FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a “HOME INSPECTION”?
- A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspector’s report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system, plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, and visible structure. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector will refer you to the appropriate specialist or tradesperson for further evaluation.
- Realistically, A home inspection is a non-technically exhaustive, limited visual survey and basic performance evaluation of the systems and components of a home or building using normal controls and does not require the use of specialized equipment or procedures. The purpose of the inspection is to provide the Client with information regarding the general condition of the Property at the time of inspection to help make an informed purchase decision.
Why do I need a home inspection?
- The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and will be able to make a confident buying decision.
- If you have owned your home for a long time, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and recommend preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. In addition, home sellers may opt for having an inspection prior to placing the home on the market to gain a better understanding of conditions which the buyer’s inspector may point out. This provides an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Why you should choose to have a Professional Home Inspection?
- We cannot emphasize enough the value and necessity of a professional home inspection. Many home purchasers, either in the desire to save the $300 to $500 that a good inspection costs, or due to simple ignorance, have spent enormous sums of money repairing items that any good home inspector would have pointed out.
- Any offer to purchase should be contingent upon a professional house inspection. Do not let anyone, not your family or friends, and especially not the seller or builders dissuade you from having the property thoroughly inspected! Not only will you sleep much sounder after you have moved into the house, a professional inspection can give you the ability to opt out of a contract on a defective house. If the contract is written contingent on an acceptable inspection, any defects in the home must be either repaired or monetarily compensated for. If you are not satisfied, you have the option to cancel the contract.
How do I find a home inspector?
- The best source is a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has been satisfied with, and can recommend, a home inspector they have used. In addition, the names of local inspectors can be found in the Yellow Pages where many advertise under “Building Inspection Service” or “Home Inspection Service”. Real estate agents are also generally familiar with the service, and should be able to provide you with a list of names from which to choose.
- Whatever your referral source, be sure to ascertain the home inspector’s professional qualifications, experience, and business ethics before you make your selection. You can do this by checking with the local consumer affairs office or Better Business Bureau, as well as by verifying the inspector’s membership in a reputable professional association. The association should also have rigorous membership and continuing education requirements to assure consumers of an inspector’s experience and technical qualifications.
- Don’t wait until you have placed an offer on a house before you begin the search for a home inspector. There will be an option time limit in the contract designating when the inspection must be completed (typically within 7 to 10 days). If you start trying to find an inspector at that point, and may not find an acceptable one to schedule it in the necessary time frame, you will only have two choices: go with an inspector that is not your first choice, or run the risk of running past the deadline for the inspection (which could void any chance of having the seller take care of repairs). Neither is an acceptable alternative!
What will it cost?
- The inspection fee for a typical single family residence varies. The inspection fee will depend upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age, and possible additional services, such as swimming pools, spas, sprinkler systems or septic systems.
- However, do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, or in the selection of your home inspector. The knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector’s qualifications, including his experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration.
Can I do it myself?
- Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with all the elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.
- Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate picture, it is best to obtain an impartial third party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
Should I have a friend who is handy or a contractor do my inspections?
- This is the biggest mistake many potential new homeowners make when purchasing a home. Although the person you are considering may be very skilled, they are not trained or experienced at professional home inspections. Professional home inspection is a unique skill like no other. Professional inspectors get what we call an inspector’s instinct for problems. That instinct takes extensive training and lots of experience doing inspections to develop. Many contractors, and other trades professionals hire a professional home inspector to inspect their homes when they make a purchase.
Do I need an Engineer or a Home Inspector?
- You need a State Licensed Professional Home Inspector. When you hire a home inspector, you are hiring an experienced professional who has training and experience in the building industry. It is the job of the home inspector to not only evaluate the condition of the house’s major systems and structural integrity, but also to evaluate how these systems are working together and identify areas that need to be watched, repaired or replaced.
- Your home inspector gives you the “Big Picture” analysis of the house you are purchasing. If the home inspector identifies the need for a costly, detailed analysis of any of the houses’ systems or structures, the inspector will recommend the appropriate professional, which may be an experienced engineer with expertise analyzing that particular system or structure. The need for this kind of expensive, detailed analysis is rare.
- Hiring a Professional Engineer on your own can be a disappointing experience. The term “Professional Engineer” does not mean that the individual has training or experience conducting home inspections, these can be two vastly different skill sets. Additionally, a home inspection does not involve engineering analysis. Therefore, hiring a “Professional Engineer” to complete a home inspection undoubtedly costs more, but it may not give you the results you desire and deserve.
Can a house fail inspection?
- No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verities local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
Do I have to be there?
- It’s not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. By following the home inspector around the house, by observing and asking questions, you will learn a great deal about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you’ve seen the property first hand through the inspector’s eyes.
What if the report reveals problems?
- Our report will tell you the condition of the house, including needed repairs. No house is going to be perfect. It is up to you to decide how any problems the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. If major problems are discovered, you may want to have your Agent or Realtor try negotiating with the seller to have them repaired before closing the deal. Or perhaps the seller will lower the price, or offer more favorable contract terms. In the end, the decision rests with you, but knowing about potential problems, before you buy, gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions.
What if I find problems after I move into my new home?
- A home inspection is not a guarantee that problems won’t develop after you move in. However if you believe that a problem was already visible at the time of the inspection and should have been mentioned in the report, your first step should be to call and meet with the inspector to clarify the situation. Misunderstandings are often resolved in this manner.
- If necessary, you might wish to consult with a local mediation service to help you settle your disagreement. Though many home inspectors today carry Errors & Omissions liability insurance, litigation should be considered a last resort. It is difficult, expensive, and by no means a sure method of recovery.
Will you fix the problems you find during the Inspection
- No. The code of ethics of the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) prohibits its members from doing repair work for money on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest by the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the home.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
- Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned a few things about your new home from the inspector’s report, and will want to keep that information for future reference. Above all, you can feel assured that you are making a well-informed purchase decision, and that you will be able to enjoy your new home the way you want to.
We can schedule you NOW!
Our online scheduler is open 24/7. By booking online with our automatic scheduler you will save $10 on your inspection fee. By using this online scheduler you are scheduling an appointment that goes directly into the Home Inspectors daily schedule.
When you click the “Book Now” button below, at the end of the process, you will confirm your inspection time and date and shortly thereafter you will receive an email confirmation of your scheduled appointment information.
Call us direct or book online for an additional discount, either way, we look forward to the opportunity of serving you and your family!