4 costly problems you’ll miss if you forego a home inspection
- In hot real estate markets, some buyers are forgoing home inspections to improve their chances.
- But there are problems only a home inspector can find, like hidden mold and foundation defects.
- An inspector may also find an outdated septic tank or problems with the roof.
- Compare home insurance quotes with Policygenius.
Over the past few months, nearly a dozen of my friends have decided to say goodbye to renting and become first-time buyers. As someone who isn’t planning on following in their footsteps anytime soon (I appreciate the flexibility of renting too much), it’s been interesting living vicariously through them as they search for their dream homes.
real estate agent.com expects home sales to rise 6.6% this year, and not only expects inventory to remain tight, but prices to rise 2.9%. Depending on where you’re trying to buy a home, it might seem competitive, and if you don’t make an offer quickly enough, you might not even have a chance.
Recently, three of my friends were so eager to acquire homes they liked that they made offers and waived their home inspections to make their offers more attractive.
I wondered if foregoing a home inspection was a risky financial decision, so I asked real estate experts to share the most costly issues that can arise if someone decides to go this route. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Structural issues
It’s easy to fall in love with a home just by taking a tour, but depending Michael Simonsan American real estate agent who is now based in Costa Rica, you could miss something important and expensive.
“If you forego a home inspection, it can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair a property purchased with a faulty foundation or structural issues,” says Simons.
Indeed, structural flaws are not only big safety concerns, but are not obvious to the average person.
“Homebuyers can have serious regrets when they later have to spend at least $10,000 on foundation repairs, especially those that require a hydraulic jack,” Simons says.
2. Outdated septic systems
Another major repair that may not be so obvious can sometimes be one found in older homes: outdated septic tanks that no longer meet building codes.
“Unfortunately, these details only show up in home inspection reports, so buyers who forego them may face the high price of installing a new septic system replacement,” says Simons.
The costs of replacing a septic tank can be higher than you think, especially if there is not enough space and an engineered system is required.
3. Roof problems
Without a home inspection, Simons says a homebuyer probably won’t know much about the condition of the roof.
“Home inspection reports can help buyers avoid additional repair expenses on roofs already at the end of their useful life,” says Simons.
He says these inspections are important because a serious roof defect can cost up to $10,000 to repair or replace in some cases.
4. Mold problems
Although you can be sure you know the house well because you’ve visited it several times, the Michigan realtor Jason Gelios says a costly mistake he’s seen when people don’t do home inspections is mold.
“Mold is a problem that could appear in areas where a homebuyer might not look,” says Gelios. “For example, not having a home inspector comb through the house, inside and out, can lead to the buyer learning about a mold problem later.”
Over the years, Geilos has seen mold in areas such as crawl spaces and attics, places that many home buyers won’t look when considering buying a property.