A while back I read an article in the Washington Post about a woman who said she didn’t want to pay for the $300 home inspection, but later found out she had to do over $50,000 in repairs on her home.
All I could do was laugh. A home inspection is one of the best investments you’ll make in the home buying process. If you don’t get one, you get what you deserve.
Plus, if you’re a good negotiator you can get the seller to pay for the home inspection so it won’t cost you a dime.
Of course, not all home inspectors are created equal. The best way to find a quality home inspector is to go to your local REIA meeting and see who other people use. Find the name that pops up often and give them a call.
Another thing you can do is call trusted Realtors and see who they use.
However, I just got a call from a friend of mine who used a new home inspector; the guy gave him a long list of items and also mentioned that he has a repair business and can do all of the repairs on the list. (Conflict of interest perhaps?)
I gave my friend the number of the handyman I use and told him to email the list of repairs to my handyman and find out what he would charge for them — and then compare them to what the guy wanted.
I also told him to get my handyman out there to walk through the house and see if the repairs listed actually needed to be done or were just “invented” by the inspector so he could get some extra work.
Home Inspections and Wasted Money?
As you can see, this home inspection could be a total waste of money because now my friend doesn’t know what repairs are actually needed or not – which is another reason to network and find someone who sponsors a REIA or who attends one and will do a good job to protect their reputation.
Also, while there’s a bunch of organizations that “certify” home inspectors, most of those certifications are meaningless to me. Usually it just means the person sat through a Saturday class and paid the membership fee – it doesn’t mean they’re honest or good at their job.
The bottom line is this: Always get a home inspection, but make sure you’re using a trusted and reliable home inspector.