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A Buyer’s Guide to Home Inspections

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

A Buyer’s Guide to Home Inspections

Texas’ housing market shows signs of cooling down after the pandemic drove it to new heights. But before closing, it’s important to make the final purchase contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the benefits of having a home inspection include:

· Uncover sources of potential significant repair costs

· Negotiate price according to repair costs uncovered during inspection

· Identify any health or safety risks associated with the home

· Verify home systems are operating properly

· Identify energy inefficiency that would make utilities cost more

Every home financing program is different, so hiring an inspector authorized by your lender or financing program is important. For example, USDA loans require the inspector to be accredited by either the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). Inspections conducted by other professionals are not accepted for the purpose of qualifying for a loan under their program.

Tip: An inspection and an appraisal are different services. While an inspection identifies traits of a home that impact its value and livability, an appraisal determines is market value.

Once a qualified home inspector authorized by your lender or program is selected, there are several options for the scope of the inspection itself.

According to the Texas Professional Real Estate Inspectors Association (TPREIA), a basic inspection evaluates ten areas of the home:

· Structure

· Exterior

· Roofing system

· Plumbing system

· Electrical system

· Heating system

· Interior

· Insulation and ventilation

· Fireplaces

Plus, let's not forget about checking for Asbestos use in residential buildings was finally banned in 1978 after the public became aware of its hazards, but manufacturers were allowed to continue using their existing supply in home construction until 1986.

For a more detailed dive into the specifics of home inspection, the Texas Real Estate Inspectors Standards of Practice Pocket Guide can provide more specific information.

For your next home purchase, you may consider a home warranty just to be safe.

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