ALWAYS—ALWAYS Hire a Home Inspector
Home buyers trying to save a few dollars sometimes think they can overlook hiring a home inspector, especially if the home is new or appears to be in great shape. However, the few dollars spent on an inspection are small when compared to the potential risks if not requesting one. Home buyers should always—always hire a home inspector.
To better understand the need for an inspection read the following home inspection myths:
- I’m purchasing a new home. Why do I need an inspection if the local building authority has already done a thorough inspection?
While most local code compliance inspectors do look for glaring deficiencies or code violations, their busy schedule rarely affords them sufficient time for a truly thorough inspection. With multiple inspections to complete each day, code inspectors may spend no more than fifteen minutes in a home. However, a certified home inspector will often spend several hours and may use equipment unavailable to code inspectors.
- I’ve visited the home multiple times and have examined every nook and cranny. I’ve checked for plumbing leaks and made sure the lights work; if there were serious problems, I would have discovered them by now.
Unless you are a certified home inspector, you cannot provide the type of inspection necessary to insure that everything is okay. The training and experience received by home inspectors helps them discover problems that are not readily visible. And a professional inspector will also have Errors and Omissions Insurance to provide coverage in the event they overlook serious problems.
- My cousin is a contractor, and he said the house is in good shape.
Here again, unless he is a trained home inspector, he could easily overlook costly problems. While such friends and relatives are often well-intentioned, they cannot provide the type of through inspection that a professional will—and don’t forget the Errors and Omissions issue.
- I’m purchasing the home “as is,” and the seller will not accept an “Inspection Clause.”
Sometimes sellers, especially lenders disposing of foreclosure inventory, will not allow the buyer to include a clause for inspection or repair. However, that doesn’t mean the buyer can’t have the home inspected, just that the seller won’t make repairs. Contracts on such homes should still include a clause that allows sufficient time for an inspection and should allow for cancellation of the contract should major issues surface.
- My budget is too tight for paying a home inspection fee; I just can’t afford it.
If your budget is so limited that it cannot cover the cost of a home inspection, you probably are not ready to purchase. There are ALWAYS unexpected expenses associated with a home purchase; and if you lack cash for contingencies, you’ll be in trouble from the start. Additionally, the odds are pretty good that an uninspected home will require some repairs or maintenance, the cost of which could destroy a budget. You really can’t afford not to hire an inspector.
Home buyers who forego having the home inspected are taking a huge risk—a risk with the potential to wreck both their lives and financial futures. It’s a gamble not worth taking.