Are home inspections a waste of time and money?

old house

Not with the right inspector. Let me explain.

Getting your home inspected by a professional home inspector is a pretty normal part of the process when you are buying a home. I recommend getting one every time. Yes, even on a new home. But there are good and bad things about them. There are good inspectors and there are bad inspectors. Likewise, there are good and bad relationships between Realtors and the inspectors that they recommend. If you don’t trust your agent, get a few recommendations for a good inspector.

A good agent will usually be able to recommend a good home inspector. What does a good agent look for?

–          A good inspector knows his stuff. No one can be expected to be an expert in everything. But a good home inspector should be pretty close, and should be constantly learning, to keep up to date with codes, technologies, and processes as they change.

–          A good inspector is a teacher at heart. Not only do they like to explain what they are looking for and why, but should be able to do it well. A good inspector will also be showing you some good maintenance ideas, and preventative measures as well, as he moves through the house.

–          A good inspector will identify every important flaw in the house. He will also do it in such a way as to impress upon their clients what is an urgent fix, and what is minor, and/or normal wear and tear. He will also be able to explain what is defective, and what is just getting old, for example.

In other words a good Realtor will always to looking out for the interests of their clients. They would only recommend a Home Inspector that will do the same thing. I know of Realtors that prefer inspectors that don’t “crash their deals”. Most of us, however, would prefer our clients don’t purchase bad properties.

Unfortunately inspectors are limited. There are things that they cannot see without “destructive testing”. In other words, they generally don’t rip walls apart like a famous guy on TV, and get the opportunity to comment on workmanship that is then evident.

So when do they seem waste a money…, but still good? When they find nothing significant it is easy to think you wasted your money, but wouldn’t you be happy to know that someone knowledgeable has gone through the house with a fine-toothed comb and discovered this?

Feel free to call or email me if you have comments or questions!