When you found the perfect house and made an offer, you probably received a list of steps you can expect to occur. For example, your lender will send an appraiser to verify the value of the home. You will meet with your lender to solidify your financing. The lender will also require some proof of homeowners' insurance. Of course, you will schedule an inspection of the house.
Planning to skip that step? Think you might save a little money? Unfortunately, the opposite may be true. Skipping the home inspection has been the regret of many homebuyers who ended up with money pits.
What does a home inspector do?
When you hire someone to inspect the house you want to purchase, you are really hiring trained eyes to see things that could be potential trouble down the line. Texas inspectors look for visible signs of defects or damage that may affect the safety and function of the house. In particular, they are looking for major issues that exceed a state-established threshold of cost to repair or replace. In most states, that threshold is about $1,500. A thorough inspector will examine many areas of the house, including:
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Siding and gutters
- Steps, walkways and railings
Without training in home construction, you may not be able to notice when a floor buckles or a window leaks. You may not recognize if the levels of insulation in the attic are inadequate or the amount of dampness in the basement is a danger.
What do I do with the results?
A good home inspection may take up to 3 hours, and your inspector may allow you to watch and ask questions as he or she works. Shortly after the inspection is complete, you will receive a report detailing the findings.
Armed with this report, you can approach the seller and negotiate the repairs of any major defects or a reduction in the asking price so you can make your own repairs. However, if the report shows major, expensive issues, you have the option of backing out of the sale, as long as your contract contains a contingency for inspection. Your attorney can help you review the inspection report and determine the best options for moving forward with your new home purchase.