HOME INSPECTIONS IN HOUSTON – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
One of the most important things you can do when buying a home in Houston, is getting a property inspection done. This report will cover any major defects with the property such as foundation issues, electrical issues, etc. But when do you get one done? What should you be concerned about? When should you walk away from the deal? Read on for all of these answers and more.
THE FIRST THING WE ALWAYS GET ASKED IS, WHEN DOES A BUYER GET AN INSPECTION DONE?
And the answer is, as soon as we have an executed contract – meaning the buyer and seller have both signed a purchase agreement. Once we receive the signed contract, the first thing that you will do is drop off your earnest money and option fee at the title company. When that is done, you will call an inspection company to schedule your inspections. It could take them a couple of days to get out there, so make sure you call them as soon as possible to get something on the books.
DO YOU HAVE TO DO AN INSPECTION?
Nope. You don’t. Getting a home inspection done is not a requirement to purchase a house here in Houston. However, unless you have extensive remodeling experience and know what you are looking at, it can be extremely risky if you don’t get one. How will you know what problems the house has? Would you be able to tell if the electrical panel is wired incorrectly and poses a potential fire hazard? Consider these things before waiving the option period and disregarding getting an inspection done.
HOW MUCH DOES AN INSPECTION COST?
The cost of an inspection is typically determined by the square footage of the home, and will cost you more if you need specialized reports for a pool, well and septic, wood destroying insects, and etc. On average, inspections cost around $500 for a typical Houston home. For a well and septic inspection, you are looking around $300, depending on which company you choose.
WHAT INSPECTION COMPANY SHOULD YOU HIRE?
The Lake Team has a couple different companies we like to work with. Of course if you have someone in mind already, you can choose them. But if you would like recommendations, reach out to us directly.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE REPORT
If you are a first time home buyer, at first glance an inspection report can seem really overwhelming. But don’t panic! Like I mentioned earlier, the inspectors job is to report back to you anything and everything they found. No matter how small or petty it may be. Our job is to review this with you and see if there are any major items that could be concerning; like foundation issues for example. We aren’t looking for a dent in the drywall here.
The report will be organized in a way that’s easy to read and pictures will be included so we can see exactly what the inspector is talking about.
USE THE REPORT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
So, we’ve gone through the report together and found some items that concern you. Don’t panic though! This is what the option period is for. To negotiate any repairs.
There are a few ways to go about negotiating repairs. The first and most obvious is sending a list of the items you want fixed in an amendment to the sellers. It’s up to the seller to agree, disagree, or counter back with the repairs they will do.
Next, is asking the seller to contribute to your closing costs in lieu of any repairs. Basically, the seller will not make any repairs, but will help you with your cash to close on the house. The amount requested here really depends on the offer they accepted in the first place, so you and your real estate agent need to come up with the best strategy.
Another option would be to ask the seller to come down on price to compensate for these repairs. If you are okay fixing some of the items yourself at a later date and aren’t concerned about closing costs, this may be the better option for you. Again, this is a discussion you need to have with your agent.
There comes a time when the house is just no longer worth fighting for. If the house is just in too bad of shape to continue with the purchase, or it’s going to be a money pit, it may be time to just walk away and find something different. However, this is your decision to make. Understand your limits. If you are not comfortable with what was found, don’t force the situation. You can always find another house. If you don’t see yourself as the next Chip & Joanna Gaines from Fixer-Upper or you know dang well you’re not going to DIY it up, then let’s find another house.
Look, inspection reports aren’t meant to scare you. They are meant to inform you so that you can make the best decisions possible when it comes to buying a house in Houston. The main thing is to look for major items that are concerning to make sure the house won’t set ablaze or collapse while you are sleeping. It’s equally important to know your limitations on what you can and can not do. If you are no longer comfortable with the house, don’t force it. We can always find you another one. That’s what The Lake Team is here for!