Home inspections

8 Replies

It came up in another thread that some of you always have your prospective properties inspected.  

Of coarse I look over each property on my own.  I test the electric for grounding, and examine the main breaker panel for updates.  I look in the crawl space or basement for water or structure issues.  I certainly check the roof.  

If I made my purchase contingent on an inspection by a professional home inspector  the seller will simply go with a buyer that does not require this. To have the inspection done right you would have to have the electric, gas, and water turned on.  I really doubt the bank is going to do that!

I already have to bid over asking to get better houses. I just do not see a professional inspector as being practical. Is this just me?

for new investors without experience or a trusted advisor who does it's an absolute requirement IMHO.  However, for experienced investors it's probably superfluous unless it is a large and/or complicated deal.  I think I stopped after 10 or 12 deals.  But it was money very well spent before that.  

Yes like Cal, after you make 10-12 purchases the good and the bad start to become obvious or expected. You might get a little surprise once in awhile but generally speaking I do my own inspections. But I am completely satisfied that I used a professional in the beginning, taught me a lot actually. 

I have inspections done on all houses even after 10 years of flipping houses.  It is rare that I am competing with a buyer who does not require an inspection.  Have the time the inspector finds things that were not obvious to the naked eye.  At that point I can lower my offer.  I also have a document from a licensed inspector which gives weight to the needed repairs.  The seller knows the next potential buyer will wan the same things.

Just my opinion.


Again, we're back to knowing your local market. Some markets are so competitive, making offers with no inspection helps. Other markets, you can still make competitive offers with the inspection contingency. I'll always take an inspection if I can. While the inspector rarely finds things I didn't already see, it's still nice to have another set of eyes take a look at a property. And, the documentation is nice if needed. It's also important to know who your seller is. Some banks/sellers have standard contracts that are inflexible - there's no option for waiving inspection, and they don't care if you're paying cash, financing, when closing is (in fact, a fast closing is a problem for some sellers), etc. The seller is simply looking at their net gain. Know your seller. Know what the seller wants. Meet the seller's needs. Every transaction is different.  

@Stephanie Dupuis   hit the nail on the head right there in regards to your original post. Aside from having a second set of eyes, it's nice to have an "OUT" if something does come up. That's worth the $300ish to me.

Like @Bill Jacobsen  said, the inspection brings to light things the seller is now "aware of" and must disclose to any future potential buyers. This gives a little bit of leverage if they accept the offer with the contingency. Then again, that could be why many sellers would accept an offer without one vs one that has the contingency! :)

In my experience when the seller is the bank they do not care about negotiating or hearing about what is or is not wrong with the house.  They just want "highest and best offer." Anything else is white noise that they ignore. 

as home inspector, of course i would recommend to have one done. a second set of eyes will almost always find something you over looked and you then have professional proof of what needs to be done. not only could this be used as a bargaining chip but you now has a complete, professional list of what needs to be done. of course, along the way, you will pick up on things the inspector does and will become better at finding things on your own, but especially with your first few flips, it is necessary. for any one here on BP that is in the western new york area, please see my profile and call me if you have need of a home inspector

Mark Forest 

As mentioned on the other thread, we {almost always} have our inspector go through the property even if we do not plan to make it a condition of purchase.  We do this to establish an inventory/snapshot of the condition of the building (structure, systems, etc) and for planning our retrofit/renovation strategy and schedule for the property.

Occasionally we walk a property that we know will be a total gut.  In those instances we may not bother calling in our inspector or an engineer unless we see cues of serious structural or environmental issues.

I find the cost of an inspection ($500 - $2500 pending the property) to be a fiscally effective use of my time and our funds.

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