Wondering whether to have a house inspected or not is a common crossroad for those purchasing one. With all the costs that go into the process it can be tempting to by-pass the inspection, which can range in cost from around $350-$1,000+ depending on the size of the house and the add-on services selected. On one hand, foregoing the inspection can save money and maybe even more importantly it can be more appealing for a seller to accept an offer that does not include an inspection. On the other hand, an inspection can provide important information for a buyer about where critical components of the home are located, the age of equipment such as the furnace and water heater, and identify unknown defects, some of which may be costly to repair. With pros and cons for each direction it can be difficult to know whether the inspection is necessary or not.
In our opinion it is an absolute necessity to have every home inspected prior to purchase, even new homes. We may be a little bias; however, we can also speak from a position of experience and knowledge. In our 20+ years being in business we have seen about everything, and we do mean EVERYTHING. From newly constructed homes with active leaks at the water line, crawlspaces covered in mold, attics with fire damage, main structural beams rendered useless from termite damage, and the list goes on. All these items are either very expensive to fix or can lead to expensive repairs if not dealt with. These are also all items that the buyers were not aware of prior to the inspection. Now imagine trying to save a few hundred dollars only to find that it ended up costing you thousands in repairs. It does not make sense. I would not say it is a majority of inspections that find major deficiencies, but I would be comfortable saying that almost all inspections find enough items that it can save a buyer more than what they paid for the inspection. Best case scenario the inspector finds very few deficiencies (we have yet to find a “perfect” house!) and you can sleep better at night knowing the home is in great shape. We believe that in and of itself is well worth the money.
We frequently hear, especially in today’s “sellers” market, of people who forego the inspection to have a better chance of the seller’s accepting their offer. This can be an effective tactic, however it should be used with extreme caution. One must be comfortable with the risk that a home could have major issues that they didn’t notice but would have been identified if an inspection had been done. This essentially comes down to the buyer’s risk tolerance.
Whether in the process of buying a house now or dreaming of the next move, we strongly believe you should plan on having a home inspection done.