Friday, October 30, 2009

Home Inspection - A Buyer's Best Friend (and Seller's too?)

In San Antonio, after a buyer has contracted with a seller to purchase their home, there's usually an option period during which the buyer can hire a home inspector to inspect the home.  During that period, the buyer has three options.  They can terminate the contract for any reason, or re-negotiate with the seller to do repairs or lower the price based upon what the inspector finds.  And, of course, the buyer can continue with the purchase without any further negotiations.

Sellers sometimes are alarmed at how "picky" the inspectors are, but it is actually to the seller's benefit for the inspector to identify problems with the home.  Just because a problem is not identified prior to the sale does not necessarily mean that the seller is no longer responsible.  So, the better the disclosure on the inspector's report, the better the seller is protected.

So what do the home inspectors look for?  They look for items that are in need of repair, and also inform the buyer when the current building codes have not been met in an older structure.  They check the overall structure of the home, such as the foundation and roof structure. 

The home inspectors also look at the exterior of the home, including siding, trim, drainage, windows, doors, decks and balconies. The inspectors normally will walk the roof to check it's condition and probable age, and look for any signs of poor drainage, leaks, damaged shingles, or problems with the chimneys or gutters.

Inside the home, the inspection includes the plumbing system, the electrical system, the heating and air conditioning systems, the hot water heater and the fireplaces. Kitchen appliances that are built-in are checked for proper operation, like the stove/oven, dishwasher and microwave oven.  Ceilings and floors, stairways and railings, and interior doors are inspected.  In the garage the inspector will check the operation of the garage door opening system.  If the home is built with crawlspaces underneath, the inspector will check that area of the home.
So, as a buyer, it is money well spent to have the home inspected.  It is also helpful for the buyers to be present at the inspection so the inspector can "de-brief" there on the spot and show you the items he is putting on the written report. 
If you are working with a Realtor in the purchase of your next home, ask your Realtor to recommend several inspectors they are familiar with, or if you are purchasing a home in the San Antonio area, contact SATAREI , the San Antonio Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors to hire your next home inspector.


  1. Nice Article
    Carl Winters, Advanced Inspector, License #3630
    Serving San Antonio and surrounding counties since 1994. Member of TREC.

  2. Nowadays most are opting for the home inspection help so that they do not make a wrong choice so it is better to keep the house in good condition.

    Mortgage San Antonio