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Monday, October 15, 2007

Inspections are Important!

A house is an expensive and important purchase, and an inspection allows you to know what the condition of the house is. To quote an old proverb, “Forewarned is Forearmed.” If you know about any potential problems earlier, then you are better prepared to handle them when they arise later. A professional home inspection can also be a helpful tool if you choose to continue negotiating on the property with the seller.

In Austin, a home that is 1500-2000 sq.ft. can cost around $400-$500 due at time of inspection. A thorough inspection will take a minimum of 2-3 hours. Afterward, the inspector will provide you with a written report in a timely manner detailing what he found and any recommendations he may have.

If the house is occupied, be sure to notify the sellers agent of the date and time you have made for the inspection, so that the owners can provide access to the property. If the house is unoccupied, the inspector will need the utilities on to conduct a full inspection.

I recommend that you attend the inspection. It will give you the opportunity to ask questions and learn about your potential new home. Be sure to check first, but most inspectors will welcome questions and be happy to explain what they are doing and why it is important. They will also answer any questions you have that come up at a later time.

You can find a blank copy of the standard inspection report form at www.trec.state.tx.us to give you an idea of what may or may not be covered in the inspection. It should generally include the electrical, heating and central air-conditioning systems; interior plumbing, visible insulation, roof, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, and the visible structure of the house. If the inspector sees something that concerns him but is but out of the scope of his expertise, he may recommend that you consult with another professional. For example, if there is a possible foundation issue, he may recommend that you have a structural engineer or foundation company take a closer look. Unless you have decided that there are too many other issues and you do not want the house, you should schedule the next appointment as soon as possible. If you are undecided, you should still schedule the next appointment as soon as possible. After all, the purpose of the inspection is to make sure that you have all the information so you can make an informed decision.

Next Blog: How to Choose an Inspector

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