So you are getting ready to make on offer on your next home and your questioning whether or not you want to spring for the cost of an inspection. After all, the home looks to be in great shape and it sure would be nice to save some money. What could possibly be wrong with it? Well you may be right and in that case you will have saved yourself a few hundred dollars. So why would you want to invest in the services of a professional building inspector?
You Could Be Wrong
If you are like most of us you probably make an occasional mistake. Thankfully most of them are small and usually not real expensive. What if this is one of those mistakes? What if you later find some major problem, maybe a structural problem or wood rot or termite damage? Now you are looking at thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, in repairs, not to mention the hassle factor involved.
It helps to keep in mind that when you find a home that you really like, or even fall in love with, it’s easy to focus on what you like and only see what you want to see. When that happens it’s easy to overlook small clues that would have led a professional, unbiased inspector to take a closer look.
The Seller May be Devious
I know it is hard to believe but there are actually people out there that will go to great lengths to cover-up a home’s defects. With some fresh paint, texture, and/or trim, you would be amazed at what can be kept a secret, especially from an untrained eye. Professional inspectors are savvy to this and are trained to watch out for signs of a cover-up.
The Odds are Against You
Before you decide to roll the dice and hope for the best you might want to consider this alarming fact. Over 90% of the homes sold in Australia have some type of building defect, structural problem or illegal structure. Of course these defects vary dramatically from one home to another and run the gamut from simple, inexpensive fixes to major problems. The question becomes, “Is it worth the gamble”?
Benefits to a Professional Inspection
The most obvious benefit to having a professional inspection completed prior to signing the deal is that it enables you to include any defects in your negotiations with the seller. Having a certified inspector document these issues will definitely gain you some leverage in your negotiations. Another benefit of the inspection is that it will enable you to develop a more comprehensive budget for home repairs in the first few years of home ownership.
Many of the defects found will be small and will not be something that you will likely get the seller to agree to repair. However, these minor repairs will still need to be dealt with and it is nice to know up front what you are getting yourself into. Another benefit is that you might just learn that this home is one that you really should just walk away from. That is often hard to do on your own, without all of the information that you will gain from a professional inspection.
And of course you might just find out that you were right all along; that the house is in great shape and free of any major defects. The difference is that now you know it for sure rather than just relying on luck.