Common Inspections Performed in Texas Home Purchases
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Unless you're selling a house in as-is condition, offers you receive from buyers will almost always contain a contingency of an option period. The option period allows a buyer to schedule any inspections they want done to make sure the home doesn't have any issues that are typically unnoticeable during showings such as termites, roof problems, mold, etc. Inspections are almost always done at the buyer's expense.
Key points from this article:
- Home Inspections are Essential for Informed Decisions – In Texas, home inspections are a critical step for buyers. They provide a comprehensive understanding of the property's condition, covering structural integrity, systems, and components.
- Variety of Inspections for Comprehensive Analysis – Different types of inspections, such as general home, termite, foundation, and pool inspections, each focus on specific property aspects. This variety ensures a thorough evaluation of potential issues or necessary repairs.
- Strategic Timing During the Option Period – Conducting inspections during the option period is a strategic move. It allows buyers to negotiate repairs or reconsider the purchase based on the inspection findings, safeguarding their investment.
- Advantages for Sellers in Pre-listing Inspections – For sellers, conducting pre-listing inspections can be beneficial. Identifying and addressing issues before listing the property can enhance its appeal to buyers and streamline the selling process.
Disclaimer – The information on this page is intended for general informational purposes only and not to provide legal advice.
Because inspections cost the buyers money, buyers usually wait until they have the home under contract to have them performed. To compensate a seller for taking their home off the market temporarily for the option period an option fee is paid to the seller by the buyer.
The option period allows the buyer to negotiate repairs or renegotiate the purchase price based on any issues their inspections may have found with the seller. If an agreement cannot be reached, the buyer has the option to terminate the contract and receive all of their earnest money back.
Below, we'll discuss some of the more common inspections buyers perform, as well as the average cost of each inspection type in Texas.
General home inspection
The general home inspection is the most standard inspection performed and will often be the springboard to deciding whether or not to pursue additional inspections based on the home inspector's feedback and report. Typically, a general home inspector will recommend further inspections for any item they see may have a potential issue, but that they are not trained to inspect fully.
The average cost of a home inspection in Texas is about $350-$600 and varies based on the size of the home.
Pest inspection (termites)
Termites can be a costly resident of a home. The cost to get rid of termites and repair any damage they caused can easily amount to thousands of dollars. Getting a termite inspection done before buying a home is common and good practice.
The average cost of a termite inspection in Texas is about $100-$150 but can vary based on the size of the home.
A private pool is a great amenity, but if it has issues, it could carry a big expense to repair. A pool inspection is separate from a standard home inspection. The inspector will inspect the pool structure and the pool equipment to determine their condition and identify any problems.
The average cost of a pool inspection in Texas is about $150-$250.
Lead-based paint inspection
If a home was built before 1978, the buyer is required to be served with the Information on Lead-Based Paint and Lead-Based Paint Hazards form by federal law. That's because it is no uncommon for homes built before 1978 to contain lead paint. A lead inspection will vary in cost depending on the size of the home. Many homeowners sign the notice and never have an inspection performed. Whether or not to inspect the home is a personal decision.
On average, you can expect to pay $200-$500 for a lead inspection in Texas.
This inspection is exactly what it infers – an inspection that is focused solely on the roof of the home. Standard home inspectors are not specialists in roofing. They can determine if there's an obvious problem, but if they do, they'll typically you call out a roof inspector to do a more qualified examination to see if the roof is damaged or in need of repair.
The average cost of a roof inspection in Texas is about $150-$300.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. If there is a concern about the heating and cooling units or framework in the home, you may want to consider having an HVAC inspection performed. You can call an HVAC specialist to come out and inspect the units, ductwork, and any other components of the system.
The average cost of an HVAC inspection in Texas is about $250-$500, depending on the number of heating and air conditioning units and the size of the home.
If the home you're planning to purchase has a fireplace, your inspector may recommend a chimney inspection if he or she notices any visible potential issues or defects. While a general home inspector can inspect the firebox of the fireplace, the chimney requires someone with specialty camera equipment to be able to inspect it thoroughly.
The average cost of a chimney inspection in Texas is about $75-$150.
If your general home inspector notices any issues with the electrical systems of a home, they might suggest having an electrical inspection performed by a licensed electrician. This suggestion may be made if a home is seen to have knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring, or if the home was wired before many standard safety regulations were put into place.
The average cost of an electrical inspection in Texas is about $100-$175 but can vary based on the size of the home.
Foundation issues can cost thousands of dollars to repair. If your home inspector notices any issues with the foundation, you may want to call in a foundation inspector to assess the status of the foundation before moving forward with the purchase.
The average cost of a foundation inspection test in Texas is about $300-$600 and varies based on the size of the home.
Some homes get their water from a well supply instead of a city water supply. A well can be seen as a benefit by some potential homeowners because it means there is no water bill or MUD taxes assessed for the home. If a home has a well supply, buyers may want the sale to be contingent on the well passing both an equipment and a water quality test.
The average cost of a well inspection test in Texas is about $300-$400.
Sewer / septic inspection
Most homes in urban or suburban areas are hooked into the city sewer systems. In more rural or less developed areas, a home's sewage system may be hooked up to a septic tank, which is an underground sewage container that services – and is the financial responsibility – of only one house.
The average lifespan of a septic system is said to be about 25 years. The tank also needs to be emptied – with the frequency timeline depending on the size of the tank and the number of people who occupy the home. You can find a typical pumping schedule here.
The average cost of a septic tank inspection in Texas is about $100-$200.
In the wake of Harvey, some homes coming onto the market are houses that flooded in Harvey and have since been remodeled. Many of these homes were bought by investors. Some investors had the homes tested for mold after remediating and before remodeling – which is the best time for these types of tests to be performed. Others did not.
If you're looking at purchasing a home that flooded, and the seller isn't able to provide you with a mold clearance report or certificate from a licensed state inspector received before the remodeling, you may want to get a mold inspection. You'll find a consumer information sheet on mold from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation here.
The average cost of a mold inspection by a state licensed inspector in Texas is about $350-$800 but varies widely based on the size of the home and the extent to which someone wants it tested.
Radon & Asbestos inspection
Radon is a radioactive gas known to cause lung cancer. According to the EPA, on average, one in fifteen homes in the United States contain elevated radon levels.
Asbestos is a group of mineral materials known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma. Having some small form of asbestos in some of the building materials in homes built before 1980 is not rare. However, this isn't a cause for panic as according to the National Cancer Institute, most people are exposed to minor amounts of asbestos throughout their lives without issue. Most people who get sick from asbestos are those who work in environments with large amounts of asbestos or live with someone who does.
These tests are not standard, but if you suspect a home might have an issue with either, you should have it inspected for them.
The average cost of these inspections in Texas range between $400-$800.
Average inspection costs for the Katy & Houston, Texas areas at a glance
|Inspection Type||Typical Price Range|
|Standard home inspection||$350-$600|
|Pest inspection (termites)||$100-$150|
|Lead-based paint inspection||$200-$500|
|Sewer / septic inspection||$100-$200|
|Radon & Asbestos inspection||$400-$800|