Morgan Inspection Services understands that you may have lots of questions about home inspections. We’re here to answer some of the most common. Don’t see your question answered? Feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to discuss your questions today.
In Texas, home inspectors are licensed and regulated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). TREC has set forth the requirements of a residential home inspection. The standard home inspection will cover almost every system in the home. It covers the following systems:
- Grading and Drainage
- Roof covering
- Roof Structure and Attic
- Ceilings and Floors
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems
- Heating Equipment
- Cooling Equipment
- Ducts and Vents
- Water Supply System and Fixtures
- Drains, Wastes, Vents
- Water Heating Equipment
- Gas System
- Hydrotherapy Equipment
- Service Entrance and Panels
- Branch Circuits
- Food Waste Disposal
- Range Hood
- Microwave Cooking Equipment
- Bath Exhaust Fans and/or Heaters
- Garage Door Operators
- Dryer Vents
- Lawn Sprinklers
- Swimming Pools and Equipment
- Water Wells
- Septic Systems
All of the above systems (with the exception of the Optional systems) are required to be inspected if they are present.
NOTE: If a particular item or system is not accessible, it will not be inspected, and will be so noted on the inspection report.
Once the inspector has completed the inspection, he or she will produce a written report which is normally delivered to the client via email. The report will contain information (and most often photos) explaining the inspectors findings.
Here are some things to keep in mind when reading your home inspection report:
- Almost every home has some deficiencies, and often, the majority of these deficiencies are minor or related to newer building standards that may not have been in place when the home was built.
- It is not uncommon to have ten or more items marked as deficient on a home inspection report – even when the home is in good condition.
- Home inspectors do not have x-ray vision, and they cannot predict the future. There are many parts of a home such as under carpet, inside walls, and behind furnishings that cannot be seen or inspected. Although its rare, an item that is functioning today could stop working tomorrow, and your home inspector often has no way of knowing that something is about to stop working.
Buying a home is typically the largest single investment you will ever make. It’s important to get a home inspection because your certified inspector will be able to discover and document defects that may or may not be obvious to you as a potential buyer and/or seller.
To minimize costly repairs and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about your home or property before you buy it. An inspection will also reveal any defects, which can range from simple replacements or repairs, to severe damage or safety and health concerns. Also, most mortgage companies will require a home inspection on a property before approving the home loan. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make better decisions with confidence.
Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and experience 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 someone with experience in the field of home inspection.” (American Society of Home Inspectors 1993, ashi.com)
It is best to have the home inspected as early in the process as possible – after the contract is finalized and during the option period. Having the inspection during the option period will allow you to negotiate for repairs or, in the worst-case scenario, even back out of the contract.
- A home inspection can give you peace of mind and will give you an unbiased opinion about the condition of the home that you are considering buying.
- If serious problems are found, it will allow you to negotiate repairs with the seller or walk away rather than buying a home that you will end up sinking a lot of money into.
- If only minor problems are found, then you can finalize the decision to purchase the home knowing that the home is in good condition.
- It is a relatively small investment that can potentially save you a lot of money.
(Please keep in mind that there is no perfect, problem-free home. Every home inspection will turn up at least some minor “problems” with the home. It is not the small items on the report that should seriously concern you, but items concerning safety, fire, or health hazards and structural issues or other high-dollar items that should be of most concern.)
Yes, you should definitely attend the inspection, and you should strongly reconsider hiring an inspector who doesn’t allow this. You can learn valuable information by following an inspector through the inspection. You will certainly gain a better understanding of the condition of your property, which will give you insight into its potential sale points and defects. Also, you will most likely learn information about the properties maintenance, systems and components, which can be useful for the final transaction.
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically. Additionally, the inspection fee can vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or thermal imaging.
Do not let the cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Always check your inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, compliance with your state’s regulations, and professional affiliations as a guide.
Your home inspection may take up to three hours, depending on the home’s age, size, and location, as well as the home inspector’s own work protocols and ethic. Additionally, factoring square footage, outbuildings, and/or additional services (such as well, septic and thermal imaging) will increase that time.