2 min read

A home inspection isn’t mandated by law or lenders, but waiving it can be the biggest mistake a home buyer can make. The home inspection can give you crucial knowledge about the property and save you from substantial home repair builds

Why you always need a home inspection

Buying a home without an inspection is probably one of the biggest mistakes home buyers make. It’s so easy to get carried away by how a home looks on the surface, and to believe everything you’re told by the nice owners and even nicer listening agent. But what you don’t know can hurt you. 

Imagine signing the paperwork and moving in, only to find out that the foundation is cracked, the roof leaks, and the HVAC won’t last another summer. These are problems that can usually be found in a home inspection. It’s way more expensive to fix them that paying a home inspector would have been.

Should you ever waive a home inspection?

Should you? No. If a seller is pushing you to skip a home inspection, you have to ask why. What are they afraid you’ll find? If you think you may be in a tight rush to close, and a seller is asking you to waive contingencies before they accept your offer, it might make sense to have are-inspection done. 

This can help protect you, and let you waive contingencies in your offer for a faster time to close. If a home is fairly new, there’s less likelihood that a pre inspection will miss anything. 

If there’s a seller’s market, they may not accept offers with certain contingencies, and this is where you need to be absolutely sure you’re all in on a house, because anything found after you close is your problem. 

Appraisal vs. inspection

With an appraisal, the lender wants to know the market value of the house so they can decide if they can lend you the asking price less your down payment. With an inspection, you’re looking at the realistic future costs of keeping the home livable. 

An inspection can find problems with plumbing electric wiring, the roof or foundation, and even mold or pests, if you have a more complete inspection done by a specialist. Finding problems may give you leverage with the seller. 

Have a home inspection done, and use your contingency if needed to negotiate a lower price, get your earnest money back so you can bail, or demand repairs be done before you close. Either way, the hoe inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars. 

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Rates & Money is your go-to destination for free information about mortgages. Our home buyer guides and home loan articles are designed to help you make informed decisions when buying a home


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