"Whatcha looking at?"
We often get asked: "What do you guys inspect? Is it really necessary to get a home inspection? Is it required in Texas?" Pretty good questions, and honestly there are a number of answers but the reality is we try to look at everything we can see and access, test, operate, and record any deficiencies we find so you have the best idea of the condition of the home you want to purchase.
Obvious issues like a roof with missing shingles, cracks in the foundation, broken windows, or air conditioning not working properly are pretty hard not to comment on, but what about a drain line for your evaporator (inside AC unit)? The condensate drain line will constantly have water draining when the air conditioning is running. That's its job. But what happens when that line gets plugged because it isn't cleaned regularly, or, like the pictures show, what if the drain was improperly installed? Most people would overlook this simple mistake because it looks like regular plumbing under your sink, if they even squatted down to look at all. Inspectors should be taking those looks, getting more involved in what they see, and finding issues like this. "What's wrong with it?" you ask? Condensate water won't drain from the evaporator and will end up flooding the drain pan or evaporator, which in this case would be located in the attic, and then you end up with water damage to the ceiling and costly repairs.
To answer those original questions: 1) We look at everything we can get to. 2) It is imperative for your you to get a home inspection so you know the condition of your perspective home. 3) It is not required, but why would you risk costly repairs when a simple inspection can save you thousands by getting the seller to fix them before you even move in.