There are many things facing first time home owners who may not be familiar with all the intricacies of the home buying process. One of the primary duties of the Realtor is to assist the home buyers through this process.
This blog is designed to inform First Time Home Buyers with what is involved with home inspections.
Why A Home Inspection?
Home inspections are performed to educate the buyer about the condition of the home they are purchasing. Once informed, they can decide whether this home is for them.
Are Home Inspections Required?
No, however, some financial institutions require them. Without the home inspection, the buyer may be purchasing a home with issues that are not readily apparent to the untrained eye.
Can I Perform My Own Home Inspection?
Yes; however, you still run into the same issue with financial institutions. In addition, the seller and the listing agent may not accept a home inspection that is not performed by a state licensed home inspector, especially if you want the seller to make some of the repairs . You may not have the tools required to perform a thorough home inspection. At Magnolia Home Inspection Services, we invested thousands of dollars in the latest testing equipment to ensure the most detailed and accurate inspection possible.
Choosing A Home Inspector
When choosing a home inspector, you should look for the following:
- Currently Licensed By the State Of Texas
- Trade Association Affiliates
- They have Errors & Omissions Insurance
- They provide at least a free 90-day warranty.
- They are certified to perform various add-on inspections such as well, septic, pool & spa, irrigation systems (sprinkler systems), log cabin homes, wood destroying insects that you may need performed.
- How quickly can they perform the inspection?
- How quickly can they deliver the inspection report?
- Do they use or offer Thermal Imaging?
If you decide to search for a Home Inspector on the internet:
- Be sure to check their reviews; however reviews can be misleading and dishonest.
- Don’t go for the cheapest. You tend to get what you pay for. Higher quality Home Inspectors are not the cheapest.
Don’t Skimp! You are making a home investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Trying to save a few dollars on a home inspection may cost you later.
Check with your Realtor. They have a list of Home Inspectors they have worked with. These Home Inspectors have a proven track record and are trusted by your Realtor to perform a quality home inspection for you.
Types of Home Inspections
Basically the same Home Inspection is performed, but it is used for different purposes.
- Listing Inspections: requested by seller to educate seller about condition of home before it is put on the market.
- Buyer Inspections: the most common type of Home Inspection. Requested by the buyer and must be performed during the Option Period.
- Phased Inspections: three inspections are performed on a new home during various construction phases. The final inspection is a full Home Inspection. Some builders contract with an inspection company for phased inspections. When that happens, the inspector’s loyalty and dependence for income is with the builder and not the buyer.
- New Home Inspection: performed after construction is complete, but before getting with the builder to develop the punch list. This Home Inspection identifies issues that need to be corrected by the builder.
- Warranty Inspection: builders provide a warranty for one or two years. This inspection is performed before the warranty period expires. It is designed to identify issues that need to be corrected by the builder before the warranty period expires.
What Is Covered In A Home Inspection?
The standard Home Inspection covers the house and the garage only. It does not cover swimming pools, spas, irrigation systems, well, septic, water quality analysis, or wood destroying insect inspections. These are add-ons and usually have an additional charge for each item selected.
The standard Home Inspection is illustrated above and covers the following items:
- Structure: foundation, roof, roof construction (attic inspection), grading, external/internal walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows, chimney & fireplace
- Electrical Systems: electrical supply and branch circuits
- Plumbing Systems: water supply, drains, wastes, and vents, water heater, hydrotheraphy equipment
- HVAC: Heating, Vents, & Air Conditioning
- Appliances: Dishwasher, Waste Disposal, Range Hood & Exhaust, Ranges, Cooktops & Ovens, Microwave Ovens, Mechanical Exhaust Vents & Bathroom Heaters, Garage Door Operators
- Other: Swimming Pool & Spa, Irrigation Systems, Outbuildings, Wells, Septic Systems, Water Analysis, Wood Destroying Insects
Home Inspector Limitations
There are some limitations placed on Home Inspectors by the State of Texas.
Home Inspections are limited to visual inspections only. Home Inspectors are not allowed to damage the home by opening walls or ceilings or anything that could cause damage to the home.
Home Inspectors are limited to reasonable access. For example, if a garage is packed full of storage boxes blocking access to the electrical panel, the inspector is not required to move the boxes to inspect the panel.
Home Inspectors are limited to physical access. The State requires at least 18 inches of access to crawl spaces underneath the house. For some Home Inspectors, 18 inches is not sufficient clearance.
Home Inspectors are limited to safe access. If access to a component, such as a roof, could cause injury to the inspector, they are not required to access it. For roofs, there are alternatives to inspecting a roof without walking on the roof such as inspecting from the roof line with a ladder, inspect from the ground, using binoculars, etc.
Magnolia Home Inspection Services Inspectors are certified by the State of Texas and have additional certifications in irrigation systems, pool & spa, well, septic, log cabin homes, thermal imaging, and log cabin homes. We perform in the water inspections for piers and bulkheads. We also partner with local companies to perform water analysis and wood destroying insect inspections. We are basically a one stop shop for your Home Inspection.
We pride ourselves on OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE. It will be a privilege to perform your home inspection.