I am faced with this question quite often. I can understand with closing costs and the down payment why a buyer would want to save a few dollars, but forgoing an inspection during your due diligence period may lead to costly expenses down the road. An inspection can reveal issues that are not visible during a showing such as wiring or plumbing. I provide my Home Buyer Clients with a list of Certified Home Inspectors and suggest that they call at least 3 different inspectors to get a quote and find out what the inspection includes. Make sure to ask about the their inspection reports and how many pages their average report is. A Home Inspection Report should be very detailed, include many pictures detailing the items in need of repair, and be easy to read. This report is important because it will be used to negotiate repairs or a contribution towards Buyer Closing Costs in lieu of repairs.
So what exactly is an inspection? It is a professional opinion of the condition of the home. An inspection should include the condition of the following items:
Structural elements of the home - Structural elements would be the floors, walls, ceilings, attic, and foundation.
Visible Exterior Condition - Exterior photos and comments about of exterior doors, wall coverings, flashing, porches, railings, walkways, siding, window components, driveways, slopes, and drainage.
Roofing - Roof damage or poor installation, shingles and cracked or damaged mastic around vents and gutters.
Plumbing - Water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment and fuel storage systems.
Electrical - Visible wiring, entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects, and circuit breakers.
Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC)- The central heat and air system and through –wall cooling equipment and fuel storage systems.
Interior Condition - Interior walls, ceilings, floors, steps, stairways, railings, countertops, cabinets, garage interiors and functional connected appliances.
Please note the inspector will only provide the condition of each mechanical or structural item, and whether it should be further inspected by a licensed professional who specializes in that service.
There are other types of inspections that your house may need that are not included in a General Inspection Report in Houston such as a Termite Inspection, a Pool Inspection, Chimney Inspection (performed by a Chimney Sweep Company), Lead-based Paint Inspection, Radon Gas Inspection and many others. Houston is very humid and termites thrive in humidity so I always suggest that my clients obtain a Termite Inspection.
Once the property has been inspected and you have received the inspection report, you and your Buyer Agent should review the report to strategize what items are most important to you. The seller can decide to fix the repairs, contribute towards the Buyer Closing Costs as a contribution in lieu of repairs, re-negotiate the sale price, or not do anything at all. Depending on the seller’s response and the inspector’s findings you can decide to move forward or back out of the deal if you are in your Option Period (also known as your Due Diligence Period). At this point you can make an educated decision instead of purchasing a home and inheriting issues you would have been unaware of.
As a Buyer Agent for Edinson Properties, I pride myself in understanding the Buyer Process and educating my clients on the nuances of the process. Our Team is comprised of six specialists, each allowing you to receive the best customer service and ultimately close on time. I welcome the opportunity to work with you in your Houston Home Search and earning your business as your Buyer Agent for your all your Houston Home Buying needs.