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So What Does A Home Inspector Do, Anyway?

When you're buying a home, all the various players can get a little confusing, between Realtors, lenders, title companies, inspectors, appraisers - it's a lot to keep track of.

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A home inspector usually comes into a real estate transaction when a buyer has made an offer on a home which has been accepted by the seller. Then (in Texas), comes the "option period" during which the buyer has the option to call in a home inspector and other experts as needed.

The home inspector will test all of the various parts and systems of the home and reveal anything that is missing, malfunctioning or not up to current standards. As the buyer, a home inspection will give you important information about the home you're buying, as well as the opportunity to negotiate any needed repairs. As the seller, the home inspection could end up costing additional time and money. Here are 3 of the most common issues that home inspectors find in homes in our area, and how you can avoid them:

1. HVAC Needs Service

Beyond the occasional filter change, many homeowners don't do much maintenance on their HVAC. Dirty, leaking or malfunctioning HVAC components turn up on most home inspection reports. You can easily avoid this - and extend the life of your equipment - by scheduling seasonal maintenance checks with a licensed HVAC company.

2. Low Soil Line

Soil erosion along the foundation is another issue we commonly see in North Texas. Soil helps support the foundation and leaving the foundation exposed can cause damage. Soil erosion is caused by water carrying soil away along the edges of your house. If you have soil erosion, make sure your rain gutters are working properly, carrying water away from the foundation. Rain causes natural erosion in homes built on an incline, and you may need to replace soil periodically.

3. Old, Out-dated Equipment

On older homes, you often see equipment or materials that are no longer in common use (like cast iron pipes or Fed-Pac electrical panels) or that have outlived their best functionality. Some of these repairs and replacements can be quite costly - better to fix them now while you can enjoy the new equipment and make decisions while not under the stress of a contract.

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