The home buying process should be an exciting time for prospective buyers. You’re moving in to your dream house. You’re making big plans for social gatherings and celebrating birthdays!
Looking to buy? Check out this quick read.
So what happens after your offer is accepted? I hope you’re making plans to have a home inspection done by a professional. This is a very critical step to ensure you get the most of your home purchase.
Below Josh Sorrels, with Texan Home Inspections, answers 10 common questions about the home inspection process.
1. On average what is the cost for a thorough home inspection?
The cost varies depending on the square footage of the home and additional services requested. (Ex: pool/spa, WDI, crawl space) Most home inspections start around $350. We want to make sure that we are providing superior service by allotting ample time and attention to each unique property.
2. Who should request one?
Everyone. A home inspection isn’t about checking off boxes. It’s about protecting your investment, feeling confident that your family is safe, and making informed decisions about future out-of-pocket expenses and potential upgrades.
3. When would a buyer not need one?
On the rare occasion that someone is purchasing a home from their parents or a family member, they may choose to forgo a home inspection due to the fact that they are already familiar with the property. However, we strongly recommend, even if merely for insurance, warranty, or documentation purposes, that each real estate transaction accompany a thorough inspection by a licensed inspector. It’s a small investment that could save you from a huge headache down the road.
4. How often are the codes updated?
It varies. Codes are evaluated and adopted by TREC regularly depending on changes in building materials, technology, improvements in construction, and government regulation. Inspectors are required to attend continuing education classes to stay informed of any updates.
5. What are some repairs you would encourage a professional technician?
Throughout the inspection report you will see recommendations that state the need for a “certified professional” to replace or repair deficiencies. It doesn’t mean that it has to be done today, we just suggest reaching out to an expert if you choose to have these items remedied or updated. However, anything in the electrical section of the report should be handled by a certified electrician, always. We want to make sure your home is safe and secure above all else. Talk with the inspector and have them walk you through their findings as it relates to typical wear and tear versus a safety hazard.
6. Any DIY repairs acceptable?
The issue we come across with DIY repairs is that everyone has a different level of expertise when it comes to home improvements. Again, my best advice is to talk with your inspector face-to-face or over the phone and ask them questions about any deficiencies marked on the report. There are items we are legally required to cite, but are by no means a “deal breaker.”
7. Can a buyer request their own inspector or does the realtor / agent have the authority?
Inspections are paid for by the buyer, so they can pick whichever inspector they would like to work with. Realtors are a great resource to ask for recommendations since they work with many inspectors on a regular basis. Ultimately, it’s a great idea to see which inspectors are available and willing to give their clients the absolute best service.
8. What are major findings that can cause some issues down the road?
The “big five” fall under what some inspectors call a five point inspection. If your inspector marks deficiencies with the foundation, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, or roof, it’s a good idea to have these evaluated by a licensed professional before the expiration of the buyer’s option period.
9. How Is the home inspection different on an existing home vs a new build.
With existing homes, we have to take into consideration the building codes adopted when the home was built. We may have to mark something deficient due to the current year’s codes that simply didn’t exist twenty or thirty years ago. Most inspectors will explain these changes, but don’t be afraid to ask about how the building codes and expectations have changed since the home was built. Both buyers and inspectors expect to see more “normal wear and tear” documented on existing homes than new builds.
10. These are questions coming from buyer/seller perspective. Do you have any additional insight into the home inspection process?
Go to the last 30 minutes of the inspection. Ask questions. Find an inspector who is willing to make sure you feel comfortable with your purchase. They have the best insight into the place you’re about to call home. If you have any questions about what to expect from the home inspection process, we are here to help.