Skipping a Home Inspection to Get The House!!!

The current market is forcing many people to skip their home inspection clause for fear that they may lose their dream house. In some cases it isn’t even their dream house but the only house they haven’t been turned down on. It is a very finicky market and it is very tough to find a home and have your offer accepted. I have heard many people tell me they have put offers in on multiple homes only to have them turned down because they included the home inspection clause. When you are faced with such uncertainty in a sellers market such as we have today it can create an atmosphere of desperation. You need to move. Your house is sold and closing date is coming up. You will do whatever it takes to get a house…any house. So you take the risk and skip the home inspection, go in over asking price and your offer is accepted. Now what? What risk have you taken? Well in most cases, 90%, you have purchased a home with typical maintenance concerns. Nothing really out of the ordinary. However, 10% of the homes have larger issues. I will share two stories from recent inspections.

  1. A couple with their young daughter purchased a home without an inspection and had me come in to do a comprehensive inspection the day after they took possession to provide a list of things that they needed to do or repair. Throughout the inspection there were typical items for maintenance and repairs. Nothing surprising for the age of the home. We talked about the maintenance items and I got to know the couple a bit as we progressed. We arrived in the master bathroom which contained a beautiful two person jacuzzi tub. The tub was filled and jets tested and everything was working fine. I continued the inspection, finished with the attic and proceeded to begin the Thermal Scan looking for any leaks. When we arrived on the main floor we found that all of the water from the tub was coming through the ceiling and light fixture in the living room, landing on the beautiful hardwood floors and continuing on down into the basement. In this case their ceilings, hardwood floors, walls in main floor family room and basement and carpets in the basement had to be torn out, everything dried out and repairs completed. All this because the drain for the tub was disconnected. Had they had their home inspection prior to purchasing this would not be their problem. Unfortunately, they were supposed to move in the next day but were unable to due to the repairs required. It should be noted that testing all plumbing fixtures in a home is part of a home inspection. Total cost for repairs exceeded $15k.
  2. A gentleman contacted me to inspect a house he purchased without inspection a few months earlier. He was concerned because he was seeing water stains and mold in his master bathroom ceiling. When I arrived he informed me that the house had been a flip and the contractor he purchased it from assured him that everything in the home had been done to code and inspected. This included the roof, plumbing, electrical etc. When I got on the roof, the front portion which was visible from the road looked in OK condition. Would need to be replaced in the next year or two but OK. The rear of the house, however, should have been replaced at least two or three years before this. The rear of the house was facing southwest which typically deals with the most exposure to the elements. There were missing and torn shingles and the ones that were there were curled and deteriorated so bad that they would not be holding back much water. The contractor he bought the home from assured him the roof had been inspected. Once inside the house there were typical things but nothing out of the ordinary. When I reached the second floor it was clear there was mold in the ceilings and water leaks from the roof along the entire back portion of the home. When I entered the attic there was extensive water damage, half of the insulation was missing, all of the potlights were incorrect for application near insulation, all of the wiring was not done to code, the bathroom vents were discharging into the attic instead of outside and there was mold everywhere on the sheathing. So much for the contractors assurances that it was all inspected. Total cost for all of the repairs required exceeded $35k.

It is typically a limited risk when going through with a transaction without an inspection but always be aware, you could be purchasing one of the 10% of homes that have some serious issues.