When you find your house and get in contract, it is an extremely exciting time and also a very busy time. The option period (usually the first 4-7 days of the escrow period) is when you bring out inspectors to help you learn exactly what you’re buying. It is not something buyers do frequently, so most don’t know what to expect during a home inspection.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a visual inspection of the accessible areas of a home including the physical structure and mechanical components. It’s important to note that this is a visual evaluation only. No destructive testing is performed so don’t expect the inspector to open walls or peer into areas that are not visually observable.
Hire a Home Inspector That Will Provide a Written Inspection Report
You should expect to get a written inspection report when the job is complete. We prefer narrative reports with sentences, paragraphs and photos. The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s appliances, heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, gutters and downspouts, attic and visible insulation. The roof should be treated with special attention and its damage can have serious consequences.
Inspectors Help You Understand the Property’s Condition.
The inspection is not a “pass or fail” type evaluation. The inspector will offer an opinion of the condition or serviceability of a each particular feature, component or system. The inspector’s job is to help you understand the present condition of the home so you can decide where you want to go from there. The inspector will not negotiate the terms of your purchase contract or make anyone do corrective work. They simply report what they see.
Home Inspections Identify Need for Repairs
Home inspections are intended to remove the surprise element out of buying or selling a home. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights,, as well as any deferred maintenance which may lead to unforeseen costs later on.
Home Inspections Aren’t Just for Buyers
If you are already a homeowner, a home inspection can identify deficiencies and defects that may be impediments to sale. Knowing in advance may allow a seller time to plan and shop repairs that will enhance the home’s value and marketability. Check out our post on Why Every Seller Should Get a Pre-Sale Inspection.
Inspections Are Important for New Construction As Well
Home inspections are important for Austin new construction as well. No matter how conscientious a builder may be mistakes or oversights do occur. A good home inspector may spot things that even the most diligent home buyer might miss. Just make sure, when the time comes to start construction, that you hire someone who is capable of doing everything you have in mind and that will inform you if something isn’t allowed or possible.
How Much is a Home Inspection?
Home inspection fees vary according to size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as pest, septic, or well. For a general inspection and pest inspection, you can expect to pay $350-$1300 depending on the size of your home. When compared to the value of the home and today’s labor and material costs, the inspection fee is a small price to pay for the knowledge and peace of mind.
Personally Attend the Inspection and Ask Questions
We suggest you personally attend the inspection and ask questions. We attend every single home inspection and even though we’ve been to thousands of them, there is always something to learn. A big part of the inspector’s job is to help you understand the physical condition of the property you are buying. We can recommend reputable inspectors who will answer all your questions and give you all the time you need to understand what’s going on with the property. It is well worth your time.
Confused About Which Inspections You Need?
There are literally hundreds of inspections you could get. Though we are the type of people who feel it is important to investigate each home thoroughly, we don’t recommend inspections just for inspections sake. Each house is different and requires different inspections depending on where it’s located, what condition it is in and what improvements it has. We can help you come up with an inspection strategy that investigates your house thoroughly without spending your hard earned money unnecessarily.
Looking for a Realtor Who Will Help You Understand What You’re Buying?
Our team has a combined 60+ years of experience in helping buyers understand what they’re buying. My Dad, Raymond (also the Broker/Owner of Eleven Oaks Realty) was the first real estate broker in California who brought out an inspector to investigate a buyer’s home and now, home inspections are the norm. Check out our Austin Buyer Representation Program to learn more about our team. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.