Downsides of Skipping Home Inspections
With a Competitive Market, More Buyers Are Skipping Home Inspections
It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home. It’s even easier to forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection once under contract. Or, something that is increasingly occurring, skipping home inspections altogether. This is done to be more competitive in bidding wars in this sellers market.
Home inspections are an instrumental part of the homebuying process. They can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Which is why if you’re purchasing an “AS IS” property, you should request an “Information Only” inspection. This will help you be better prepared and able to plan for the future.
Also, remember that a home appraisal and a home inspection are not the same thing. Appraisals will not provide you with a detailed look at a property that can help uncover deep-rooted problems and potential pitfalls. Appraisal’s are also being waived to be more competitive.
First Time Homebuyers Left With Disaster Home After Skipping The Inspection.
Florida’s Tampa Bay ABC Action News shared the following story in 2017: First time home buyer Jacob Pinder’s experience after skipping the home inspection.
In the above report, Jacob describes the aftermath of skipping home inspections as devastating. Jacob & his fiancé Amy bought into the Zillow ad that touted the home as move-in ready and well maintained. But after moving in, Jacob explains how they discovered extensive damage behind walls and under the home’s outside trim. Now the couple is suffering the consequences for buying a home as-is without an inspection. They fear being homeless as there is no money for extensive repairs.
FIVE RESONS TO HAVE A HOME INSPECTION:
Don’t Judge a Home by Its Façade
Especially for those buying newer construction, a home inspection may feel like a waste of money. No matter the age of the home, there can be costly troubles unknown to the average buyer. Problems with wiring, plumbing or structural issues may not be visible during a showing. Even before you get to the interior, you can do your own preliminary inspection. Simply walk around the home’s exterior and look for these four potential problems:
- Rotten / Damaged Siding;
- Water Pooling Around the House;
- Broken Gutters; &,
- Peeling Paint.
Home inspection costs vary but a good rule of thumb would be to expect to pay from $300 to $500 depending on size and age of the home. That’s a good sum, but perhaps think of it this way: Those who skip out on the expense may realize in a few years that an inspection is much cheaper than rewiring the entire house.
One of the advantages of having a home inspection performed before you buy is the power it might give you to negotiate a lower price. If a home you’re really interested in is on the edge of your price range, information gathered during the home inspection may give you the bargaining power to talk down the price. You can also insert language into a purchase contract that allows you to back out of an agreement if the inspection turns up problems.
Not only are you able to negotiate a lower price, many buyers include clauses in their contract requiring the seller to make the repairs necessary before any money is exchanged. If the seller is unwilling to complete the repairs, estimate the cost and ask them to take that amount off the total. Solid facts about the quality and condition of the home can give you valuable bargaining power.
Remember that a seller’s repairs are not eligible to be included in seller concessions. VA guidelines allow the value of seller concessions to equal up to 4 percent of the selling price, but that 4 percent comes is in addition to any negotiated repairs. Learn more about seller concessions here.
Know What You’re Buying
In the end the most important reason to have a home inspection before you buy is to really know what you’re buying. Research your potential home like you would any other major purchase. The more you know, the fewer surprises there will be down the road. Home inspectors can help you make a decision based on your current budget as well as your future time and money investment.
Your home is your biggest investment. Build a team of experienced realtors, inspectors, & lenders to help guide you through the homebuying process.