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Inspecting a Home in Dallas

By Debbie Murray

Once a contract has been executed for the purchase of a home, buyers are allowed an inspection (or option period) to inspect the home. A typical home inspection would include the general inspection plus a termite inspection. However, buyers may want to consider a structural home inspection as well due to the fact that Dallas has experienced drought conditions in recent years and many areas have had water rationing enforced.

One inspection that is frequently overlooked during the option period is the buyer obtaining the CLUE (Casualty Loss Underwriting Exchange) report from their local insurance agent. The CLUE report reveals the insurance claims and losses on a home for the prior years. This information is valuable, and it should correspond with the same information which a seller has disclosed on a seller’s disclosure.

If area safety is a priority to a buyer, information may be obtained from online sources such as www.familywatchdog.us or www.dallaspolice.net.

Information on environmental inspections is available at www2.epa.gov/lead. And remember if you are purchasing a home built prior to 1978, you may want to hire an EPA certified contractor when remodeling. In 2010, a law was passed that contractors be certified in the removal of potential hazards such as lead base paint. This certification lasts for 5 years and information about lead-safe contractors is online.

The survey could be considered an inspection in that a surveyor who performs a survey will give a buyer current information on a new survey. Many sellers produce surveys and affidavits to buyers during a real estate transaction. However, surveys may be outdated. A home which was located in a flood plain years ago may no longer be in a flood plain and vice-versa. Most local real estate attorneys advise that buyers obtain new surveys, and buyers who do this upfront during the option period may opt out if they dislike the surveys findings.

The appraisal could be considered an inspection as the appraiser does consider the condition of the home when giving his/her opinion of value. Getting the appraisal done up front aids buyers who want to verify that a home is worth the negotiated sales price.

Buyer beware during the inspection period! Money spent upfront may save you thousands down the road.

Broker/Realtor® Debbie Murray helps luxury home buyers in the Dallas area find their dream home. Contact Debbie at 214-558-1004.