Texas Home Inspections for Buyers

Texas Home Inspections for Buyers

distressed_house2Please know that a home inspection is one of the most important parts of buying a home. But it can be overwhelming trying to find a reputable inspector who you can trust. I provide all my buyer clients with a list of licensed home inspectors in the area to make this process easier for you.

The inspection should include information (including photos) on the condition of the following:

  • Appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Ventilation
  • Roof and Attic
  • Foundation
  • General Structure

The inspection is designed to report on any potential defects or problems with the home that may require repair. Not everything they report will be considered an actual defect by you; you must decide on whether or not the items noted require repair or not for your peace of mind. For example, I have never seen a home inspection report where the inspector did not note that the dirt is too high around the foundation of the home. This seems to be something that they always note because it could potentially hide termite activity around the home…and inspectors have to protect themselves against potential lawsuits. But this is something that you can easily fix when you move into the home.

NOTES

  • Should serious foundation or structural problems be indicated, the inspector will recommend that a structural engineer or other professional inspect it as well.
  • The home cannot “pass or fail” an inspection, and your inspector will not tell you whether he/she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering.

The Seller may be willing to negotiate completion of repairs or a credit for completion of repairs, or you may decide that the home will take too much work and money.  A professional inspection will help you make a clear-headed decision. In addition to the overall inspection, you may wish to have separate tests conducted for termites or the presence of mold.

In choosing a home inspector, consider one that has been certified as a qualified and experienced member by a trade association.

I recommend being present at the inspection.  This is to your advantage because you will be able to clearly understand the inspection report and know exactly which areas need attention.  Plus, you can get answers to many questions, tips for maintenance, and a lot of general information that will help you once you move into your new home.  Most important, you will see the home through the eyes of an objective third-party. But always keep in mind that an inspector’s job is to report on all potential issues (like dirt around the foundation) and you need to be reasonable in your repair request negotiations with sellers.


 

Prior Foundation Repairs

Prior Foundation Repairs

Will Prior Foundation Repairs Effect a Home’s Resale Value?

In Texas, there is a saying that all houses here either have foundation repairs or will need them in the future. That’s because the soil in most parts of Texas is an “expansive soil” that significantly expands and contracts based on the level of moisture in it. And since Texas is known for either droughts or floods…our soil tends to expand and contract a lot.

Here is a must read for Texas home buyers: Buyer’s Guide to Slab-On-Ground Foundations by R. Michael Gray, P.E. and Matthew T. Gray, EIT.

That is why it is very important for homeowners to keep the soil around their home evenly watered. Water in the soil provides pressure to support the home. During a drought, the lack of moisture may cause a foundation to sag. Simply watering the soil can often push a slightly sagging foundation back up…no kidding!

Does having a prior foundation repair on a home effect the resale value? That’s a controversial question with no “scientific” data to prove one opinion or another. Some say that as long as the repair is done by a reputable foundation company and has a transferable lifetime warranty…no problem. It may even be considered a positive feature of the home, since the cost of the repair has been covered by a prior owner.

NOTE: If you need some brick or mortar repair in the Sugar Land area, contact JQ Brick at 713-253-5092…they do excellent work at very reasonable prices.

brickrepair
These kinds of cracks do not necessarily mean there are foundation issues…bricks and mortar crack very easily.
They do need to be resealed, however, with mortar (not caulk) to prevent water penetration into the side walls.
Call JQ Brick at 713-253-5092.

Others know that inexperienced home buyers may be scared of purchasing a home with prior foundation repairs…and will not even give such a home a second glance. So, by reducing the number of prospective buyers for a home this way, it could have a negative impact on the price per square foot that home can command. That would suggest that a home buyer should not pay a neighborhood’s top price/square foot for a home with prior foundation repairs…unless there are other special features that significantly override the foundation issues.

Read other opinions:


 

Brick Repairs in Sugar Land Area

Brick Repairs in Sugar Land Area

Before a home owner puts a brick home on the market to sell in the Sugar Land TX area, a thorough inspection on the exterior of the home should be performed. All the walls should be checked for cracks along mortar lines and brick. The lintels above windows and doors should be checked for rust. Make sure that you look behind hard-to-see areas covered with bushes as well.

brickrepair
These kinds of cracks do not necessarily mean there are foundation issues…bricks and mortar crack very easily.
They do need to be resealed, however, with mortar (not caulk) to prevent water penetration into the side walls.
Call JQ Brick at 713-253-5092.

 

If you find any cracked brick or mortar, or rusted lintels, requiring brick repairs, then call a brick restoration company to have them repaired before you put the house on the market.  If a potential home buyer sees these kinds of cracks, it may scare him away before he takes a serious look at the home. Or, if the cracks are found during an inspection, it can kill the deal. These brick repairs are relatively inexpensive (usually around $500 or less) and need to be done whether you sell or not…to prevent water penetration into the side walls.

Cracks in bricks and mortar may indicate foundation issues, but they definitely do not mean that the foundation definitely has problems. I’ve seen homes with cracks running the entire length of the home that did not require foundation repairs even after inspections by several foundation repair companies. However, most home buyers are not foundation experts and automatically think there are foundation problems when they see cracks in the walls…and move on to the next house to consider buying.

NOTE: If you have any concerns about foundation issues, contact a structural engineer or foundation repair company for inspections and estimates.

In Texas, there is a saying that all houses here either have foundation repairs or will need them in the future. That’s because the soil in most parts of Texas is an “expansive soil” that significantly expands and contracts based on the level of moisture in it. And since Texas is known for either droughts or floods…our soil tends to expand and contract a lot…causing the need for brick repairs on a regular basis.

That is why it is very important for homeowners to keep the soil around their home evenly watered. Water in the soil provides pressure to support the home. During a drought, the lack of moisture may cause a foundation to sag. Simply watering the soil can often push a slightly sagging foundation back up…no kidding!

Here is a must read for Texas home buyers: Buyer’s Guide to Slab-On-Ground Foundations by R. Michael Gray, P.E. and Matthew T. Gray, EIT.

Read also:   Will Prior Foundation Repairs Effect a Home’s Resale Value?