How important is a home inspection?

I am always interested in stories that real estate agents and home buyers have about property inspections. Having worked in real estate for so long, I know how important it is to have a home inspection, and but I also know that some people shy away from them. As a buyer it’s important to know what you’re getting into when you’re buying a property. Chances are we aren’t talking about a paltry sum, so if large additional expenses are needed post-purchase, it’s best to know about them up front.


I know many an agent who happily attends all property inspections, and chances are you’re going to learn something by doing so, and it will generally be something relevant. It’s also interesting to watch some inspectors and how much enthusiasm they have for their job – it’s almost like they consider themselves detectives. There is the potential for some sellers to feel put out when an inspection takes place, and it’s important that they’re reassured it’s not a personal exercise! Just as they would want to know the current condition of the next property they purchase, so do the prospective buyers of their home.


I recently read a fairly funny story about a home inspection in which the outcome appeared pretty stock-standard to begin with but that the buyer agent discovered was actually anything but. From the exterior walk around, the inspector noted some cracks in the foundation, a few blemishes, but then a 50 amp plug-in receptacle caught his attention. This was a bit of a red flag to the inspector and he apparently bounded into the house full of beans about what he might find. I imagine the buyer’s weren’t quite so enthusiastic at the prospect.


Despite that, the rest of the house appeared quite normal apart from the group being unable to find access for the crawl space. After consulting with the selling agent, the buyer agent was given permission to remove the carpet in the area where the access should usually be, and upon finding the access, they also found the set up for a home pharmaceutical business! There was a misting water system, an electrical sub panel and grow lights and of course a very happy home inspector who had been the one to pick up that something was suspect.

The little old couple selling the place didn’t seem to fit the stereotype for such a set up, and it turns out the vendor hadn’t had an inspection done on the place when they’d purchased it a few years before. They had no idea what they’d been living with! Just goes to show that a thorough home inspection is definitely worth the effort!  

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 11/09/2009 at 4:43 PM | Categories:


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