What to Expect From a Home Inspection in Dallas – Fort Worth
The TEC team is always receiving questions from Dallas Fort Worth first time home buyers who aren’t sure what to expect from a professional home inspection. Buying your first home can be stressful! Don’t worry, we are here to help.
Frequently asked questions and answers about getting a home inspection:
Should I get a home inspection before I list my Dallas Fort Worth house?
Generally, home inspections are scheduled (at the expense of the buyer) before closing on the sale of a property. However, some sellers choose to do a “pre-listing inspection” prior to putting their home on the market. By working proactively to identify defects, the seller has sufficient time to schedule repairs and can control costs easily.
Is getting a home inspection required by the bank?
Not necessarily, but it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. More than 95% of buyers opt for a professional home inspection. A good home inspector can help identify major deficiencies, helping you make an informed decision about your investment.
What does getting a Home Inspection involve?
A typical home inspection takes anywhere from two to four hours, depending on the size and age of the home.
Here is a short checklist of items that you can expect your home inspector to examine:
Home Inspection Checklist (Exterior)
• Brick and mortar – The home inspector should check the brick and mortar for cracks and deterioration.
• Siding, flashings, and trim – Damages such as frieze board separation can allow moisture (and critters) to enter the home.
• The roof, eaves, and fascias – We get some gnarly weather in Dallas Fort Worth. As such, a knowledgeable home inspector will carefully inspect exterior features, such as the roof.
• Exterior doors – Improperly sealed doors and rotted frames are another common entry point for moisture and bugs.
• Landscaping, grading, drainage and retaining walls – This is a huge one! A home inspector should make note of excessive water pooling around the home, missing gutters, etc.
• Decks, patios, balconies, and any steps, stoops porches or railing – Thorough home inspectors cite structural failures and potential safety hazards.
• Walkways, patios, and driveways – In the Dallas Fort Worth area, it is common for home inspectors to make note of cracks in concrete patios and driveways.
• Downspouts – Downspouts are cheap to install, but you would be surprised at how many homes fail to keep their gutter systems functioning properly.
• Skylights – It can be hard to tell if a skylight is leaking on a hot sunny day, or when moisture intrusion is minimal. That’s why we always suggest adding thermal imaging to your home inspection package. Thermal imaging picks up on broken window seals, leaky roofs, slab leaks, and other items that the naked eye may be unable to detect.
Home Inspection Checklist (Interior)
• Doors and windows – Your home inspector will look for broken seals, cracks, and missing screens.
• Ceilings, floors, and walls – A good home inspection involves careful examination of unleveled flooring, cracks in the sheetrock, nail pops, and other defects that could be an indication of foundation problems.
• Any steps, stairways or railings within the home – Your home inspector will do a visual inspection (maybe a wiggle test too) to make sure the stairwells and steps are safe and up to code.
• Countertops and cabinetry – Cabinet doors that swing open and fail to close properly let your inspector know that there could be some foundation settling.
• Garages and carports – Among other things, your home inspector will check to make sure garage doors are functional and carports are not in disrepair.
• Installed appliances – Your home inspector will run the HVAC, fire up the hot water heater, and test out major appliances for obvious issues.
• Fireplaces, vent systems, exhaust systems, chimneys and flues – One of the most common items pointed out during a home inspection are dirty HVAC filters.
• Smoke detectors – Smoke detectors with missing faces or dead batteries will be marked deficient.
• Plumbing – Running toilets, leaky shower heads, etc. will be pointed out during a home inspection.
• Water pressure – Lack of water pressure can hint to other plumbing issues.
• Attic insulation and vapor retarders – Another common issue uncovered during the inspection is inadequate attic insulation.
• Electrical wiring, switches, and fixtures – Missing plate covers and overloaded breaker boxes pose a fire hazard. A good inspector should check every outlet and all breaker boxes.
• Heating and cooling equipment, access panels and thermostats – All home inspectors carry a tool that helps them determine if the HVAC is cooling and heating properly at the time of the inspection.
Additional Home Inspection Services
Some home inspectors will also include floor level surveying to identify if there are any foundation concerns with the home. Other inspections that you might want to consider are irrigation inspections, termite inspections, and pool/spa inspections. Check with your inspector to see if their company offers these additional services.
Remember that a good home inspector should always be objective! They should take photos of defects and take the time to explain their findings to you. We always recommend that homeowners are present for the inspection to ask questions and make observations.