We highly recommend a home inspection!!! An inspection will help you to know and understand as much about the house as possible. This should be done during your option period. It doesn't HAVE to be done then, though this is the best time, since you have the option of getting out of the contract (and not loosing your earnest money) if you and the seller can't come to an agreement on repairs.
We do ask that you choose and order the inspection at a time that is most convenient for you. You do NOT have to be there the whole time, however, we do highly recommend that you be there for the last 30-45 minutes. This is the time for you and the inspector you choose to go through the report and show you anything they feel is important. In our experience, it's always best to actually see any major concerns they might have instead of relying on photos or videos. They are better than nothing but, your eye is going to be best!
All inspectors understand they work on a deadline/option period and can usually get you scheduled within a few days of you reaching out. We love inspections to be scheduled within 1-2 days after you're officially under contract. So, it's very important for you to reach out and schedule them asap. Sometimes, we may even recommend setting the appointment before you're officially under contract.
One more note about inspections, please do not be surprised when they hand you a 40-page report (or more). They WILL find things wrong with the house, that's what you're paying them to do! :) They are required by the state to put all code changes and every tiny, little issue they see in the report. With that said, we ALWAYS recommend buyers look for 2 things.
THINGS THAT DON'T FUNCTION AS INTENDED.
This makes the long report less overwhelming and narrow it down to the really important things. Sometimes, the lender will require repairs to be complete before closing. They make it a condition of the loan. We will know this when the appraisal is completed, which usually is after the option period ends. Don't worry, the contract has a whole section about this and if the sellers will not complete them, you can get out of the contract AND get your earnest money back. We obviously will always keep you in the loop when things like this come up.
On your CLOSING TIMELINE, you'll see our preferred inspectors. We only add vendors to our preferred list when we, or someone we know, has used them in the past and found them to be timely and helpful. Please use whoever you prefer! It doesn't have to be someone on this list. We do get asked to recommend one over the other, unfortunately, we cannot recommend one particular inspector over the other. They wouldn't be on our list if they had not performed admirably in the past. If you have questions please let us know and we will give you the best answer we can.
A few other inspections that might be needed are listed below. We usually recommend having the general home inspection done first and go from their report to see if you'll need to have any specialists come out. Of course, there could be times when you know you'll need one prior to the general inspection, in that case, no worries, go ahead and get them on the schedule.
POOLS: If your prospective home has a pool, the home inspector you choose may be able to do a limited inspection, however, there are things they literally can't do because of their license. If you do have a pool, on your CLOSING TIMELINE there will be a list of other vendors that may be able to do a more comprehensive assessment. (Be advised that any leak/pressure testing or anything invasive or potentially destructive would require seller approval and should NOT even be ordered without seller's written consent)
Foundation: this is usually when you or the inspector sees evidence of the foundation shifting. We always say, in Texas, it's not a matter of IF the foundation will move, it's WHEN will it happen! We really mean, don't just discount a house because it has had previous work done or will need to have work done. We will always recommend having a foundation company or structural engineer come out and measure the house. This along with any warranty information they have have from previous work will help you make as educated of a decision as you can whether or not you want to move forward with this house.
Roof: Again, in Texas we deal with roofs all the time! Since we have hail storms and other things that can damage the roof, we'll make sure to make recommendations on how to handle the roof. In lots of cases, we would recommend having a roofing company come out and give you a report on the condition of the roof. If they think it needs to be replaced, then we would discuss this with the listing agent to ultimately talk to the sellers about starting a claim on their insurance to have it replaced. In this case, the roof condition (needing replacement) will case you not to be able to put a homeowners insurance policy in place until the roof is replaced (or repaired), which will cause the lender to make that a condition of having the loan approved. Sellers replace roofs all the time, again, this is pretty common around here, so don't worry too much about it, we'll make sure you have as much information as we can that allows you to make an educated decision on moving forward.
Plumbing: Some general inspectors will have addition tests they offer as add ons to the general inspection. Scoping or putting a camera through the plumbing is one of the add-on lots of them will offer. We usually would say, it's a good thing to do.
This isn't a comprehensive list of inspections, they are just the most common. There could be others the inspector would recommend and we will be sure to discuss everything with you and make recommendations as needed.
Remember, the inspections are designed for you to see as much of the house as you can possibly see to make sure there are not issues, and if there are, you can address them with the seller, before you are the owner.
When you have the inspection scheduled, please let us know so we can make sure the listing agent/seller knows so they can (hopefully) make arraignments to be out of the house at that time.
With all of that said, we will be here with you through the whole thing, please be sure to lean on us when you need to! That's what we're here for!