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Buyer’s Inspection

A Buyer’s Home Inspection is obtained by the buyer during the option period. The Inspection Report is often used as a negotiating tool to get the sellers to make needed repairs or to reduce the price.
When performing a Buyer’s Inspection, we look at everything inside and out:

** Outside the home, we check the foundation, exterior walls, roof, driveway, sprinkler system and deck.

** Inside the home we examine the walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows.

** The heating, air-conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems will all be examined to ensure that they function as intended.

** Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms receive a thorough check, along with the attic.

** We also make sure that all of your appliances are working correctly.

** In addition, the fireplace, electrical panel, water heater, and even the doorbell are checked.

All basic buyer’s inspections meet the standards of practice defined by the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Pre-Listing Inspection

A Pre-Listing Inspection is obtained by the seller either before or shortly after listing the property for sale.

Having an inspection at the time the property is listed allows the seller time to make repairs before they are picked up by the buyer’s inspection and used as negotiating points to bring the price down.

Buyer’s negotiate in thousands, not hundreds! Buyers typically expect a $2 to $3 reduction for every $1 worth of defects turned up by their inspector. Having an inspection can minimize price negotiations.

Essentially, the pre-listing inspection is the same as the buyer’s inspection.

Warranty Inspection

A warranty inspection is performed for people whose homes are approaching their one year anniversary. A warranty inspection is similar to the buyer’s inspection – all of the major systems are inspected and an infrared scan is performed on the entire house.

The warranty inspection also includes the foundation level measurement.

The primary difference between a warranty inspection and a buyer’s inspection is that the appliances and sprinkler system are not routinely checked in a warranty inspection.

Chances are that if you’ve lived in the house for nearly a year, you don’t need anyone to tell you that the microwave doesn’t work. The focus is on the items that you, as the homeowner, might not see.

Home Health Check Up

You have your car inspected every year. But what about your house? Your car is worth thousands. Your house is worth hundreds of thousands and early detection of problems can save you thousands.

Most things that go wrong in a house are relatively inexpensive to fix if they are found before major damage is done.

A home health checkup is similar to a warranty inspection.

Residential Rental Property Inspections

Maintaining a residential property requires active care and preventive maintenance to ensure the longevity of your home. In the case of rental housing, most owners do not live on-site and this means some maintenance issues are not attended to. Tenants are not expert and they may not realize that something needs attention until it fails completely.

Despite one’s best effort to screen applicants in order to find the most qualified tenants, great credit scores, and on-time rent payments do not always reflect great home maintenance behavior. In fact, a lot of renters find one of the perks of rental housing includes the ability to defer home maintenance responsibilities to property managers and owners.

The best way to ensure your rental property is properly maintained and in great condition is to conduct regular inspections. Inspections provide 2 key benefits to rental property owners:

You will identify any maintenance issues that need to be fixed before they become expensive problems.

You can make sure your tenants are following lease terms and taking care of tenant required maintenance.

Make sure to keep excellent records of your inspections, including notes with dates and pictures. Inspection reports and paperwork help you keep track of the condition of your property, and can also serve as legal documents if anything happens to your rental home. Keep inspection reports and maintenance files stored electronically in your property management software account, which should provide unlimited cloud-based storage options linked directly to a property or a tenant for easy access and reference.

Move-In Inspection

Each lease term should begin with a move-in inspection conducted by you and your tenants. Move-in inspections document the condition of your property at the start of tenancy so you have a dated reference for any damage to the property, beyond normal wear and tear. Every room, wall, floor, window, door, appliance, faucet, light fixture, window treatment, etc. should be reviewed to ensure it is working properly. Any scuffs, dents, thumbtack holes, (really, anything big or small) should be recorded and photographed.

Inspection checklists allow you to rate the condition of everything at the property and take detailed notes. Both you and your tenants should sign and date the move-in inspection paperwork to indicate mutual agreement about the condition of the property at move-in. You will use your move-in inspection paperwork during move-out to determine if any of the tenant’s deposit will be retained for cleaning or repairs.

Move-Out Inspection

The move-out inspection is your opportunity to determine the overall condition of the property when your tenant moves out. As part of your lease agreement, your tenant should understand they are expected to return the property in the same condition as they received it when moving in. Your move-out inspection should reference your move-in inspection paperwork and notes should be made about how the property compares to its condition at the start of the tenancy and what needs to be done in order to return the property to rent-ready condition, including repairs and cleaning. Any tenant caused damage or cleaning, beyond normal wear and tear, can be deducted from your tenant’s security deposit. Conducting a move-out inspection with your tenant is a great way to avoid tenant disputes over any deductions you made to their security deposit refund.

Seasonal Inspection

Seasonal inspections go hand and hand with seasonal maintenance. Each season calls for exterior and interior preventative maintenance at your property, like cleaning gutters every fall or weatherizing water pipes in the winter. Since you will be on the property for seasonal maintenance, it is the perfect time to conduct a routine inspection. Seasonal inspections allow you to ensure lease compliance and asses the property for any needed repairs. An inspection can give you a chance to offer helpful pointers to your tenants about things they could be doing differently to take better care of the unit (remind them that proper care will help them get their security deposit back when they vacate). Inspect the interior and exterior of the property to make sure everything is in great condition. Program reminders in your property management software for seasonal inspections and maintenance.

Drive-By Inspection

Simply driving by your property in between seasonal inspections allows you to check on the condition of your property without needing to coordinate schedules with your tenants. A drive-by inspection can reveal unauthorized pets, long-term guests or other lease violations that a tenant wasn’t able to hide from you since they were unaware of your visit. You do not need to give your tenants notice before conducting drive-by inspections if you do not enter the interior, but remember if you do drive-bys too often, you could disrupt your tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment and their privacy. Nosy or intrusive landlords will likely annoy their tenants and hurt their chances of long-term tenancy. If you notice any issues that need to be addressed during your drive-by be sure to notify your tenant in writing and offer ways for how they need to fix the problem.

Other Types of Inspection

Beyond the inspections listed above, here are some additional types of inspections rental property owners should be aware of:

PRE-MOVE-OUT INSPECTION:

In order to streamline turnover, some management companies conduct pre-move-out inspections. Pre-move-out inspections typically happen within the 30 days prior to move-out. A pre-move-out inspection allows management to point out what a tenant needs to do in order to return the property back to move-in condition. This can include cleaning and any repairs a tenant can do to prevent you from withholding their security deposit. Pre-move-out inspections are beneficial to management as they provide insight about how much time, money, and types of repairs or cleaning they will need to be prepared for in order to make the rental move-in ready for the next lease.

PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION:

If you’re planning to purchase an investment property always get it inspected (which is generally required when obtaining financing). Property inspections will give you the information that you need to calculate for future expenses like the age of the roof, windows, heating system, etc. These major property fixtures all have a lifespan and if they are nearing the end you will need to budget and plan for replacing those items. Knowing the condition of the home will also give you the information for negotiating the price. If a lot of work is going to be needed in the near future this is a bargaining chip that you need to use when coming up with a price to offer on the home. An inspection may also reveal information that will tell you if you should walk (or run) away from a home. If the property has foundation issues, outdated electrical, or plumbing it may be better to continue your search.

Monitor Important Appliances and property fixtures. Service large appliances regularly to prevent damage from poor operation. Trying to save money on appliances can cost you more in the long run when something eventually breaks or requires emergency maintenance. Important appliances and fixtures to pay attention to include: roof, HVAC system, exterior paint, windows, fridge, dishwasher, oven/stove, water heater, washer/dryer.

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