Common Home Inspection Mistakes to Avoid in Dallas, TX

Home Inspection

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. While it’s exciting to find your dream house, it’s critical to carefully inspect the property before purchasing. A thorough home inspection in Dallas TX conducted by a licensed professional can uncover issues that may affect your decision to buy the home or request repairs from the seller.

When hiring a home inspector, you want someone experienced and knowledgeable about Dallas real estate. An inspector who rushes through the process or misses major red flags could cost you thousands down the road. Avoid these common home inspection mistakes when evaluating a property in Dallas:

Choosing an Unlicensed or Inexperienced Inspector

In Texas, home inspectors must hold a real estate inspector license issued by the Texas Real Estate Commission. This license ensures inspectors meet experience requirements and pass exams on home systems, inspection processes, and report writing. Never hire an inspector lacking this official licensing.

You also want an inspector who has inspected dozens, if not hundreds, of Dallas homes over multiple years. They’ll be familiar with the age and type of homes in various neighborhoods. Their experience makes them more apt to catch issues specific to the area. Ask potential inspectors about their experience, licensing, and certifications before booking.

Rushing the Inspection

A proper home inspection takes 2-3 hours or longer to complete thoroughly. Rushed inspections over in an hour or less often miss major structural and system issues. The inspector won’t have time to fully assess the roof, plumbing, electric, appliances, HVAC, foundation, and more if they breeze through the property. Carefully review the proposed inspection timeline when hiring an inspector. Ensure they spend ample time assessing the home.

Skipping the Attic, Crawl Space, and Roof

Some home inspectors offer a cursory visual inspection of key areas only. However, it’s essential inspector access and evaluate the attic, roof, and crawl space. Issues like water intrusion, damaged trusses, mold, rodents, and insufficient insulation likely won’t be found unless the inspector physically enters these areas. Don’t rely on a visual roof inspection from the ground. Make sure the inspector gets on the roof and in other vital spaces.

Lack of Detailed Reporting

The inspection report provides your documentation of the home’s condition at the time of sale. It also alerts you to repairs needed and provides grounds to request fixes from the seller. For these reasons, the report must be thorough and detailed. Look for inspectors who provide comprehensive checklists and explanations of issues, not just two-sentence blurbs. Photos of problem areas should also be included. Vague, incomplete reports fail to protect you fully as the buyer.

Focusing Only on Building Codes

An inspector concentrating solely on whether something meets building codes misses important indicators of repair needs. For example, worn shingles or a 25-year-old AC unit may not violate codes but still require replacement soon. Quality inspectors note when something seems worn, outdated, or likely to need repairs/updates in the next 5-10 years. They look beyond what simply meets minimum legal standards.

Lack of Safety Awareness

Home inspectors must prioritize safety issues that could put your family at risk if not addressed. This includes things like exposed electrical wiring, damaged roofs/gutters causing leaks, non-functional smoke alarms, mold growth, broken railings, and insufficient ground fault circuit interrupters near water sources. Don’t work with an inspector who glosses over serious safety hazards.

No Follow-Up on Repairs

Most buyers ask the seller to repair certain issues found in the inspection report. Hire an inspector who provides follow-up to confirm these repairs were completed properly. Some will re-inspect the repairs for free or for a small fee. Don’t assume the seller or their contractors adequately fixed problems. Ask about follow-up services when choosing an inspector.

Conflicts of Interest

Beware of inspectors referred by real estate agents or those providing repairs themselves. There’s an inherent conflict when the inspector benefits from referring repair business or keeping the real estate agent happy by downplaying issues. Find a third-party inspector with no ties to agents or contractors.

Lack of Licensing for Specialized Systems

Home inspectors provide a general overview but are not licensed to inspect specialized systems like pools, septic tanks, wells, and security systems. Ensure your inspector recommends bringing in licensed pros to inspect these specific systems separately. Amateur opinions on specialized equipment can lead to costly problems.

 Not Matching Qualifications to Home Age/Style

Look for home inspectors with qualifications tailored to the type and age of the home you’re purchasing. Older homes, for example, require inspectors versed in cast iron plumbing, updated electrical systems, foundation settling, and asbestos. Don’t hire an inspector used to modern construction to inspect a 50-year-old fixer-upper. Make sure qualifications and expertise match the property.

Purchasing a home is a complex, expensive investment. Don’t undermine this major financial decision by working with anything less than a highly qualified, experienced home inspector. Use this list of common inspection mistakes as a checklist when selecting and interacting with your chosen inspector in Dallas. A few hours upfront can save you from thousands of unforeseen repairs and headaches down the road.

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