What is a Home Inspector?

A home inspection is an important and necessary step when buying or selling a property. A licensed home inspector looks at the major components of a property to ensure they are in good condition and up to standards. This is essential for protecting buyers and sellers, as it helps them make informed decisions and avoids financial liabilities.

Home Inspector

In this article, we’ll explore what a home inspector does and why they are so vital in real estate transactions.

Understanding the Role of a Home Inspector

An inspector is typically hired by the buyer as a necessary step in the home buying process. Their job is to thoroughly evaluate all areas of the house and its systems, including its structural integrity, safety features, electrical and plumbing systems, heating unit(s), foundation, roofing, and insulation. They also check for any signs of damage that the seller may not have previously disclosed or omitted from the disclosure document given to the buyer (new homes do not require a seller’s disclosure in Texas).

The objective of the home inspection is not only to find out if something needs fixing but also to provide advice regarding repairs or improvements that can be made to increase market value or quality of living for those who will be living in the house after it has been sold. The inspector will provide a detailed final report with their findings and recommendations.

Benefits of Hiring an Inspector

There are numerous benefits associated with hiring an inspector to do your home inspection during your real estate transaction. Here are some key advantages:

  • Home buyers can assess any potential issues accurately before officially closing on the house. This means they won’t face any expensive surprises down the road due to unanticipated problems that could have easily been prevented before purchase.
  • Hiring an experienced professional helps protect both the buyer and the seller during negotiations. The parties can negotiate what should be fixed immediately, who should pay for it, etc., which makes sure everyone involved in the transaction is held responsible for their actions (or lack thereof).
  • Home buyers gain added confidence that all necessary repairs have been taken care of before moving into their new home – reducing stress during the move-in day!
  • Inspectors can help identify hazards such as water intrusion or mold, which could lead to health risks if left untreated.

What To Look For When Hiring an Inspector

When looking for someone qualified to inspect your prospective property, there are several factors worth considering:

  • Make sure they are trained professionals who adhere strictly to industry standards as outlined by an organization like the American Society Of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Your state may also require them to be licensed.
  • Ask them about their experience level – do they know enough about your area? Are they familiar with local building codes and regulations?
  • Ensure you get references from past clients to get firsthand feedback about their services.

A great way to find a trusted third-party inspector is through word-of-mouth referral from friends or family members who’ve had good experiences with inspectors before – we all know firsthand how valuable reviews can be. Your real estate agent may also know some excellent inspectors from recent home inspections for other clients. However, always remember that you ultimately need to feel confident with your choice no matter where you find them.

Home Inspection

Common Items in a Home Inspection

When considering the purchase of a new home, a professional home inspection must be performed to identify any potential issues before closing on the property. Here are some common issues that a home inspection can identify and you will see on a home inspection checklist:

Structural Problems

The house’s main structure should always be in good condition and up to code. An inspector will assess for structural problems like foundation cracks or drywall damage, which could indicate deeper structural issues. They will also check for signs of water damage, which can lead to rot and other structural problems if not appropriately addressed.

Electrical System

One of the most critical components of a house is its electrical system. During the home inspection, the inspector will check all wiring and outlets to ensure they are up to code and working correctly and identify potential hazards, such as overloaded circuits or improper grounding.

Plumbing System

The plumbing system should also be inspected closely, with attention paid to leaky faucets, corroded pipes, and poor drainage. If there are any problems detected here, they must be dealt with right away to avoid costly repairs down the line.

Heating Unit(s)

If the house has more than one heating unit installed (typically found in larger homes), each one should be inspected carefully by an experienced professional who can determine its condition and whether or not it meets safety standards.

Roofing and Insulation

The roof is integral to protecting your home from the external elements, so it must be in good condition before purchasing a property. Your homes inspection report will show signs of wear and tear, like missing or broken shingles, and proper ventilation and insulation throughout the roof areas.

Safety Features

For your family’s protection, all necessary safety features must be present on the premises, including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, handrails around stairs and balconies, etc., which should all be tested during a home inspection. Additionally, any fireplaces in the house should also be checked for proper installation and potentially hazardous buildup in the chimney.

Insects and Pests

No one wants pests invading their new home after purchasing. Most home inspections will evaluate any visible signs of pests like ants or rodents while also checking for telltale evidence, such as droppings or nests, that could point towards an infestation issue that needs resolving immediately before moving in.

Your lender may also require a WDI (wood-destroying insect) report for your real estate transaction. This type of home inspection is highly specialized. However, they are typically required on any VA loan (for military members and veterans) or loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Does the Mortgage Lender Require a Home Inspection?

When purchasing a home, many potential buyers are unsure of what their mortgage lender requires to complete the loan process. As a result, one question often arises during the home-buying process is whether a lender requires a home inspection.

Mortgage Lender

Whether the lender requires a home inspection depends on the type of loan being applied for and the individual lender’s policies. Generally, lenders do not require a home inspection as part of their approval process, though they may ask for one in some instances. For example, if the house is older or damaged, they may want evidence that it is up to safety standards before approving the loan. Similarly, if there are signs of possible infestations like rodents or insects, they might want verification that these issues have been addressed before agreeing to finance the property.

Both the Appraisal and Home Inspection Can Initiate the Need for Repairs

An appraisal is another essential part of obtaining a loan and typically must be completed by a certified appraiser. A home appraisal aims to determine an accurate market value for the property being bought so that both parties can be sure that a fair price has been agreed upon. An appraiser can also check for safety features, such as smoke detectors and handrails around staircases or balconies, which may be noted as required for the bank to approve the loan. Issues called out by the home appraisal will typically focus on health, safety, and livability issues but sometimes can request other items.

While most lenders don’t require a home inspection during the real estate appraisal process for mortgage loans, it can be beneficial to you as a buyer to have one done to identify any potential problems before closing on your new home. A home appraisal will also provide further assurance and peace of mind knowing you have secured financing at fair market value.


Home inspections play an essential role when purchasing properties, big or small. So whether you’re looking at homes online or walking through them in person, don’t forget about your home inspections – they play a critical role in buying. A competent inspector can give you peace of mind knowing everything’s okay and, more importantly, help keep your future investment safe.

images courtesy of shutterphu, coffeekai, and Drazen Zigic

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