HomeLatest NewsFeatured HomebuildersHome Buyer ResourcesBinding ArbitrationResource LinksSubmit ComplaintsView ComplaintsTake Action 101!Report Mortgage FraudMortgage Fraud NewsForeclosure NewsConstruction DefectsHome DefectsPhoto GalleryFoundation ProblemsHomeowner Website LinksHOA Reform

1981 - 2015 HUD's
Legacy of Scandals

HOBB-Over 1M visits monthly
Daily Visitors Over 37,000
 Highest Daily 70,723

Main Menu
Latest News
Featured Homebuilders
Home Buyer Resources
Binding Arbitration
Resource Links
Submit Complaints
View Complaints
Take Action 101!
Report Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage Fraud News
Foreclosure News
Construction Defects
Home Defects
Photo Gallery
Foundation Problems
Homeowner Website Links
HOA Reform
Featured Topics
Builder Death Spiral
Report Mortgage Fraud
Foreclosure Special Report
Mold & New Home Guide
Special News Reports
Centex & Habitability
How Fast Can They Build Them?
TRCC Editorial
Texas TRCC Scandal
Texas Watch - Tell Lawmakers
TRCC Recommendations
Sandra Bullock
People's Lawyer
Prevent Nightmare Homes
Choice Homes
Smart Money
Weekly Update Message
HOBB Archives
About HOBB
Contact Us
Fair Use Notice
Legislative Work
Your House

 HOBB News Alerts
and Updates

Click Here to Subscribe

Support HOBB - Become a Sustaining Member
Who's Online
We have 1 guest online
ABC Special Report
Investigation: New Home Heartbreak
Trump - NAHB Homebuilders Shoddy Construction and Forced Arbitration

Property Rights Denied!
Protecting HOA Members' Rights is NOT The #1 Priority
of Managed Communities
The High Price of Managed Living, Books and Records Hidden
gives appearances of impropriety
Editorial Feature: Part One - Are Homeowners' Rights a Myth? 

Part Two: HOA Bureaucrats Overstep Their Authority

Express News Feature Home Inspections
Friday, 06 March 2009
Home inspections
By Aïssatou Sidimé
- Express-News

When David and Rosalva Canedo were looking to buy their first home, they spent $300 to hire a home inspector to check out the nearly 30-year-old house that was their first choice.

It saved them thousands of dollars later, David Canedo said.

That’s because the inspector found that some electrical sockets were reversed in the house and most were not grounded, which would have resulted in expensive rewiring to bring the house up to current electrical safety requirements. The Canedos were able to back out of the purchase with little investment.

“It’s better than buying the home and having major repairs later,” David Canedo said.

Many agents and lenders encourage buyers and sellers to get a home inspected as a way to identify potential problems. The findings can be good fodder in setting or negotiating the purchase price of a home.

Buyers and sellers can get the most out of the inspection by studying up on what’s included, screening inspectors beforehand and following along during the inspection.


              Bahram Mark Sobhani/Express-NewsI
   Mark Eberwine inspects a home this month.

What’s included?

A home inspection is a visual review and testing of the major components of a home. Home inspectors must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission. They review more than 200 components, usually during a two- to three-hour period. The basic inspection includes the exterior, roof, crawl spaces, attic, foundations, structure, plumbing, electrical outlets and breakers, heating elements, air conditioning and interior surfaces. They also can inspect swimming pools, yard sprinklers, hot tubs, private water wells and septic systems.      

An inspector provides a written report of the findings for each item checked and usually notes signs of damage, safety issues and any evidence that a house is not up to current building codes. Prices range between $250 and $1,000, averaging about $400, depending on square footage, age of the house, type of foundation, location of the home, the number of air-conditioning units and any optional items.

The intent is to give the client an overview of the current status of the house.

“As an inspector, I am looking for clues that indicate defects: cracks in or repairs to walls and ceilings, water stains, fresh paint in odd locations, excess use of caulk or re-mortaring in masonry that masks problems with the foundation,” said Mark Eberwine, a licensed home inspector with Five Star Home Inspections Inc. “Then I give an opinion. You can have similar cracks and other damage in a 1-year-old home and, when compared to a 30-year-old home, it can mean something entirely different.”

For real estate agent Sandra Guerra, a home inspection is a must — even for new homes, because experienced inspectors often know a lot about proper construction techniques and so can identify potential construction errors for her clients.

For instance, on one new home under contract for a client, a home inspector noticed that the brick above the garage door on the two-story house extended well out beyond the steel support lintel, which meant that the second story was not getting proper structural support.

Guerra used the inspector’s report to get the builder to make repairs and then had the home inspector return to verify the new work was sufficient. Re-inspections usually cost between 25 percent and 50 percent of the original inspection price, agents say.

“If I were a consumer buying a house, I’d always get an inspection whether it’s a brand-new home or existing home, because homes are manmade and we all have our off days,” said Guerra of Copernicus Realty. “It gives you leverage for repairs before the closing. It’s a preventive measure to avoid having to take time out and wait for repairs either under the warranty or after closing. The last thing (the buyer) needs is to have to deal with repairs after they have moved in.”
But home inspections do have their limits.

On Feb. 1, all home inspectors began using a new inspection form, which includes a preamble that explains what will occur during an inspection.

However, sometimes the inspector can’t cover all items listed on the form. That’s because inspectors only review what they can see — safely and without removing household items.

So if carpets are covering the wood floors, they can give a report only on the floor patches not covered. If the roof slope is too steep, they may not walk the roof in search of weak spots, missing shingles or damaged flashing. If the water has been disconnected in a vacant home, they won’t be able to test the faucets and sprinkler system, inspectors and agents warn.

While inspectors can be hired to look for evidence of termites, they also do not report mold or test for air quality, according to Fred Buck, a licensed inspector and owner of King Inspections Inc. They also don’t verify the house meets every building code.

With older homes, buyers often want an assessment of how long a roof, electrical wiring or air conditioner will continue functioning. That’s also outside the inspector’s purview.

“We do not predict the future,” Buck said. “The inspection is to educate the buyer on the systems and not what it will cost to maintain it. How long something will last depends on the maintenance previously, which we don’t know.”

Clients can get the most out of the home inspection by taking extra care in picking an inspector, taking part in the inspection and asking questions on how best to maintain the house given its current condition, inspectors and agents say.

In picking an inspector — like picking a surgeon — it’s better to go with someone who has more experience rather than less, Eberwine says.

Real estate agent Jackie Galvan encourages clients to a call several inspectors beforehand to verify the inspector is insured and whether the client can accompany the inspector during the inspection.

“If not, that’s a red flag,” said Galvan, who worked for a home inspection franchise before becoming an agent with Re/Max Preferred Realtors. The inspection is to educate the buyers on the home and talking with the inspector is a key way of getting details not provided in the inspector’s written report, she said.

David Canedo said he and his wife were persuaded to buy a different three-bedroom two-bathroom house from the estate of a deceased person after an inspector explained during a walk-through of the house how easily the Canedos could fix the minor problems identified during an inspection.

“The person who lived there is deceased, and the seller did not have to disclose anything because they did not live there,” he said. “But it was better maintained. But this type of inspection is looking out for you.”

When helping clients buy new homes, Guerra also asks the inspector to present their findings to the construction superintendent overseeing work on the house. That way the superintendent hears the inspector’s report and recommendations firsthand to avoid miscommunication in what repairs must be made.

Sometimes an inspector misses an evident deficiency. But, Guerra said, they are also very likely to catch home issues the buyer, seller or agent was unaware of — particularly since inspectors tend to monitor changes in building codes. 


 Texas, First Home Lemon Law Debated in the Nation
Homebuyers Need a Home Lemon Law

Search HOBB.org

 Beware of HOA Payment Plan! 

HOA Foreclosures Big Business 
ON THE COMMONS with Shu Bartholomew
Dr. Evan McKenzie HOA Governments

Reckless Endangerment

Outsized Ambition, Greed and
Corruption Led to
Economic Armageddon

Barnes & Noble

Rise and Fall of Predatory Lending and Housing

NY Times: Building Flawed American Dreams 
Read CATO Institute: 
HUD Scandals

Listen to NPR:
Reckless Endangerman
Gretchen Morgenson : How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed
to Financial Crisis - Fannie Mae

Pulte-Centex $900 Million Grant
Bad Guys at Countrywide Profit on Mortgage Toxins

NPR Special Report
Part I Listen Now
Perry Home - No Warranty 
Part II Listen Now
Texas Favors Builders

Washington Post
The housing bubble, in four chapters
BusinessWeek Special Reports
Bonfire of the Builders
Homebuilders helped fuel the housing crisis
Housing: That Sinking Feeling

Arbitration Fairness Now!
Sen Feingold, Rep Johnson
Introduce Consumer Justice
Senate Passes Franken
Binding Arbitration Amendment
Public Citizen Report 
Home Court Advantage

 (See photos) & Latest News

Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence
 Arbitration Hearing,
Video of Homeowners
Testimony Advance to 1:55

Arbitration Bill Passes Senate
Four years to fight to get in court is not a day in Court, Jamie Leigh Jones 



Texas Regulates Homebuyers
Texas Comptroller Condemns TRCC Builder Protection Agency
TRCC is the punishment phase of homeownership in Texas

HOBB Update Messages

Consumer Affairs Builder Complaints

 TRCC Implosion
 TRCC Shut Down
 Sunset Report

As Goes Texas So Goes the Nation
Knowledge and Financial Responsibility are still Optional for Texas Home Builders

TRCC from Bad to Worse
Case of the Crooked House

Perry's Gifts Keep on Talking
Sun Never Sets On Politicians Taking Homebuilder Money

The Pat and Bob Egert Building & TRCC Experience 

Homebuilder's Right-To-Repair Illusion

Builders Looking for Federal Handouts

How Texas Home Building Industry shaped the TRCC to regulate buyers 

LiveTalk Internet

Build it right the first time
An interview with Janet Ahmad

HUD's Broken System
From HUD's Deregulation to Disgrace
Did HUD Secretary Cisneros
 Mastermind Predatory Lending?

Take Action
Ban Binding Mandatory Arbitration

Send a message urging your Congressman to support all legislation banning this unfair practice

Voting Texas Style
What Lawmaker is Voting for you?

Most Read

 Give Me Back My Rights Campaign
Model State Arbitration Legislation
Fair Homebuyer Contract Model

Bad Binding Arbitration Experience?
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
or call 1-210-402-6800

Homebuyers' Bill of Rights
Tips for a Better Built Home and to Protect Your Investment

Drum Major Institute
for Public Policy

Tort Deform
Report Your Arbitration Experience

Homebuilding Texas Style
And the walls came
tumblin' down

 Texas Homebuilder
Bob Perry Political Contributions

  The Agency Bob Perry Built
 TRCC Connection News
Tort Reform

NPR Interview - Perry's
Political influence movement.
Click to listen 

Texas Homebuyers
Fight for Rights

TRCC Abolish or Fix
or Pass Home Lemon Law
Homebuyers Bill of Rights

82% would not vote back in office any legislator, regardless of party, that is soft on bad homebuilders?


Have you seen any of these individuals

Pulte Homeowner Survey
Warranty & Mortgage Experience
 Click to participate

Tort Reform Feature
Texas Monthly
 Hurt? Injured? Need a Lawyer? Too Bad!

Special Money Report
Big Money and Shoddy Construction:Texas Home Buyers Left Out in the Cold
Read More
Read Report: Big Money…
Home Builder Money Source of Influence

Letters to the Editor
Write your letters to the Editor

Homeowner Websites

top of page

© 2022 HomeOwners for Better Building
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.