Are you in the process of buying a new home? Purchasing a new home is exciting. However, it can also bring stress and anxiety as you try to make sure that you are making a sound decision and safe investment in your family’s future. One of the best tools to help you in the decision-making process is the home inspection. Your Houston Home Inspection report will contain a wealth of information regarding your prospective home. It will address many facets of the home, its systems and components. It will contain descriptions, photographs, diagrams and a list of defects ranging from minor and inconsequential items to potentially major issues. It’s a great resource both for your purchase decision and for the ongoing ownership process. The volume of information, combined with the stress of the decision-making process and the limited time afforded in you option period can make it all seem a bit daunting. What is one to do?

Relax. No house is perfect. Every house that your Houston Home Inspector inspects has numerous defects. Fortunately, most of the defects tend not to be serious. Many items may not make sense to address by themselves, may simply have maintenance implications while others may not be worth correcting at all. While we believe that all of these items are important things to know as a homeowner, many of these individual items are not likely to be factors in your purchase decision. Don’t worry about how many items or how many pages are in the report. Focus on the individual items and which ones are truly significant to you purchase decision and negotiating process. Your inspector will help you to understand the significance of the various report items and your agent can help you with any potential negotiations or follow-ups. Your inspection report will emphasize those items that the inspector believes may be of greater importance to you. These items will stand out in the report. However, because each family’s needs and priorities are different, it’s important that you read the full report so that you may decide what items are of greatest importance to you.

Remember, it’s not the number of items that matters so much as the nature and significance of the individual items that are important (i.e., the big stuff). The issues that really matter will typically fall into a few broad categories:

  1. Life Safety Issues – examples may include: gas leaks, fire hazards, exposed electrical components, carbon monoxide hazards and the like.
  2. Major Defects – examples may include: structural failure, roofs needing replacement, HVAC system failures and the like.
  3. Progressive Issues (i.e., things that may lead to major defects and secondary damage if not corrected in a timely manner) – examples include almost any type of moisture related issue, whether from the exterior, plumbing, HVAC systems, etc.

Anything in these categories should be considered from both the perspective of their cost and urgency. Often times a life safety issue, though very urgent, may not have a large cost associated with correcting it. On the other hand, an aging roof system might be slightly less urgent but could have a very high cost associated with the repair.

Remember, no house is perfect and it doesn’t make financial sense to try to make them so. Just because it’s in the report doesn’t mean it has to be fixed (your home inspector’s own house has plenty of defects too). Only you can decide what is acceptable to you.