InspectionInspections. This is an incredibly important step in the home buying process. Too often home buyers overlook this step and end up with a home that needs more work than they can afford to pay. Hiring and working with inspectors, can make all the difference between buying a ‘money pit’ or buying a home where you can reasonably take care of any maintenance issues.

This is step 5 in a series of 6 steps to buying a house in Bryan / College Station, TX. Although these steps are generally accepted throughout the country, you should check with your local Realtor for relevancy to your particular state.

This step takes place after Step 1 – Hire a Realtor®, Step 2 – Get approved for a loan, Step 3 – Begin your home search and Step 4 – Negotiating the Contract have occurred.

Once you have a completed and accepted contract, several things need to occur in a timely manner. Primarily, the appraisal, the survey and all the inspections. Appraisals and surveys are generally conducted, accepted or rejected by the lender. There are some cases where you can terminate the contract as a result of the appraisal or survey however those are the exception rather than the rule. It all depends on the terms of the Third Party Financing agreement and the dates set out in it.

The inspection however, is a process that very often can affect your decision on whether to proceed, terminate or re-negotiate the contact.

5. Inspections

In some states, inspections occur prior to an offer being made, however here in Texas inspections are more likely to be a contingency as part of the purchase contract.

Once the contract price and terms are negotiated and there is a fully executed contract in place then the home inspection should be scheduled. Generally speaking the buyer will have 10 days, more or less, to have this inspection occur, receive the inspection report and provide a request for repair to the seller.

This 10 day window, although in some cases may be as little as 5 days or as many as 30 days is very important. Failure to exercise this contingency within the time period allowed can result in you purchasing a home that needs more repairs than you had initially anticipated. After all if there is a major problem with the foundation or an expensive roof replacement required then you will need to know that before your contingency period is over and you are locked into the contract. It is also possible in the case of large expense repairs that your lender may not approve your loan for the amount required for that particular property without the repairs being completed.

Inspection 2A home inspection should be conducted by a qualified TREC inspector. The inspection itself is a relatively painless affair however if the inspector finds fault in any specialized areas then they will recommend that you have the problem thoroughly inspected by the relative specialist. This could be a HVAC Inspector, Structural Inspector, Foundation Inspector, Termite and or Pest Control Inspector.

It is always best to follow the initial real estate inspectors advice because failure to do so, can leave you with no recourse should the damage prove too expensive for you to cover.

Very often, after the inspection is completed you can provide the seller with a ‘request for repair’ list of items that you want completed. In most cases, if the work is reasonable and can be done in a timely manner the seller will agree to complete some or all of them rather than risk having you terminate the contract entirely, however sellers are not required to have the repairs made, this is a choice they can make.

Alternatively, your Realtor® may be able to renegotiate the contract price to cover the cost of having these repairs completed by you rather than the seller. This can result in a lower purchase price but it will put the responsibility on you to have the repairs completed and it will depend on whether your lender will allow it or not.

It is always a good idea for you, as the buyer, to be present when the inspection is being conducted. A competent inspector will be able to explain his finds and educate you on the functions of all mechanical and structural parts of the home. They will be able to explain the purpose and operation of any equipment or at the very least direct you to where you can get the information.

Another important reason to be present during the home inspection is that inspectors are required to complete a TREC approved inspection report. This report has a check box for repairs. Very often in re-sale homes this box is checked, however it does not necessarily mean that there is a defect. In many cases it means that although the house was built to building codes at the time of construction, it may not be up to code now as these codes change over time.

So although there may not an actual defect, which would cause the particular item not to function correctly, it does mean that if there is a problem in the future, when that problem is corrected it will be done so according to the current code. While you are at the inspection, the inspector will be able to explain that to you, so that you can understand the reason for the defect in the report.

All homes for sale buttonWhen purchasing a newly constructed home, attending the inspection can help you create a list of items, called a punch list, that can be given to the builder to repair. Builders will often accept a punch list after the inspection has been completed and one year from the date of purchase. So it’s important to be present when the inspection is taking place so that you can learn of any defects either structural, mechanical or cosmetic that the builder can repair before closing or move-in.

Once all of the required inspections, appraisals and surveys have been conducted and satisfied, the next step is the closing which we will cover in detail in the final post of the series.

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