In Texas we have an option period (or as some like to refer to them as a due diligence period) where our buyer’s may choose to have the home inspected. and can negotiate repairs upon receiving the findings of the report. I recommend an inspector that knows the area you are purchasing in and remember they are working for you – meaning they are available to talk on the phone and answer any questions you may have once the report hits your in box.

    A couple of common questions many buyers have are:

    Who pays for it?

    As the buyer, you choose the inspector, pay him/her directly for the inspection, and the inspection report they generates is yours.

    What does an inspector do?
    An inspector will conduct an “objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation,” according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. The inspector will go through the entire house and make note of any damage, need for repairs, or maintenance issues, and then give you a copy of the completed report based on the findings. It’s important to know that there could be defects a home inspector will not find and would not be expected to find if the defects are in areas with limited or no access. For example: they are not able to see how much insulation is behind the walls or if there is any insulation in the walls at all.

    When should I get an inspection?
    This happens during your option period. The number of days is negotiable. between the seller and the buyer. I typically see anywhere from 7 days to 15 days. I find that 10 is the average number of days and you can get your due diligence done during that time. You have to work smart and fast.

    Where should I be during the inspection?

    You don’t have to be at the property during the inspection, but it’s in your best interest to be there. Your inspector may not mind if you accompany him and ask questions as he checks everything out, but be sure to ask first. Many inspectors like to discuss their findings with you at the end of the inspection. I have found that there are less mistakes made on the part of the inspector if you don’t interrupt him/her and wait until the end to go over everything and ask questions. Again, it’s your report so do what makes you comfortable.

    Why should I have this done?
    Buying a home is probably the largest investment you will ever make, so you want to know as much as you can up front. A home inspector will point out items that need regular maintenance and identify any problems. I always talk with my seller & buyer about the safety & big ticket items from the report. Big ticket items can be roof, HVAC, foundation, drainage just to name a few. If the report comes back with deficiencies in areas that are of concern to you then my advice is always to have an expert in that field come out to the property and give a second opinion. This is the same advice I give my seller’s too. If you hear from the buyer’s agent the roof is in need of repair then have a roofer come out and look. Always good to have more than one opinion during negotiations.

    Wishing you all a Happy New Year and here is to a great 2015!