Melissa opens up the show by discussing the worst home inspection ever. Going in they knew from property disclosures that the roof, central air, furnace and water heater were all well past their life expectancy. What they learned on inspection was that the vinyl siding had been repaired within an inch of its life and wasn’t even attached to the house very well, raccoons were living (and pooping) in the attic and rats were living in the crawl space. The sellers of this house were willing to work with Melissa’s clients and it worked out for all parties.
Michael discusses an inspection he experienced with a house that was allegedly renovated. It was really more of the lipstick on a pig variety renovation - the fixtures were pretty but the usual shortcuts on electric and roofing were made. And then there was mold! As if that wasn’t bad enough, the buried oil tank was rusting its way through the ground. The sellers of this home were unwilling to do anything and Michael’s clients walked away.
Home Inspections Contingencies can carry the right to negotiate or the right to cancel only depending on the jurisdiction. It’s usually not in a seller’s best interests though to let a property go back to the market because once it’s been off the market then goes back on, it signals to others that there was a problem on the home inspection.
Both Melissa and Michael feel that a home inspector with a construction background is key. It’s important to find a home inspector who is through and knowledgeable, but you don’t want someone who is going to scare the hell out of you as a buyer either. There is a way to deliver the information that is easier for buyers to digest because all issues sound “scary.”
The other tools the inspectors use are important as well. Moisture meters are key because they help the inspector see issues behind walls that they couldn’t see just by looking with their naked eye. Inspectors can only inspect what they can see and buyers sign a disclaimer that they will only report what they can see. Even on new construction, it’s important to bring an inspector in.
Should I hire a Home Inspector if I’m Buying a Brand New Home From a Builder?
Home builders often bring in subcontractors to build their homes. There’s no telling what a construction worker may or may not have done. Melissa worked for a new home builder where the contractors were bringing in workers who weren’t even legal to work in the U.S., so obviously they weren’t licensed. Reputable builders will employ the same workers and they may even be employees of the builder which is a much better scenario. These employees will have more reason to ensure their work is correct.
All houses have problems and some are worth walking away over and some are not. It’s important to have your real estate agent walk you through this process and to hire the best inspector available.