I found this sticker on my front step the other day. It started me thinking about the crazy market we are in and what buyers are giving up just to get a house. Many buyers are forgoing their inspection so they can win the multiple offer scenario. In my opinion this is a huge mistake. Unfortunately, homes don’t come with an owner’s manual and not every owner is handy. If you are lucky, you will get a seller who is organized and documented all the mechanical maintenance done during their ownership, provide a list of upgrades and dates and give you any potential warranties that are transferable. Please know that this is NOT the norm. It is up to the buyer to uncover safety and health issues, if any, with the home.
I like to think of inspections as your “owner’s manual” or the “annual physical”. Inspections were created so that the buyer can understand what they are buying and how best to prepare and budget for future home maintenance. Going through your new home with an inspector will give you insight into how your home operates. Inspections should not nit pick at minor issues; no home is perfect. Any home you buy will require some TLC and maintenance right off the bat.
Mechanicals still work when they are old. Just because something is older doesn’t mean it should be replaced before it’s time. If you are buying a home with older functioning mechanicals, you know that you may need to replace that sooner rather than later, so you might start saving a little to prepare for that.
Failing to inspect your potential new home could end up costing you thousands of dollars. What if you are at the top end of your budget, brought all your available cash to close and uncovered a foundation or structural issue? What if after the first heavy rain your basement is full of water? What if there are termites? Uncovering major defects that will cost $1,000 or more to fix should be essential to your process. Health and safety issues should be your priority.
If you have plenty of cash to cover a major defect, then waiving inspection might be fine for you. However, I would still inspect after you purchase so you know what you need to do to keep your home safe and strong. There are ways to reassure the seller that you are not walking away after inspection. Need help navigating this tight market? Give me a call. Not only do I have a handful of great inspectors that will give you the tools you need to understand your new home and how to best care for it, I have strategies to set your offer ahead of the rest without leaving you open for risk.
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