The Value of Home Inspections

When purchasing a Helotes area home, or a home anywhere for that matter, make sure and get proper inspections. Your agent can recommend a home inspector or two and can schedule the inspection when you get under contract. The inspection should be done as soon as possible once entering the option period.

During the option period the buyers need to order inspections. A home inspection is a necessity. The home inspector will perform what they like to call a limited, visual inspection. The inspector will test all water taps, toilets, appliances, the heat and AC, will inspect the roof, foundation, walls, ceilings and light fixtures and a few other things. It the home inspector finds anything scary or dangerous it will be listed in the inspection report. Minor problems will also be noted. Photos of these things will be included in the inspection report. The buyers and their agent should meet with the inspector after the report has been done and the inspector will walk them through the report. If anything major or scary is noted the inspector will suggest that the buyers get a licensed contractor to come out for an inspection of the problem area. The inspector will meet with the buyers to go over the inspection report and show the buyers any problem area found. If anything major is suspected the inspector will suggest the buyers have a licensed technician look at the problem area.

Lenders will most likely have you get a pest inspection that is at the buyer’s expense. In Texas we call these WDI inspections. WDI is short for wood destroying insects, namely carpenter ants and termites. If WDIs are found, the buyer should ask the sellers to have the area(s) professionally treated. If left untreated the lender will probably not get loan approval. Ideally the pest inspector will meet with the buyers to review his findings right before the home inspector meets with them.

Many Helotes and Central Texas homes will have septic systems. Last I hear around 1/3 of homes in Texas were on septic. This is called an OSSF inspection, short for On-Site Sewer Facility. The inspector will dig up the lid, open the tank or tanks depending on the system, pump the tan,(s), spray the inside and perform a visual inspection using a flashlight to look at the inside of the tank(s). The inspector will also check the joints at the line going into the system and the line to the drain field or sprinkler system. A written report, along with photos, if necessary, will get to the Buyer’s Agent usually within 24 hours of the completion of the inspection. If repair work is needed, the buyers should ask the sellers to have the repair work done.

If the house is on a well a well inspection can be ordered. Sometimes bacteria will be found in the water. If this is the case the water in the well can be treated with chlorine and then the pump can be run to clear the chlorine.

If repair work is done both buyer and seller can sign an amendment extending the option period until the repairs are done. If all turns out well the option period can be ended early using another addendum.

I have not seen this happen often, but sometimes the repair is so costly the sellers decided to end the contract and remain in the home. If this is the case the buyers may have dodged a bullet, so to speak.

Inspection reports are usually emailed to the In any case, buyers need to be satisfied that the home they are buying is in the best shape it can be in. This is the value of a home inspection.

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