Imagine buying a home only to discover that there is a serious problem with the roof a few weeks after closing. How would you feel? Terrible, I bet! For that reason, a home inspection is an essential step during the closing process. But, if you’re in the middle of buying a new home in Texas, you may be considering whether to do a home inspection or not.

A home inspection is not a requirement when buying a house in Texas; while an inspection is very important, homebuyers may decide or not decide to have one done. Generally, lenders will instead request a home appraisal to evaluate the worth of the home.

However, home appraisals are not the same as a home inspection. In the following sections, we will discuss more on their differences and why it is highly recommended that you still request an inspection before buying any home in Texas.

Home Inspection vs. Home Appraisal

Unlike a home appraisal, the buyer usually organizes a home inspection to find out more about the physical state of the property they intend to buy. Generally, it is for you to be satisfied with the condition of the home you are buying.

You will need to hire an inspector to find out possible issues with the property. Depending on the report from the inspection, you may decide to back out of the purchase or further negotiate for credit or a lower purchase price.

A home appraisal is organized by the lender or mortgage company but paid for by the buyer. Lenders order for a home appraisal to find out the true worth of the property. Your lender wants to know if the value of the property is worth the loan amount you’re asking for.

If the value of the home is higher than the loan amount you are asking for, you are more likely to get approved. But if the value of the property is lower than the purchase price, your lender may decide to deny the loan or request that you increase your down payment.

Importance of Doing a Home Inspection

For some individuals, buying a home is a major decision, and often they feel the need to skip on the critical details—such as getting a home inspection done—due to being in a rush to move in or close the sale. However, below are some of the top reasons why you should do a home inspection:

  • Identify repair issues. A home inspection allows you to identify any current or potential problems with the home. It makes you feel confident about the state of the house you are buying.
  • You can use a home inspection as a contingency in your contract. By using a home inspection as a contingency, you can easily back out of the deal with your full earnest money.
  • You can use it as a tool for negotiation. You can easily use your home inspection findings as a tool for effective negotiations with the seller. You may either request that the seller fix the issue or offer you credit towards the repair or closing costs.
  • It shows you red flags. Sometimes, new homes may even have certain underlying repair issues. By doing an inspection, it prevents you from buying a money pit or the wrong property.

Cost of Home Inspection in Texas

The average cost of doing a home inspection in Texas is around $315 for condos and spaces below 1000 square feet. For homes larger than 2500 square feet, you may have to spend about $400 and above.

Also, your potential home’s location and additional inspection services will most likely raise the price to around $500-$1000. The average home inspection timeline in Texas is approximately 1-4 hours, but the reports are usually available 3-7 days after the inspection.

What Does/Doesn’t a Home Inspection Cover?

We all know that no two homes are the same. So, what a home inspection covers will vary based on the type of home you’re looking at. The American Society of Home Inspectors recommends that its certified inspectors thoroughly inspect the following areas:

  • The attic, including the condition of insulation
  • The basement or crawlspace
  • The general condition of the ceiling and interior walls
  • The general condition of windows, doors, and door frames
  • The general condition of floors and the foundation
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Interior electrical (wiring) and plumbing 
  • The general condition of the roof structure

There are also a few limits to what a home inspector can check. They include:

  • Additional structures separate from the home, such as a shed, a barn, etc.
  • Chimneys
  • Interior wall spaces
  • Septic tanks and well pump

However, just because an inspector isn’t allowed to check certain parts of the home doesn’t mean you can’t have those parts checked. Often, the inspector you hire may be able to offer additional services or refer you to a professional at an additional cost.

Final Thoughts

When buying a home in Texas, you should always insist on doing a home inspection before closing on the purchase; the pros of doing a home inspection always outweigh the cons. And, when you are ready to hire a home inspector, make sure you pick a professional with experience in home construction to ensure you get the most thorough results possible.