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(My San Antonio)   Texas has established new home inspection laws. Let's just say they're bootstrappy   (blog.mysanantonio.com) divider line 104
    More: Asinine, TREC Commissioners, home inspection, Texas, Legal liability, residential construction, TREC, Advisory Committee, Code of Federal Regulations  
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5514 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Feb 2014 at 2:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-11 01:09:52 PM  
Texas has led the nation in structural failures. Foundation failures often occur when improper drainage is present. In just another week the new SoP will allow Inspectors to ignore this condition and not even mention to their client that the drainage is capable of causing foundation damage.

How is this not a source of liability for the state?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-02-11 01:15:07 PM  
When the Real Estate lobby writes the regulations that's what you get.
 
2014-02-11 02:21:14 PM  

vpb: When the Real Estate lobby writes the regulations that's what you get.



Hey, as sure as my name is David, the Weekley efforts of our great legislature protect us....and I don't think Perry would let anything happen to our Homes.
 
2014-02-11 02:54:08 PM  
Would you hire an inspector that would comply with these new regulations?  If so then you're a dumbass who deserves what happens.
 
2014-02-11 02:55:18 PM  
Wait a second...  I hire a home inspector before I buy.  And he's not bound by law or contract to give me the information I supposedly hired a home inspector for?
 
2014-02-11 02:57:57 PM  
Good news though,


Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes can start all new shows from Texas and biatch about the crappy craftsmanship
 
2014-02-11 03:00:11 PM  
You should see the 20 page book that a home inspector fills out for an inspection in New York to give to prospective buyers. They go over everything in great detail.

When I first bought my house, the inspector went into great detail to describe to me how water can get into a basement, and what I can do to combat it if necessary. They are thorough and professional.

Thankfully, my basement is nice and dry.

Texas really needs to reconsider this legislation. A house is an important money sink/ investment, they're going to drive people out of Texas with this crap.
 
2014-02-11 03:01:42 PM  
As a buyer, can I hire my own inspector that actually...inspects, or are they all under control of TREC?
 
2014-02-11 03:03:20 PM  

NutWrench: Texas has led the nation in structural failures. Foundation failures often occur when improper drainage is present. In just another week the new SoP will allow Inspectors to ignore this condition and not even mention to their client that the drainage is capable of causing foundation damage.

How is this not a source of liability for the state?


It's what they're looking for; it's just good old fashioned "get the government out of our hair" deregulation.

Every man for himself and the collective good can go fark itself.

If you can't tell whether the foundation of the house you're about to buy is a piece of shiat, then you're a subhuman and don't deserve proper dwelling. Why on earth should the government be responsible for protecting you from your own ignorance?

And still no Texas tag?
 
2014-02-11 03:03:44 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: As a buyer, can I hire my own inspector that actually...inspects, or are they all under control of TREC?


Sounds like by the new law they're not required to tell you squat.
 
2014-02-11 03:04:05 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: Would you hire an inspector that would comply with these new regulations?  If so then you're a dumbass who deserves what happens.


How would you know?

"Say, you're not one of those crooked home inspectors, who isn't going to tell me about my bad foundation, now that the law doesn't require you to, are you?"

"Ya caught me, pardner, I sure am!"

"See, I wondered, when you sat in the back yard and drank a six pack, instead of crawling around in the basement."

What does the State of Texas expect homebuyers/sellers to do here? Hire multiple inspectors to inspect the same house? Hope that the "free market" sets up some kind of third party rating system for inspectors, that can somehow remain independant?
 
2014-02-11 03:05:38 PM  
So, I'm thinking some politician's house inspector buddy got sued for being terrible at his job, and that politician got this change passed by couching it as "limited government intrusion".
 
2014-02-11 03:05:40 PM  

mainstreet62: You should see the 20 page book that a home inspector fills out for an inspection in New York to give to prospective buyers. They go over everything in great detail.

When I first bought my house, the inspector went into great detail to describe to me how water can get into a basement, and what I can do to combat it if necessary. They are thorough and professional.

Thankfully, my basement is nice and dry.

Texas really needs to reconsider this legislation. A house is an important money sink/ investment, they're going to drive people out of Texas with this crap.


There are no basements in Texas.

I thought King of the Hill covered this?
 
2014-02-11 03:14:05 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: As a buyer, can I hire my own inspector that actually...inspects, or are they all under control of TREC?


Licensing.

/Considers new business: Home inspection in Texas, where people pay you to not work.
 
2014-02-11 03:19:53 PM  
I'd always assumed that the home inspection was for the benefit of the lender rather than the (prospective) homeowner.  When the lenders start having the underlying collateral evaporate into a construction defect mess, those lenders will refuse to lend in Texas.  No lending, home prices drop.  Home prices drop, real estate taxes drop.
 
2014-02-11 03:20:54 PM  
As a viewer of Fox news I know that regulations cost jobs so I can only imagine that Texas has negative unemploment
 
2014-02-11 03:22:42 PM  

mightybaldking: Wait a second...  I hire a home inspector before I buy.  And he's not bound by law or contract to give me the information I supposedly hired a home inspector for?


jeebus you *hire* one, it's not like you're issued one by the state. Ask around and speak to your hopefully soon-to-be new neighbors about who they used and if they were trustworthy. Furthermore, you shouldn't be hiring anyone without a couple of references regardless of whether or not they have licenses/certifications/whatever. A bad reputation for a home inspector would be career suicide.
 
2014-02-11 03:22:45 PM  
Is anyone surprised?  This is the same state that allows home buyers to be charged with trespassing for attempting to ensure that their home builders are doing their jobs correctly.

I'm googling like mad and I can't seem to find it, but I clearly remember reading about a case where a homeowner was paying for a house to be built, went onto the property and found defects in the home, attempted to get the builder to correct the defects, then got sued by the developer and/or had criminal charges laid for trespassing on the property they were about to own.  Pretty farked up.
 
2014-02-11 03:26:31 PM  
I could be wrong, but just from reading this thread, it sounds like home inspectors in Texas are not required to inform you about any problems they find in the course of their inspection. Is this incorrect?
 
2014-02-11 03:28:13 PM  

NightSteel: Is anyone surprised?  This is the same state that allows home buyers to be charged with trespassing for attempting to ensure that their home builders are doing their jobs correctly.

I'm googling like mad and I can't seem to find it, but I clearly remember reading about a case where a homeowner was paying for a house to be built, went onto the property and found defects in the home, attempted to get the builder to correct the defects, then got sued by the developer and/or had criminal charges laid for trespassing on the property they were about to own.  Pretty farked up.


When you purchase a new build house in Texas, your contract does not allow you to access the job site without written permission of the builder.
 
2014-02-11 03:28:18 PM  

NutWrench: Texas has led the nation in structural failures. Foundation failures often occur when improper drainage is present. In just another week the new SoP will allow Inspectors to ignore this condition and not even mention to their client that the drainage is capable of causing foundation damage.

How is this not a source of liability for the state?


Liability for the state? Hahaha...

Foundation damage, that they're talking about here, doesn't happen overnight, and most of these foundation problems likely stem from the great subdivision buildouts of the late 70's through early 90's in Texas. Statute of limitations on such things is usually about a year after the foundation is poured, and most houses won't start showing signs, at earliest, until a few years after that.

A 'long' time ago, most of Texas was under water. So when all that water finally left, and all that silt and dirt remained, with time, it turned to clay. The problem with building on clay, is that it expands and contracts with humidity, drought, and rainfall. A LOT! So when you build on water soaked soil in early spring, and mid summer drought hits, you now have gaping holes and cracks in the soil around your entire foundation, and beneath as well. Stress commences and the house starts to shift!

Per the article... The upcoming Minimum Inspection Standards allow Inspectors to  ignore these CFR requirements.

Eww! State standards bypassing Federal requirements? This sounds fun!

That said, with these new inspector rules, or lack thereof? They're finally codifying what the majority of the inspectors in Texas have been doing for decades. It's now legal as home buyer beware. And in reality, it always has been in Texas. It now comes down to buyers knowing what to look for, or paying someone ELSE who does, for signs of damage or impending damage down the road for any house they're looking at. The kicker here, IMO, is that realty companies will start having their 'own' inspectors, and put clauses into contracts, writing themselves out of any wrongdoing on all these older houses should something go wrong.

Liability? With this, Texas has pretty much washed its hands of any liability for any house within its state. Someone with backing might sue the TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission), who is behind all this, and I hope that happens, but that's a long and costly battle with political maneuvering involved.

In the meantime, people have shifting houses, increasing property taxes, and decreasing home values. I know of one family, who, to fix their foundation on a 2500ft^2 house, spent $50000. One house I lived in, and brother still owns, has a giant cavern underneath the foundation of the seperated 2 car garage, where water would wash under and pull away dirt. Yes, a freaking cavern! You could climb into it, if you were brave enough.

The alternative? Build supports to bedrock, which isn't cheap. And good luck getting that through city zoning in a subdivided area, since you aren't commercial.
 
2014-02-11 03:30:28 PM  

coylecn: I'd always assumed that the home inspection was for the benefit of the lender rather than the (prospective) homeowner.  When the lenders start having the underlying collateral evaporate into a construction defect mess, those lenders will refuse to lend in Texas.  No lending, home prices drop.  Home prices drop, real estate taxes drop.


Came to say exactly THIS.  I did some consulting for the Risk Management division of a major bank, and you can bet that these folks are already on top of the situation.
 
2014-02-11 03:34:02 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: Would you hire an inspector that would comply with these new regulations?  If so then you're a dumbass who deserves what happens.


Is there any way to hire a better inspector?
 
2014-02-11 03:37:03 PM  
considering the state wide home lease agreement that realtors won't seem to budge on includes "you will agree to have a keypad lock thing put on your door during the last month of the lease or at any time the property owner decides to put it on the market" i can't say i'm shocked
 
2014-02-11 03:37:34 PM  
stay classy texas
 
2014-02-11 03:43:27 PM  
Texas has led the nation in structural failures.

I have to assume the liberals are behind that.
 
2014-02-11 03:43:38 PM  
Just like having your own Realtor, you should have your own inspector.


The inspector you pay for will do what you need.

Strangely enough, you need to hire your own lawyer when you go to a civil suit as well.
 
2014-02-11 03:44:15 PM  

vpb: When the Real Estate lobby writes the regulations that's what you get.


NutWrench: Texas has led the nation in structural failures. Foundation failures often occur when improper drainage is present. In just another week the new SoP will allow Inspectors to ignore this condition and not even mention to their client that the drainage is capable of causing foundation damage.

How is this not a source of liability for the state?


That's what home insurance is for.

And until just recently, we had the highest home insurance premiums in the country.

FREEDUM!!!!111
 
2014-02-11 03:46:22 PM  
Whats the big deal? The invisible hand should fix this. If houses keep collapsing or asphyxiating families, then consumers will just stop buying houses. Then the prices will fall and suppliers will have to start providing non-deadly houses. I don't see the problem. After all, when has a collapsed house, or a dramatic plummet in housing prices ever hurt anyone?
 
2014-02-11 03:47:26 PM  
Long as it saves me a couple bucks, who cares...right?

/yeeeeehaw
 
2014-02-11 03:51:42 PM  
Since we are talking about Texas, I'm surprised there are any regulations at all.  They don't need no damn inspections and regulations, a house is just a place to put down your guns and prop up your boots.  Don't need no damn govment man to tell me my house is a sinkin' when I can clearly see that for myself.
 
2014-02-11 03:57:53 PM  

poorjon: Whats the big deal? The invisible hand should fix this


jesus is my home inspector
 
2014-02-11 04:00:11 PM  
previewcf.turbosquid.com
www.kiki.org
activerain.com

fark the people. fark them hard and dirty.
 
2014-02-11 04:01:10 PM  
If your house crumbles, it's simply Jesus punishing you for watching Modern Family and taking a yearly vacation.
 
2014-02-11 04:05:42 PM  
One more reason I would never live in Texas.
 
2014-02-11 04:09:19 PM  

jst3p: One more reason I would never live in Texas.


Good.  Please don't.  Tell your friends, too.
 
2014-02-11 04:12:54 PM  
One episode of How the States Got Their Shapes mentions that Texas (I think Houston specifically) has no zoning laws - the example was a guy whose house was next to a rollercoaster.

Anyway, if the inspector is under no obligation to tell you what they found, what good would finding another inspector do you, if the next one is under no obligation either? Hope you can find one, or get a new career in home inspection?

Come to think of it, what WOULD they be obligated to say? "We inspected the house"? WTF good is that?
 
2014-02-11 04:14:12 PM  

Dr Dreidel: Come to think of it, what WOULD they be obligated to say?


their price
 
2014-02-11 04:23:31 PM  
Texas where we have the finest government that money can buy and often does!
 
2014-02-11 04:34:34 PM  

jayhawk88: Smeggy Smurf: Would you hire an inspector that would comply with these new regulations?  If so then you're a dumbass who deserves what happens.

How would you know?

"Say, you're not one of those crooked home inspectors, who isn't going to tell me about my bad foundation, now that the law doesn't require you to, are you?"

"Ya caught me, pardner, I sure am!"

"See, I wondered, when you sat in the back yard and drank a six pack, instead of crawling around in the basement."

What does the State of Texas expect homebuyers/sellers to do here? Hire multiple inspectors to inspect the same house? Hope that the "free market" sets up some kind of third party rating system for inspectors, that can somehow remain independant?


By writing it into the home inspection contract that they will inspect and report everything.  That's the funny thing about contracts, the wording can change prior to signing.
 
2014-02-11 04:39:13 PM  
Yeah, shiat like this is apparently rampant in Phoenix... Years ago, my buddy's girlfriend bought a house, had the inspection done, moved in and found out they needed a new furnace and some other major repairs, immediately. When she asked what she paid for, she was informed that the term "licensed" is used rather loosely for inspectors there.

OTOH, when I was looking at buying the home we almost got, the guy spent 2 or 3 hours in there, and looked at EVERYTHING, even putting a thermometer in the oven, heating it up, and logging the time the oven took to heat to temp, as well as how accurate the thermostat was. I was very happy with the inspection.
 
2014-02-11 04:41:54 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: By writing it into the home inspection contract that they will inspect and report everything.  That's the funny thing about contracts, the wording can change prior to signing.


They provide their own contracts, the customer doesn't. And all they have to do is put in their contract that they will comply with state laws regarding home inspection. If you don't like it, you're free to find another inspector. Or another. Or another. Or another. You'll soon find that they only rise to the level that they are required to.

Besides, people don't know this. Do you think the entire state of Texas has seen this story? People see that someone is licensed and they believe that the licensing is in their best interests.
 
2014-02-11 04:49:18 PM  

mightybaldking: Wait a second...  I hire a home inspector before I buy.  And he's not bound by law or contract to give me the information I supposedly hired a home inspector for?


The "information" as required by law...
 
2014-02-11 04:50:04 PM  

socodog: jst3p: One more reason I would never live in Texas.

Good.  Please don't.  Tell your friends, too.


They already know.
 
2014-02-11 04:51:24 PM  
If I'm paying the inspector, THEY WORK FOR ME! They should not be allowed to mislead me or they should be liable for fraud and negligence.
 
2014-02-11 05:03:55 PM  
cold_weather_tex:
Foundation damage, that they're talking about here, doesn't happen overnight, and most of these foundation problems likely stem from the great subdivision buildouts of the late 70's through early 90's in Texas. Statute of limitations on such things is usually about a year after the foundation is poured, and most houses won't start showing signs, at earliest, until a few years after that.

By way of explanation, in a great part of Texas houses are built without what would be called, in the traditional sense, a foundation, no excavation to below the frost line topped with the running of several courses of concrete block to raise the finished floor above the surrounding dirt. Without a frost line of any importance, Texican houses are simply slab-on-grade, nothing more than concrete poured on the bare ground and troweled off. But if you have noticed what a tree root can do to a sidewalk you may appreciate the frailty of this design.
 
2014-02-11 05:08:56 PM  

Mr. Shabooboo: If I'm paying the inspector, THEY WORK FOR ME! They should not be allowed to mislead me or they should be liable for fraud and negligence.


Sorry, the free-market efficiencies here aren't for you.

Great for the housing/inspector market, never the plebs.
 
2014-02-11 05:11:51 PM  

mainstreet62: Ythey're going to drive people out of Texas with this crap.



t3.gstatic.com
 
2014-02-11 05:15:07 PM  
Usually you do NOT hire the inspector.

A lot of the time, the inspector is hired by the bank or by the current home owner (that way it gets paid for once, and multiple potential buyers don't have to repeat the inspection).

Which means that NO, you can't look for a reliable home inspector.  You often can't even ask them to sign a piece of paper saying that there are no problems with the house, because they don't work for you, they work for someone else.
 
2014-02-11 05:17:27 PM  

tarkin1: Usually you do NOT hire the inspector.

A lot of the time, the inspector is hired by the bank or by the current home owner (that way it gets paid for once, and multiple potential buyers don't have to repeat the inspection).

Which means that NO, you can't look for a reliable home inspector.  You often can't even ask them to sign a piece of paper saying that there are no problems with the house, because they don't work for you, they work for someone else.


In Colorado, after the whole mortgage crisis, you are required to get the inspector and pay him out of pocket. The current home owner paying for it is a CLEAR conflict of interest. YMMV
 
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