inspection requirements, it is still recommended that you have one performed. For a seller, a home inspection as part of pre-listing a home can help sell the home in a timelier manner. For a buyer, it helps cut down the emotional appeal of a property and gives a more objective and realistic evaluation.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:
- Initial inspections only check the condition of the home at the time of inspection and do not guarantee any condition beyond that point.
- Some special features on a home may not be included in the inspection such as swimming pools, in-ground sprinklers, septic systems, water wells, gazebos, etc.
- It is important that buyers of a home go to the home on the day of the inspection and meet with the inspector to go over his/her findings.
- Inspectors will not necessarily catch every possible problem in a home.
- Even new homes need to be inspected. All homes are not necessarily up to the standards of the model you tour.
- Inspectors should not recommend or bid on repair work; this is a conflict of interest.
- Inspectors do not perform leak tests and a licensed plumber should be contacted if there is any suspicion of water or sewer leaks.
- Most inspectors do not do formal foundation assessments. They may make recommendations based on observations of cracking or floor heaving. A duly licensed structural engineer should be hired for this assessment if there is suspicion of foundation movement.
A GOOD INSPECTOR WILL:
- Check for harmful gases.
- Check the water meter dial if there is dial movement when there is no water demand on the system.
- Check water pressure.
- Describe what they are checking.
- Show you useful information such as where to shut off water or light a furnace.
- Give you a report in writing.
Home inspection is now a regulated industry, so make sure you hire a licensed inspector.
QUESTIONS TO ASK OF AN INSPECTION COMPANY:
- How long has the company been performing inspections?
- Does the company have Error and Omissions insurance?
- Will the company give a written and signed report?
- Does the company stand behind its report (give a guarantee)?
- How many real estate companies does the company service too?
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