What Is A Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, which provides a detailed “snapshot” of the condition of the home on the day of the inspection. A home inspection helps to reduce some of the risk involved in purchasing a home, but it cannot eliminate these risks, nor can the home inspection anticipate future events or changes in performance due to changes in use or occupancy. The home inspection will cover any potential health and safety issues as well as areas in need of repair or replacement. If you are in the process of buying a house, townhouse, condominium, etc. you should have it properly inspected before the final purchase.
Home Inspectors must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and are required to comply with the TREC Standards of Practice when home inspections are performed. The Standards of Practice are the minimum levels of inspection required of inspectors for the accessible parts, components, and systems typically found in homes. The home inspection is visual only. While there may be other parts, components or systems present, only those items specifically noted as being inspected on the report are inspected. The home inspection report may address issues that are code-based or may refer to a particular code; however, it is NOT a code compliance inspection and does NOT verify compliance with manufacturer’s installation instructions. Although some safety issues may be addressed in this report, the inspection is NOT a safety/code inspection, and the inspector is NOT required to identify all potential hazards.
In the report, the home inspector will note which systems and components were Inspected (I), Not Inspected (NI), Not Present (NP), and/or Deficient (D). General deficiencies include inoperability, material distress, water penetration, damage, deterioration, missing parts, and unsuitable installation. The inspector may provide comments whether or not an item is deemed deficient. The inspector is not required to prioritize or emphasize the importance of one deficiency over another.
Items identified in the report do not obligate any party to make repairs or take other action, nor is the purchaser required to request that the seller take any action. It is not a pass or fail grade for a home. The decision to correct a hazard or any deficiency identified in an inspection report is left to the parties to the contract for the sale or purchase of the home.
Note: There will more than likely be several items that the inspector must report that are related to building codes or safety issues that very few homes will comply with. These conditions may not have violated building codes or common practices at the time of the construction of the home, or they may have been “grandfathered” because they were present prior to the adoption of codes prohibiting such conditions. However the inspector is required by TREC to report these items as deficient if found not to comply.