Frequently asked questions about home inspections and home inspectors
I get a lot of questions from concerned consumers, not only here in the Greater Houston area but also from around Texas as well, about the home inspection process, home inspectors, new home construction and many other topics! I'm going to try and answer the most asked questions here. However, since I get so many questions concerning New Home Construction and New Home Warranty inspections, and since I could write a book about each of those topics and why it's important to have inspections on them, I will answer a few of the frequently asked questions (FAQ's) concerning these two topics here, but please visit the special consumers information pages I have put up to help you better understand the importance of having home inspections performed on your new home and also having a home inspection before your 1 year warranty expires. Click here for consumers New Home Costruction page. Click here for consumer information on 1 Year New Home Warranty's.
Q. I've looked this house over real good myself (or had my dad, brother, etc), why do I need an inspection?
A. I have the knowledge, experience and know-how that only comes with being in the inspection industry and inspecting hundreds of homes. I know what to look for and where to look for it! On the average home there are more than 400 items that should be checked! While you or someone you may know can examine the home and roughly determine the outward condition of it, I inspect homes day in day out every week of the year and know what to look for in your home. It's my job to spot flaws, defects and/or conditions that the average person or handyman would overlook.
Q. What do you think sets you apart from other home inspectors in the area ?
A.First off let me say that the Greater Houston area is blessed with many inspectors that do a good job. It's also sadly saturated with many inspectors who are only out there to make a quick buck. I know from first hand experience what it's like to buy a home only to start having problems shortly afterward and end up paying for large repair bills out of my own pocket. Who wants to assume someone else's repair cost? That's why I give my clients a thorough and detailed report outlining the condition of the house and bring to their attention any items or conducive conditions that may cause them problems in the future. Even most of the good inspectors in the area will only write down something that is obviously wrong, missing or ignoring evidence that could point to problems down the road.
Q. What does your home inspections include?
A. Here's just a few of the areas my inspections will include: visible plumbing and electrical, roof and roof structure, structural systems, mechanical systems, built in appliances, A/C's and Furnaces, foundations, grading and drainage to name a few. Since every home is different, inspected items may vary from home to home. You also get that peace of mind that your home has been professionaly inspected and that your home inspector will be there to answer questions for you should you have them.
Q. What does a home inspection cost?
A. Rates will vary from home to home depending upon the square footage and any optional systems the home buyer may want inspected. Beware! Choosing a home inspector based on price alone is like playing Russian Roulette with your money and your home! Home inspectors who charge lower rates do so because they either do not have few satisfied customers who will refer them or because they are new to the industry. Inexperienced inspectors and those who charge less than the industry average do less, know less and therefore charge less.Why people would put their dream home at risk over a $25 to $50 price difference is beyond me! For the information gained from an inspection by The Home Inspector, our report will represent the smartest money spent on your home.
Q. How long does your inspection take?
A. Eash home is different, however an average 2000 square foot new home can take several hours or more.
Q. Do you inspect swimming pools, spas or do Termite or security inspections?
A. I am not licensed to perform WDI (Termite) reports. I do have some professional and experenced, licensed pest control contractors that I will recommend depending upon where you live. I will inspect your hot tub/spa for you if you request it. We can also inspect your pool as long as it is not computer controlled. I highly recommend also a home security inspection at the same time your home is being inspected. I strongly urge you to have all these inspections performed at once so that all of your paperwork can be kept in one place and you can have it ready when you need it.
Q. Who needs a home inspection?
A. If you're buying a new home, either a newly constructed home or a pre-owned home, you need an inspection for your protection. Also, sellers benefit from home inspections by knowing the condition of their home before listing. They are spared the embarassment of the buyers home inspector finding major defects with their home and holding up the transaction. If your new home still has a warranty from the builder it is wise to have a home inspection before it expires. I haven't seen a home yet that did not need some kind of repairs. The cost of these repairs almost always would outweigh the cost of the inspection! Why should you be the one to pay for something the builder overlooked or ignored?
Q. How long are your reports?
A. My reports may be from 10 pages on up on average depending upon the condition of the home. The state mandates a promulgated 5 page minimum report. Some inspectors will handwrite a few notes in the small spaces and hand you this report and take your money. Others have this report on a laptop and pick a few phrases from a drop down menu and click them into the space they want and print you a ready made report out!! You may not know any more about the house than when you started, but you have a "on the spot" computer generated report printed right there on the dining room table!
Q. Should my Realtor get a copy of your report?
A. I strongly suggest that you have me fax a copy of the report to your Realtor. The quicker they can get the report, the quicker the both of you can decide if there is need to re-negotiate or to get the seller to fix or repair an item or just to give you an allowance for it. I've had clients who fogot to give their Realtors the report until right before the day of closing, then had to delay the closing because there were items they wanted the seller to fix.
Q. Should I be at the home inspection?
A. I urge you to make time to be at the inspection! If you cannot make it, then please have someone you know there so that I can explain the property and go over any items that may need attention with them. There have been many times my clients who were not at the inspection had to call and ask why certain items were on the report. It's a lot easier to explain a home when your there than over the phone!
Call and schedule your home inspection today or to ask any questions you might have.