Home Buying Guide


A few fequently asked questions about the home inspection process.

Is an inspection necessary?

You have the right to request an inspection of any property you are considering purchasing by a professional inspector of your choice. You should always exercise your option to have the physical condition of the property and its inclusions inspected. Many of the more severe and expensive problems such as mechanical, electrical, structural, and plumbing are not noticeable to the untrained eye. If repairs are needed, negotiate these in your contract offer. A professionally conducted home inspection followed by a written evaluation is becoming standard procedure in home buying because of increased buyer awareness and savvy.

The primary purpose of the inspection is to educate the buyer to make an informed purchasing decision. The inspector should allow and even encourage the buyer to attend the home inspection. The buyer's attendance at the inspection provides them with an overall idea of possible future repair costs and maintenance routines and I attend all inspections so that I can advise my clients regarding the findings of the inspection. This is valuable information, which could increase the life span, and perhaps the future selling price of the home.

What does an inspection entail?

A qualified inspector will follow Standards of Practice in conducting his or her inspection. The inspection consists of a physical inspection of the home, followed by a written report detailing their findings. The inspector reports on the general condition of the home's electrical, heating, and air systems, interior plumbing, roof, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, and visible structure. The inspection is not designed to criticize every minor problem or defect in the home. No home is perfect. It is intended to report on major damage or serious problems that require repair for the well being of the home and that might require significant expense. In Texas, a special concern is expansive soils. They can be destructive when water causes these high clay content soils to swell and exert upward pressure on foundation and driveway slabs. If improperly constructed, these structures can crown up in the middle.

Fees and Timing

The time necessary to properly inspect a home, as well as the fee charged by an inspector, varies according to the size and age of the home and the individual inspection company. However, you can expect that it will take an average of two to three hours to competently inspect a typical one-family, three-bedroom home, with an average cost of $250-$350. This is one of the buyer's pre-closing costs. Setting up an inspection with a professional inspector is one of the services I provide for all of my clients. The inspection is set up during your option period.

After the Inspection

Contract negotiations begin again after the inspection. The outcome of the inspection helps me negotiate for certain repairs of the house on your behalf. If the buyer and the seller are unable to agree on repairs or a repair allowance, the buyer has the opportunity to terminate during this time. Once a buyer decides to buy and a seller decides to sell it is unlikely that a termination of contract occurs, unless of course

something unexpected shows up on the inspection.

Once all parties agree to the conditions of the contract, we move into what I like to describe as the "behind the scenes" paperwork stage. This is where agent, lender, title company, and insurance agent all work together toward a successful closing. This stage for the buyer is like the calm after a storm of decisions. The only decision you will need to think about during this time is which provider you will be using for your home insurance. Other than that, this will just be a time of waiting.