Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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What does a home inspector do?

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A home inspection lasts for three hours, so you should understand what they can accomplish

A home inspector is a professional licensed by the state of Texas to inspect your home to find if there are any issues, which may cause problems for you.

This is a very general description, so I have heard inspectors compare themselves to general partitioning doctors. If you feel sick, you go to your doctor, who makes a determination of your illness and prescribes a cure. He may send you to a specialist to discover more precisely what is wrong with you, when necessary. A real estate inspector does the same thing for your home. We find areas of concern, and we point you to the specialist when needed.

Sticking with the idea of a doctor, you know when you have a cold, so you take a cold medicine. You may feel that you could examine your own home, and repair the item yourself. It is true that this is possible, but a home inspector has been trained to look at all aspects of your house to determine its condition. It is also important to remember when you are likely to be using an inspector, when buying or selling a house. A lot of things are happening around you during this process, and it is hard to be objective. We all see our own house (or the one we desire) as being fine (if not ideal). The inspector is there to be a voice of reason.

Remember the inspector is there to offer you advice as to the condition of the home. He should not be advising you onwhether to buy the home or not. Buying a home is a personal decision, which should have little to do with the property inspection report. There are no perfectly sound homes, because homes are subject to change like the rest of us. You may find that you can live with the problem discovered by an inspector, or you may want to address it in some way. If you are a seller, you might want to repair the item before selling, and if you are the buyer, you might want it repaired before purchasing. This decision is up to you and the other party involved in the sale. Also, the advice of the inspector cannot lead him to give you an estimate of the market value of the house. Real estate agents are trained in such matters. Realtors know the market, that is their job, and they know how to get the best price for you. Discuss your concerns about the property inspection report with them, for they are the best people to tell you how to proceed with the other party involved in the sale.

If an inspector knows so much about the house, he should be able to tell you how long the mechanical equipment in the house will last, right? Well, let us go back to the doctor analogy. If you walk into your doctor’s office, will he be able to tell you how long you will live by giving you a general physical? I would be surprised if he could. He might look something up on a life expectancy chart if you pressed for answer. When a client asks how long will the water heater last, I have heard a few inspectors say that it will last as long as the warranty (life expectancy) and one day. Truly, we cannot answer this question with precision. I know of a roof that was supposed to last fifteen years, which survived for forty years. However, I know of roofs which failed before their fifteen year warranty was up. This brings me to the last important point of what a home inspector is doing. He is giving you the facts concerning the house on the day he inspects the house. Anything can happen to the home after he inspects it. Hail damage from a storm; junior driving the car through the garage door; or someone repairing that leaky faucet.

A home inspector should be the best source of advice on the state of your desired home.

« « Who should do the repairs in your new home?| Steps to owning a home » »

© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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