The seller-driven market today is, unfortunately, leading to a high percentage of buyers bypassing home inspections with the hope that doing so will enhance their offer in the seller’s eyes and provide an incentive for getting it accepted. This attitude is both understandable and risky.
Some homes have been maintained well, some are disasters waiting to happen, and most are in the middle somewhere. So how do you know what you are buying, or in this case, what you have bought?
I suggest getting your just-bought home inspected by a professional inspector after you close if you’ve bypassed the pre-purchase inspection. Why spend money on an inspection when there are no longer avenues to negotiate with the seller? Why pay for an inspector to identify potential defects when you’ve already paid over the listing price? I’m glad you asked. There are many good reasons to get this done asap!!
First, you want to have peace of mind that the home you just purchased was a good decision. In the home buying realm, there is probably nothing more aggravating than buying a house and having buyer’s remorse or questions the minute you move in. With the emotions of real estate, pressures to make decisions quickly, and the price of real estate in this market you don’t need to deal with “what if’s” or “unknowns” as you lay your head down each night to hopefully sleep. A home inspection will give you peace of mind one way or another. It will either assure that you’ve purchased a sound home or it will identify items to address that will enhance your living or give you the opportunity to fix.
Second, a home inspection will identify potentially hazardous items in the home. Do you know what kind of insulation contains asbestos, and if you have any? Do you know if you have leaking or potential leaking points in the roof? Is your plumbing system modern, or do you have older pipes just waiting to create chaos at the most inopportune times (think: when guests are staying over or when you are on vacation 😊). Is your water heater venting properly or creating a carbon monoxide hazard? Is your furnace ready for fall or does it need service or replacement to operate safely? Is your electrical system updated in key areas? I could go on and on, but you get the point. While some of these conditions are “livable” that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be addressed at some point. Knowledge is power and you want to have as much as possible.
Third, hiring a professional to educate you on the home’s systems, how to maintain them, and what to look for down the road is just a flat-out good investment. Our inspectors’ number one objective is to educate. Repairing a popped nail in the roof now can save you thousands of $$$ down the road in moisture damage. Knowing the right way to landscape and grade your property to maintain water runoff can save you from basement water issues.
Updating electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and fuel systems can save you from hazards and enhance the property value at the same time. Yes, maintenance and upgrades cost money. Yes, you can often live with what you have. And, yes, some homes don’t have much to work on, but the vast majority have significant potential for problems if not addressed.
Finally, maintaining your home is financially smart. The average homeowner moves every 5 years or less. You don’t know when a job change, life change, or interest in another profession will cause you to have to move. You want your home to be in top-notch condition when you move so you won’t be as likely to deal with defects in a high-pressure way when the new buyer is demanding something be fixed. You have the opportunity NOW to do something about it and address the short- and long-term issues that put you in the driver’s seat.