Inspections are an added expense and in a competitive market, buyers often waive the investigation contingency in order to secure the property. Be careful! Appearances can be deceiving and a home that's been freshly painted with new carpet may seem well maintained but you need to dive into what lies beneath. We use the phrase, "lipstick on a pig" when we see a house that has had cosmetic fixes but infrastructure neglect - electrical, plumbing, heating, etc. Agents should advise buyers to get their own reports during their due diligence period so they can get a "second opinion" on condition.
Here are 3 reasons why you should get inspections:
ONE: The home inspection allows you to learn about any major defects or damage that will need to be addressed. Things like a new roof or repairing a foundation are costly and will need to be budgeted for, on top of all the usual costs of homeownership like property taxes, mortgage payments, insurance and regular maintenance.
TWO: The home inspection can reveal potentially dangerous conditions. The electrical system may be outdated or have faulty and unsafe wiring. The panel could be undersized and unable to meet a modern household’s needs. Replacing your electrical system can be a costly project so knowing this upfront will allow you to factor this into the cost of your home purchase. There could be safety issues with the furnace or fireplace that need to be addressed too. If you are unaware of existing conditions, it can put you in harm’s way.
THREE: A home inspection is also the best way for you to get to know the condition of the home in general. Is the attic adequately insulated? Is the water heater and furnace on its last legs? Is that water stain caused by an active leak, or is it not really a concern? You didn't see it but the inspector crawled under the house and noticed that your foundation piers are rotten. These are just a few more examples of how you can really benefit from having the home professionally inspected.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make so spending $600 for a home inspections and $300 for a pest inspection is a small price to pay....don't you think? Prices vary regionally and there are other inspections that you might consider including chimney, roof, structural engineer, soil, mold etc...