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Why Do I Need A Home Inspection in a Seller's Market?

A close friend who is buying a house asked the other day whether she should bother with a home inspection. Her offer had just been accepted over eight competing offers on a house in Allen, TX, and she was just entering the option period.

“There’s nothing a home inspection is going to tell me that will keep me from buying this house,” she said.

Nothing? Really?

So if you buy the house, and, SURPRISE! You need a new A/C, there’s a sewer leak, and you need to do costly foundation repairs all in the first year, that would be no big deal? Maybe. But wouldn’t you rather know ahead of time that these are expenses you’ll need to plan for?

That’s an extreme example, of course. Even if there aren’t any big problems, a home inspection is like a primer on your new house, covering all the details about each of its systems, what’s working and not working. Doesn’t spending about .1-.2 percent of the value of that investment seem worth it? (The median price of a home in Dallas is about $300,000, and an average home inspection is between $350 and $550). Just saying.

So, here are a few examples of things you might want to know before you buy a house:

1. You’d be surprised how many homeowners simply don’t notice that their trees have grown perilously close to the house.

The best, safest option is to have regular service from an arborist who can prevent damage like this. This kind of damage occurring over time, (as opposed to damage from a storm, for example) may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance, so this is good knowledge for a new homeowner to have because this roof will need to be replaced.

2. If you’re buying an older home with original cast iron pipes, there’s a good chance you’ll have a plumbing repair in your near future.

3. This video shows a problem that goes back to the design of the house (in this case, the 1990s), and has been costing the homeowner money and comfort that whole time.

A home inspection isn’t necessarily about whether to buy the house or not or about finding things to help negotiate the price down. It’s a way to learn as much as you can to plan for and protect your home investment.

Why would you want to skip out on that?


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