Eight years ago, we bought our home in Arizona. We had a home inspection by a “budget” inspector, and the home inspector found very little—exposed outdoor pipes that needed to be insulated and a few roof tiles that needed to be repaired. The sellers happily corrected those problems. And then, within the first week of moving in, the water heater and the doorbell broke. Soon after, the garage door broke. For the next two years, we repaired one thing after another. It turns out the previous homeowner was a DIY’er. We spent thousands of dollars repairing his bad fix-it jobs. In addition, since the home inspector didn’t charge much, he did a quick inspection. Our situation is why we won’t buy a home without a home inspection from a qualified inspector.
The Recent Seller’s Market
The recent seller’s market has caused many prospective home buyers to try to submit the most competitive offers. One way to do that is to waive the right to an inspection. But, even then, they may lose out on a home because of a more competitive offer.
My husband and I are moving from Arizona to New York, and we knew the housing market would be tough. However, we decided we would rather rent for a year than buy a home without a home inspection.
Our Two Recent Home Inspections
We found a house in New York that was the size we wanted and had the layout we liked. However, I had initially dismissed this house because it had what looked like mildew in the tub, and the window trim and the outside steps had peeling paint. I figured if the homeowners couldn’t fix those things when putting the house up for sale, what else did they not fix? It turns out this house had many issues.
My husband liked the house, so we submitted an offer and then had a home inspection done, thankfully. We found an inspector with great reviews, and he didn’t disappoint like our inspector in Arizona. He found that this house needed updated electrical because it only had 50 amps, the foundation needed to be repaired, and the house had four different types of mold, including black mold. The tub didn’t have mildew but rather mold. In addition, the shower surround had an 18-inch crack that let water pool behind the shower wall. As if that weren’t enough, the roof should have been replaced years ago; water had leaked into the garage, and there was mold there, too. We terminated our contract on the house.
We used the same inspector for the next house we chose, and happily, this house had very few issues. The only major problem was that the radon levels are on the border of being high, so we’ll have to address that with radon remediation.
Even though you may want a particular house and your offer to be competitive, I urge you not to buy a home without a home inspection. As our experience should show, sometimes you may find a house that looks okay on the outside but has significant flaws that would cost thousands of dollars. Likewise, find an inspector with good reviews who takes his time to discover all of the issues so that you don’t spend money for an inspection only to face problems shortly after you buy the house.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York where she loves the natural beauty of the area.