Buying out of state: Would you ever forego an inspection?

5 Replies

We had an offer to purchase a triplex in Indiana. The seller seemed forthcoming about the potential rehab needs (chimney work, siding, a few windows). We estimated 10-15k based on the seller's description. However, the inspection report showed a different story. Plumbing issues, electrical issues, roof damage, foundation issues, infestation, etc. 

I have heard that investors often do deals without inspections, even when purchasing out of state. If we hadn't ordered an inspection, my partner and I would be in a world of hurt right now. Sure, it's $400 down the drain. But I'll take that hit any day over a money pit.

When does it make sense to forego an inspection?

When you've seen it in person and feel comfortable to analyze the repairs yourself. I don't get inspections anymore but I have done enough now I can judge the severity of the problems myself. If you're buying out of state I think it would be an absolute must.
BUT I will say that inspectors are known to blow things out of proportion also. So you have to scrutinize the inspectors report also. Foundation issue could be a crack in a basement wall that's been there unchanged for 40 years and doesn't leak water, plumbing damage could be only a few hundred dollar fix, etc.

Unless my buyer is very experienced in real estate - like someone who is a GC, I strongly encourage buyers to get an inspection from a licensed home inspector - not your cousin who is an electrician.

A good home inspector doesn't care whether you buy the property or not.  Where your cousin might be rooting for you to get the property - and might put on those rose colored glasses - a home inspector has ice water in his veins.

His motivation is to not miss something that's going to get him sued.  That's the person you want looking out for you.

In the end, it's cheap insurance.

mobile home I personally would not get an inspection as I have been working on them for years

BUT for a brick and mortar yes I would get one

I probably would not or I would have a general inspection done instead

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