In this interview, Travis from Southern Star Inspections and I talk about how to tell what’s really important in a home inspection in Houston. When you’re buying a house to live in, you’re going to get a lot more emotional and attached to the transaction. I’ve had inspections done where they find every little crack in the brick and every little piece of wood that’s turned this way under the pier and beam of the house.

How do you decipher what’s valuable information and what’s just stated? Because a good inspection report is going to tell you everything, including stuff that’s not significant. And because most people have no idea what they’re looking at, it all sounds like a big deal.

Travis gives us some great tips on how to tell what’s really important in a home inspection.

Find out more about Travis: http://www.cypresshomeinspection.com

Interview

Brian:         Good morning. This is Brian Spitz with Big State Home Buyers. And today we’re going to talk about the importance of home inspections and various questions that you might be interested in addressing about getting your home inspected or buying a home.

And today we have Travis Kepp with Southern Star Inspections. So, thanks very much for coming to be with us on this podcast.

Travis:       Thank you very much for having me.

(0:00:53.5) What’s important on a home inspection in Houston

Brian:         A good topic to talk about is how to tell what’s really important in an inspection in Houston and what isn’t. And so, because I’ve had inspections done and again, when you’re buying a house to live in, you’re going to get a lot more emotional and attached to the transaction.

But I’ve had inspections done where they find every little crack in the brick and every little piece of wood that’s turned this way under the pier and beam of the house, so, how do you, how does one decipher what’s valuable information and what’s just stated. Because a good inspection report is going to tell you everything, including stuff that’s not significant.

Travis:       That’s correct.

Brian:         And because most people have no idea what they’re looking at, it all sounds like a big deal.

Travis:       Exactly. It all seems scary, so to speak. One of the most important things is to really think about when anything comes along with the foundation part of the home. It all starts with the foundation.

So if there is any type of foundation issue, more than just your typical maybe post cable that’s uncovered or a wedge crack at the corner of the foundation, when we start getting into actual separation or movement within the foundation, that would be one of the biggest red flags for a house. Okay?

That would probably be your starting point of figuring out is this home something that we want to move forward with. It always starts with the foundation. After that, it’s mostly going to be, I always say that everything can be fixed, most of the time, other than the foundation.

And basically, what that means is that you might find that I’ve pointed out maybe that your water heater has some corrosion at the hot and cold and in the pictures that I include with the report, man does it look scary. You see rust and corrosion in the pan and stuff.

But you just got to realize that if we’re looking at a house that’s 1976 or so, those are to be expected and everything has its life expectancy. And if it’s close to its life expectancy, or at the end of its life expectancy, then it’s just something that you need to take into consideration.

At that point, I always talk to the realtor or the client and let them know to get with the realtor. And when you get my report, look it over and maybe pick your first five to eight hot items, or your hot buttons, that you would really like to talk to the seller about either fixing or repairing or adjusting the price.

That’s really not my thing but I always suggest that to the client. And then from there, the rest of the items in the inspection report, a lot of times like you said, are just your typical maintenance items. You know? Pick your two weekends out of the year. Turn up the radio. Open up the windows. Hang out there for the weekend. And take care of some of those little punch-out maintenance items that you’re going to find on the report.

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(0:03:22.3) Inspections before on the market

Brian:         Right. And so that brings us back. I think it’s a really good idea we talk about, at another time, the idea of getting it inspected before you go on the market. Because I think as the seller, you know what’s wrong with your house. So it’s not combative. When a buyer comes along and they get an inspector and the inspector’s telling them and they’re telling the realtor and the realtor’s yelling to your realtor, it becomes this whole big thing.

Travis:       Yeah.

Brian:         So if you know up front what’s wrong with the house, then it’s a little easier to sit down and disclose it and talk about it. You know, I notice that in listings, people see “known defects,” because there are disclosures. And if there’s anything wrong with the house after you’ve had an inspection, “known defects.” But “known defects” could mean anything. So I think it’s important to know.

Travis:       Yeah, exactly. If the seller were to have an inspection and there is something that needs to be fixed because it is something major with the home, say a water heater or the roof or, I don’t know, a new A/C condensing unit on the outside, if you take care of that as the seller, well, then that point, that’s not going to make it to the “known defects” on the disclosure, and then you’re going to have more potential buyers coming to take a look at your house.

Brian:         Right.

Travis:       Because some potential buyers might stop at that “defects” or that “known defects” and say, let’s move on to the other one, Mr. or Ms. Realtor. I don’t want to even start there.

Brian:         Right. I mean, there’s no such thing as a perfect house.

Travis:       Exactly. They’re not dropped off trucks. They’re hand-built and like I said, the more you can maintain your home as a homeowner, it will help you then move forward when it comes time to sell your house.

Two weekends out of the year, spring and fall. Just say we’re going to stay at home and take care of this minor caulking around the windows, paint touch-ups, get up in the attic and take a look around.

If you’re competent to get on the roof, take a look at the roof and shingles and things like that.

Brian:         Yeah.

Travis:       It all helps, like you said, the little things that come in the report.

Brian:         Right. And as a seller, I think that if you know these little things, sometimes it’s cheaper to go ahead and replace an item than it is to give a discount. You may not want to come up with the money up front, so for a lot of people, discounting the price to make up with what’s wrong with the house is a good option. But I know on our house, we’re going to replace the roof before we sell it because it’s going to cost me a lot less to replace that roof than a buyer’s going to think that it would cost them.

Travis:       Exactly. You take care of it and there’s more money in it for the seller, I believe, if they were to take care of it on their own, because then they’re not having to use the back and forth of how much are we going to discount the home now, because of these items.

Brian:         Right.

Travis:       And like I said, I think all of that process, if you think about everything we’ve just talked about, how much quicker you can then go through the process of actually just selling the home, rather than the back and forth and the volleyball effect of, hey, discount, take no, do this, we’re going to take this much off, no. And then all that’s kind of taken care of.

Brian:         Right. Interesting. Well, Travis, tell us how people can reach you to do the home inspection.

Travis:       My website is SouthernStarInspections.com. My phone number is 713-817-3957 or you can reach me at [email protected].

Brian:         Very good. And if you would rather skip all of this, of course, we like Travis, but if you’d rather skip all of this and just sell the house, you can contact us at Big State Home Buyers. It’s BigStateHomeBuyers.com or you can call us at 713-570-0570, and we will take our little inspection of the house and buy it from you without any repairs or any cost to you. But, again, great place to go get an inspection, SouthernStarInspections.com.

So thanks very much, Travis.

Brian:         Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me.