While we may eventually look back on the current market conditions as a short-term trend that stemmed from a one-time global pandemic, it’s important that we also consider the long-term impact on homeowners.
Winning At All Costs
We all know that, due to bidding wars, many homebuyers are waiving their home inspection. Redfin, for example, reported that, in December 2020, 30% of its buyers were willing to waive the inspection in order to secure a property — twice as many as in December 2019.
This is a problem. Given the size and importance of the investment, not to mention all the moving parts that keep a home functioning, skipping the inspection can be a costly decision.
Even if they’ve waived it as a condition of their purchase, buyers should still get an inspection. Here are four reasons why:
1. To Discover How The Property Works
A thorough home inspection teaches homebuyers how their home works: how to locate the water shut-offs in case of a leak, turn off the gas shut-off valve in an emergency, navigate the breaker panel, maintain the HVAC systems and, in general, care for their home. It’s an essential crash course that promotes a properly functioning home and prevents unnecessary repairs.
2: To Uncover Important Home Repairs
It’s estimated that 40% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a surprise $400 expense; in a home, repair expenses of this size are common.
A home inspection will help you understand how well the property has been maintained, how much it will cost to make necessary repairs and renovations, and how soon these repairs may be required. This allows you to plan ahead and save accordingly.
3. To Discover Major Defects
A $400 repair is one thing; a $10,000 structural repair can be devastating.
For the relatively low cost of an inspection, you’ll uncover the major defects which may reduce the value of your home or, in extreme cases, render it unsafe. And, depending on the wording of your contract, you may have recourse if deal-breaking issues are found.
4. To Protect Yourself and Your Family
Nobody wants to put their loved ones at risk by purchasing a property that is a health and safety concern. From black mold to missing carbon monoxide detectors, there are many safety issues that could be present yet not obvious during a walkthrough. With an inspection, you can rest easy knowing any hazards have been identified and that your family will be safe and secure.
Protect Your Investment
As long as the market stays hot, there will be buyers who waive their home inspection.
If you absolutely cannot make an inspection a condition of your offer (and win), at least consider walking the home with a family member or friend capable of identifying big-ticket defects and areas of concern prior to making an offer.
Even then, a full home inspection will always be a wise investment that reduces long-term costs and protects the value of your investment.
Don’t skip it.