Oct. 15, 2012
I learned a lot about home inspections when we became first-time homebuyers this past summer. Here are a few Inspection 101 questions that my Texas REALTOR® answered for me when it came time to kick the metaphorical tires on our first house.
As the buyer, you choose the inspector, pay him directly for the inspection, and the inspection report he generates is yours. If you don’t already have a home inspector in mind, ask your friends and family members for a referral, or your Texas REALTOR® may recommend someone. Whoever you chose, he must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission.
An inspector will conduct an “objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation,” according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. He will go through the entire house and make note of any damage, need for repairs, or maintenance issues, and then give you a copy of the completed report based on his findings. It’s important to know that there could be defects a home inspector will not find and wouldn’t be expected to find if the defects are in areas with limited or no access.
Your Texas REALTOR® will discuss including a termination option period in your contract. This is an amount of time during which you can conduct inspections, negotiate with the seller for repairs, and you still have the option to terminate the contract.
You don’t have to be at the property during the inspection, but it’s in your best interest to be there. Your inspector may not mind if you accompany him and ask questions as he checks everything out, but ask him first.
Buying your home is probably the largest investment you will ever make, so you want to know as much as you can up front. A home inspector will point out items that need regular maintenance and identify any problems.
After your inspection is complete, talk with your Texas REALTOR® to determine if there are any issues you want to ask the seller to address before you move forward. She has experience with the home-buying process and will make recommendations that are right for you.