Q: What is a home inspection?
A: A real estate inspection is a non-technically exhaustive, limited visual survey and basic performance evaluation of the systems and components of a building using normal controls and does not require the use of specialized tools or procedures. The purpose of the inspection is to provide the client with information regarding the general condition of the residence at the time of the inspection. A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. A standard report would cover the condition of the home’s heating and cooling systems, electric, interior plumbing, the roof, attic, visible insulation, ceiling, walls, floors, windows and doors, the foundation and structural components.
Below is excerpt from Standards of Practice (SOP) defining in General what a Home Inspection is:
1.1. A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.
- The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
- The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection.
1.2. A material defect is a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people. The fact that a system or component is near, at or beyond the end of its normal useful life is not, in itself, a material defect.
1.3. A general home inspection report shall identify, in written format, defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. Inspection reports may include additional comments and recommendations.”
Q: How long will the home inspection take?
A: Most home inspections take between 3-4+ hours to complete. There are several factors that can vary the home inspection time, the size of the house, the age and condition of the home.
Q: Should I be present during the Home Inspection?
A: We prefer having you present during the home inspection if possible. If you cannot or don’t want to be present during the entire home inspection, then being there at the end to go through a “walk through” of the home inspection is recommended. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you’ve seen the home first hand through the inspector’s eyes. If you cannot be at the home at all during the inspection I will be available for you over the phone.
Q: What if problems are uncovered during the home inspection process?
A: If a home inspection identifies a problem it doesn’t mean you should not buy the home, no house is perfect, sometimes not even brand new homes. The reality is that most homes have some problems that will be listed as in need of repair or deficient. It may be due to age related deterioration, changes in building standards, or latent defects. This is when time becomes critical. Remember we will provide the home inspection report within 24-48 hours. Sooner if their is a request in an expedient need. It is up to you to use the report to make decisions to try to negotiate with the seller to have them repaired before closing. Or perhaps the seller will lower the price of the home. In the end, the decision is yours, but knowing potential problems, before you buy gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions.
Q: Why should I have a home inspection?
A: If you are a buyer, to give you peace of mind. The house you are considering purchasing is one of the biggest investments you will ever make. In making a decision of this magnitude, it’s important to make it with confidence. Having your home inspected by Road Runner Home Inspections reduces your risks and protects your investment. To further understand why you should have a home inspection look at my page “12 Reasons For Home Inspection”.
Q: How much does a Home Inspection cost?
A: Home Inspection fees take into consideration several factors, primarily based on the size, foundation type, age, location and any additional services requested. The cost should not be the only deciding factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. An experienced and knowledgeable home inspector is well worth the cost if you consider how low the price is compared to price of the home or other costs associated with the home purchase. To see our price schedule follow this link to “Pricing”.
Q: Can a home inspector fix the problems that are discovered during the home inspection?
A: No. Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) under Professional Conduct and Ethics states a home inspector shall not accept employment to repair, replace, maintain or upgrade systems or components of property on which the home inspector has performed an inspection within 12 months of the date of the home inspection.
Q: How is the industry regulated?
A: In Texas all inspections should be performed to the standards adopted by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). To become a member, your inspector must pass a written examination to prove their competency. TREC requires all inspectors to participate in continuing education courses to maintain their certifications and/or memberships. TREC inspectors adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice.
Q: Should the inspector be licensed?
A: Yes, At Road Runner Home Inspections You will find TREC licensed inspectors. My TREC license number and verification site. “TREC license 21781″.
Q: What does a home inspection include?
A: A proper and comprehensive home inspection will review the accessible and visible condition of the home from the foundation to the roof, which includes the following systems and areas: Structural, Roofing, Exterior of Building, Electrical, Heating, Cooling / Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Interior of Building, Functioning Permanently Installed Kitchen Appliances, and Fireplace Hearth. Many inspectors will also offer additional services not included in a typical home inspection, such as termite, mold, radon, septic, water testing, etc…
Q: What should I NOT expect from a home inspection?
A: A home inspection is not protection against future failures. Stuff happens! Components like air conditioners and Heat Systems can and will break down. A home inspection tells you the condition of the component at the time the component was inspected. For protection from future failure you may want to consider a home warranty.
A home inspection is not an appraisal that determines the value of a home. Nor will a home inspector tell you if you should buy this home or what to pay for this home.
A home inspection is not a code inspection, which verifies local building code compliance. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. Homes built before code revisions are not obligated to comply with the code for homes built today. Home inspectors will report findings when it comes to safety concerns that may be in the current code such as ungrounded outlets above sinks. A home inspector thinks “Safety” not “Code” when performing a home inspection.
Q: What is a Home Warranty?
A: A home warranty does protect you against components that fail in the future. You may have to pay a deductible (service call fee) when you have a problem. If you choose to have a warranty, be sure and qualify coverage of your problem over the phone with the warranty company before they send a repairman. If you do not, you may find out that your problem is not covered and you still must pay the deductible or trip service fee. If you have a home inspection and you know your furnace or another major component is old, you may be better off to buy a warranty before you purchase. We recommend you look closely at what is NOT covered in warranty company policies as you compare prices.
Q: When do I receive my Final Home Inspection Report?
A: The best time to receive your final home inspection report is the next day. Texas Real Estate Commission – Standards of Practice states report is to be issued to Client within 3 days. At Road Runner Home Inspections our goal is to have it to you no later than the next day. This affords you time to discuss the inspection and review the report while it’s fresh in your mind. Receiving a report onsite means one or more of five things will occur, all negative:
1) Home Inspector is writing report and not spending the time to discuss your perspective new home as you move through it room by room.
2) If explanations are given at the time of inspection, THEN you will have to sit around an extra hour or so waiting for report to be written,
3) Mistakes are made when rushing, items can be left out or improperly written which can lead to improper maintenance and/or repairs necessary,
4) Report may be hand written, vague, and difficult to understand at a later date, and
5) Some home inspection companies charge for this service.