In our area, the market has been hot over the past couple years. It’s been a “seller’s market,” with more people looking for properties than there are properties available. This means that sellers frequently have multiple offers on their homes, with buyers competing by with offering prices, faster closing dates, and waving home inspections.
WAIVING HOME INSPECTIONS?!?!
While as a buyer this might give you the advantage against other offers, it may put you at a greater disadvantage in the long run.
Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself:
“Chris, you are saying this because you’re a home inspector! If I don’t get an inspection, you don’t get business. And without any business, you won’t have any work. And without any work, you won’t be able to feed your family (*okay, maybe you didn’t get that extreme.) So, OF COURSE you are going to tell me I need an inspection!”
First, let me say, this isn’t about my money (business, etc.), but about yours.
A home is an investment- possibly one of the greatest investments a person can make. Now, most of us would probably never take a major investment opportunity at face value- you’d check not only the benefits but also the possible risks. Most of us would prefer not to lose money on an investment- but with unforeseen repair costs or potentially serious issues, that is exactly what can happen.
I know a couple who had purchased a home that was perfect for their family, but had some hidden issues lurking behind the walls- literally. Unknown to them, the house was originally built with an unfinished second floor. A previous homeowner later finished things off, without the help of a contractor, and literally walled in the heating and air conditioning unit. Only a small door was made for access, but it was too small for an HVAC technician to even service the unit. When the time came to replace the system- a whole section of wall had to be torn down to remove the old HVAC system and install the new- with a larger door for access. A thorough inspection could have brought this to light so it could have been addressed at the sale of the home, or at least informed the buyers of potential issues.
I also inspected a home which had recent foundation repairs. The sellers verbally shared were properly done- but upon inspection, it was evident the repairs hadn’t been completed by a professional, and there was no record of the proper permits being issued for the work. Without an inspection, the buyer wouldn’t have been aware of the problem, or even known to ask for the engineer and permit paperwork to be provided for the sale.
Unexpected issues mean unexpected expenses. An inspection brings to light potential issues so they can be addressed before your purchase, evaluating the structure and systems of your new home, in hopes it won’t become a problem you have to pay for later. A few hundred dollars spent now for an inspection might save you thousands in the future. So, whether you elect to use Complete Home Inspection or another service, please get an inspection so you can be knowledgeable about your new investment.
Money aside- inspections aren’t just about systems and structures, but also about you and your family’s safety. Inspectors are trained to look for current safety issues and things that could become a potential hazard in the future. Fire risks, structural failure (collapse,) electrical problems that could result in fire or shock, carbon monoxide leaks, potential mold growth- all things a trained inspector looks for in a general inspection to make sure a home is a safe. The unexpected can still happen, but a home inspection can help to correct issues that are, or could be, a definite threat. It helps to provide safety and security.
I recently read of a new homeowner calling an inspector a few months after their purchase, requesting an inspection (they chose not to have one done prior to the sale.) The new homeowner started having headaches a few weeks after moving in and believed mold might be triggering her allergies. As the inspector was assessing the property, he noticed the flu pipe of the gas water heater had been damaged, and the exhaust (containing carbon monoxide) was escaping directly into the house! Her headaches weren’t from mold, but from toxic (potentially lethal) gasses being released into her home.
So, if you are purchasing a home, don’t see an inspection as a nuisance or a place to cut corners. Don’t waive an inspection- view them as an evaluation of your future investment, and a tool to gain peace of mind. Take your investment and safety as seriously as we home inspectors do- and give us a call! J. Chris Stanley Licensed Home Inspector