SAN ANTONIO — Homes are in demand in San Antonio and it's not even peak season. With multiple showings and offers on the table at times for homes, a local home inspector is sharing his tips to avoid an expensive headache in the future.
"You could save $10,000, easy, within just a couple of hours, most houses, around $5,000,” Fidelity Home Inspection home inspector Michael Street said.
He said, on average, he inspects about 600 homes a year and he’s on a mission to help educate new home owners. Street started a YouTube page where he creates short videos explaining expensive warning signs before buying a home.
Street said it's critical to inspect a home for five major factors, which include the roof, foundation, insulation, the air conditioning unit and termites. He said they are the most expensive fixes in a home and can be easily checked.
To check the roof, he recommends dividing the age of the home by the lifespan of a roof, which is 15 years. He said it will help buyers determine how many roofs have been replaced and a if a new one will be needed soon.
In South Texas, a working air conditioning unit is a must and a simple thermometer can help you determine if it’s working properly. Street said the unit should be 20 degrees cooler than the air coming out of the vent.
"It's around 70 degrees right now and the temperature up here should be about 50 degrees, so you want to have that 20 degree difference,” Street said.
There are several ways to check the foundation, but the most obvious signs to look out for are horizontal cracks inside and outside the home, according to Street. He also recommends checking the door frames to make sure they align with the door. He said if there is a shift in the foundation, the door frame will creating a gap with the door. When he inspects a home, he opts for an advanced device that will pin down how much a foundation has shifted over the years throughout the house.
Insulation can cost thousands and Street said you just have to request a data sheet from the homeowner to find out how much insulation should be in the attic.
"That is going to highly impact the cost of your heating and cooling in this house. You are paying for a full attic of insulation, why settle for less?” Street said.
In March, 1,271 homes sold in San Antonio, a 6.7 percent increase compared to March in 2018, according to SABOR. The average days on the market also dropped to 48 days vs 55 during the same time last year.
"It is a crazy time to sell a house and to buy a house right now, there are so many transactions going on," Street said.
Street encourages people to get a home inspection, make a list of expenses and strike a deal with the homeowner to cover some of the repairs.
He said old home or new home, a little homework will save you thousands in the future.