What is a home inspection?
A real estate inspection is a non-technically exhaustive, limited visual survey and basic performance evaluation of the systems and components of a 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 residence at the time of inspection.
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating systems, central air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electric systems, the roof, the attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation and structural components.
How do you hire an inspector?
Interview your Inspector
- Ask if they are a member of a professional home inspector association. Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials.
- What is their license number?
- How long have they been inspecting?
- What were they doing prior to becoming a home inspector?
- Importance of pricing
- What do they exclude? Pools, septic systems, termite inspections, and other optional inspection items
Are you licensed?
If the home inspector isn’t licensed, don’t bother asking more questions. This is a red flag not to employ this contractor. Please make sure they are licensed.
You should research your Inspector and/or Inspection Company. All Inspectors that are licensed in the state of Texas are required to be bonded and insured, with stringent licensing requirements mandated by the state of Texas.
Texas Real Estate Commission’s Website Address: http://www.trec.state.tx.us
Inspector Licensing Requirements are as follows:
- Must be 18 years old
- Pass a Background check
- Reside in the state of Texas
- Must be a citizen of the United States
- Attend and pass a 328 course hours prior to licensing and/or taking the state exam
- Attend and pass120 hours in an interactive experience training module OR sufficient professional experience
- Pass State exam/pay fees
- Provide proof of Financial Responsibility of Errors and Omissions Insurance
- And attend annually Continuing Education Courses
Standards of Practice
All Inspectors are required to follow the STANDARDS OF PRACTICE governed by The Texas Real Estate Commission
The STANDARDS OF PRACTICE are the rules that govern home inspectors and promulgated forms for inspections
Standards of Practice are a “MINIMUM” Standard of Scope of Inspections and promulgate the following required items to be inspected:
- Foundation, roof, drainage, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, porches, sidewalks, retaining walls, fireplaces
- Service panel
- Branch Circuits (outlets, GFCI, AFCI, lights, smoke detectors)
- Sinks, showers, tubs, washing machine connections, faucets, whirlpool tubs
- Drains and vents
- Water heating equipment
- Heating system
- Cooling system
Dishwasher, food waste disposer, range, oven, vent hood, microwave, trash compactor, bathroom vents, doorbells, garage door openers, dryer vents
Sprinklers, pools, hot tubs, outbuildings, gas supply system, outdoor cooking equipment, water wells, septic systems, whole house vacuum systems, other built-in appliances.
An Inspector may depart from inspecting portions of the property due to Exceptions and/or Safety Hazards.
Exceptions to an Inspection are not limited to the following:
- Attic access
- Foundation access
- Roof slope
- Safety risks
- Health risks
- Insufficient access
- Risk of damage to property
What types of Inspections are available?
- Inspections on new or pre-owned homes for buyers
- Inspections on pre-owned homes for sellers (pre-listing inspections)
- Warranty inspections (new homes under one or two years old)
- Phased inspections
- Draw/partial inspections for Insurance companies and banks
- Termite Inspections
- Commercial/Industrial/Multi-Family Inspections
- Due Diligence Inspections
- Deferred Maintenance Inspections
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and preventative measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Why can’t I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety.
What about a newly constructed home? Does it need a home inspection?
Yes! We find far more problems, some quite serious, in newly constructed homes than in homes that have been lived in for years. This is not due to your builder’s negligence – he/she has done the best job they could with subcontractors and planning – it’s just that there are so many systems in a home; it is close to impossible to inspect everything, and correct it before the Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
I am having a home built, the builder assures me he will inspect everything. Should I have an independent inspector make periodic inspections?
Absolutely! No matter how good your builder is, he/she WILL miss things. They are so concerned with the house, they get so close to their work, as do the subcontractors that important items can, and will be, overlooked. Have a professional inspector examine/inspect the property to ensure that all oversights are properly identified and repaired prior to you closing on the home.
How long will the inspection take?
A typical inspection of a 2400 square foot house will take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the age and condition of the home. Xstream Inspections performs on-site written reports, with photographic documentation which is delivered and emailed from the property at the time of this inspection. The Professionally Licensed Inspector is there to ensure that you are completely aware of the current property condition. They are your extra eyes and ears, to assist you when making one of the largest purchases of your life.
How much will an Inspection Cost?
On average a home inspection should cost around10 cents/square foot. Factors which may raise the price of the inspection fee can be associated with age, foundation type and/or additional structures present at the residence. (Guest Quarters/Pools/etc.).
Additional fees may be charged should Wood Destroying Insect Inspections (Termite) are needed.
REMEMBER, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! THE CHEAPEST INSPECTOR MAY NOT BE THE BEST INSPECTOR! DO YOUR HOMEWORK PRIOR TO HIRING YOUR LICENSED PROFESSIONAL!
NOTE: The Inspector is to be paid at the time of the inspection. Be prepared to bring a check, cash or credit card to ensure that you receive your Written and Verbal Inspection Report.