Should I Get a Home Inspection or Waive the Inspection?

Should I Get a Home Inspection or Waive the Inspection?
Sammamish Mortgage
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Unlike an appraisal, a home inspection isn’t typically mandated by your lender. How important is a home inspection to the home buying process? While you don’t have to get a home inspection done before buying a home, waiving this option might be the biggest mistake you could make.

Why Your Offer Should Require a Home Inspection

A home inspection may not be required for a mortgage loan, but you’re highly recommended to get one, because it can provide important information about the condition of the home you want to buy. Would you still feel the same about your home purchase if you knew it had mold, needed a new roof, and required HVAC updates that could run into thousands?

An inspection can reveal issues before you complete your home purchase, and a home inspection contingency clause on your offer can allow you to back out of buying if the repairs required are too costly. You might even be able to use the report to leverage a lower price for the home, or demand a closing credit to pay for repairs.

Does it Ever Make Sense to Waive a Home Inspection?

If a home is fairly new, and the seller had a pre-inspection done (which they are required to inform you of, and supply you with a report), then there might be a reason to waive the home inspection. However, even this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Since you, the buyer pay for the home inspection, a seller urging you not to have one is a sign that maybe there’s something to find. Even with a pre-inspection report that comes up clean, there could be hidden damage or issues the previous inspector missed.

If you are making an offer on an extremely high demand home as often is the case on the current real estate market, the seller may not accept offers with a home inspection contingency.

In this situation you either have to take a big risk and hope the home doesn’t have major issues, or you can get your own inspection completed prior to making an offer. This does pose challenges with timing and would cost you several hundred dollars whether or not your offer is accepted; however, especially with older homes this may be your best option.

What Does a Home Inspection Look For?

Inspections generally look for mold or signs of water damage, inspect the roof, and examine the home’s appliances such as the stove, washer/dryer, refrigerator, and water heater. The inspector will also examine as much of the plumbing and electrical system as possible without ripping out walls, and review the condition of the HVAC systems as well. The inspection will uncover many issues that won’t be covered by an appraisal. Assuming an appraisal will protect you and find any major issues is a mistake as they won’t spend the time to look beneath the surface and call out anything but obvious issues anyone can see.

Benefits of a Home Inspection

If you waive your home inspection, you could miss out on the chance to walk away from a poorly maintained home or one that isn’t up to code. Hidden mold or water damage can run into tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

By getting a home inspection, you provide yourself with either the option to use your inspection contingency to walk away and retain your earnest money, to demand repairs be done before closing, or to negotiate a much reduced price for the house.

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