For your protection, get a home inspection!
The purpose of a home inspection is to identify major problems with the home and to provide you with information. Homes are inspected according to current code. Any home that is not a new home is likely to show several minor repair items because it was built before current code. I do not recommend that you request that sellers make minor repairs that show up in the inspection because it could jeopardize the contract. Remember, the inspection should identify MAJOR problems that could cause you to rethink the price you have offered to pay. If there are no major problems, then the price you have offered to pay is probably fair.
Home inspectors should be licensed by TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission). All licensed inspectors will examine the same systems using the same standard form. They will look at the roof, the heating and cooling systems, the appliances, the water heater, the electrical system and the garage door opener. They will compare the safety of the home to current code. They will observe walls, floors and the attic to determine if the home is generally sound. They are not structural engineers, though, and will generally not look beyond the surface of the home as far as how well it’s built. You should hire a structural engineer in addition to the home inspector if you wish to know whether or not the house is “well built.” You will also want to have a termite inspection. Some TREC inspectors are also licensed termite inspectors. If they are not, they usually work with a partner who does termite inspections at the same time. If the home you choose has other systems, such as a pool, spa or sprinkler system, you may pay extra to have these items inspected.
Questions to ask when you choose an inspector:
1. What is your TREC license number?
2. Do you carry Errors and Omissions Insurance?
3. Do you have a CBS code to enter the house on lockbox?
4. Are you a member of the Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors?
5. May I have a copy of your price list?
6. Do you inspect pools, sprinkler systems, alarm systems, septic, termites, etc.?
Choose the inspector who gives you complete information about his/her services and who can communicate with you most effectively. The inspector will become your teacher for 2-3 hours, and you will want to be able to understand him/her with ease.
Contact me or call 512-266-2606 for a list of recommended home inspectors.