Why Should I Get a Home Inspection When Buying a House? – Video
Kathy: Okay. I cannot emphasize enough, everybody. I have heard people say, “Well, Kathy your network referred this group in Ohio, or Pennsylvania, or wherever, so we didn’t bother getting an inspection. We figured your referral was enough.” I’m telling you, I would not buy a property for my own family or my own mother without getting an inspection first. Because, unless you are a qualified contractor and can do that yourself, and can inspect that property from head to toe on your own. You’ve got to know what you’re inheriting. You’ve got to know what you’re taking on, regardless of how you came upon that property.
Because again, you need that third party inspector who has nothing to gain by lying to you, unless they do have something to gain. And I do want to bring that up because I believe in some cases, there are some inspectors who might, you tell me if you’ve seen this, but who might point out problems because they want to be the ones to fix it. They might point out things that maybe aren’t that serious but they could have a nice repair bill, construction bill at the end. Do you see that very often? Where an inspector might overstate something just to be able to do the repair?
Kathy: No. I personally haven’t seen it, but we were definitely told when we went through training and you’ll hear that from anybody is, it’s unethical and actually it’s against the law if somebody is an inspector and then they also do the repairs. It’s against the law to do both? Is that what you’re saying?
Interviewee: It can be, yes, just for that reason. If someone said, “Well, you’ve got to do this and this. Oh, by the way, I’ve got next Saturday open, and throw me another $300 and I’ll take care of all these issues for you.” You definitely want to keep away from anybody who does the repair. I recommend contractors. That’s why I don’t do them, it’s because you can just recommend two or three people because you then investors know that what you’re stating is not out for financial gain.
Kathy: Wow. Okay, that’s great information. Some other questions. When buying an older home, should we plan to rewire the electrical? I’m going to tell you that with the turnkey property providers at RealWealth, most of them will always update the electrical, because on older homes it’s probably out of date and could be a hazard. Do you often find an older home that doesn’t need the rewiring?
Interviewee: Yes. You will add value if you purchase a house that just has two-wire non-grounded outlets, they’re perfectly functional. Especially with today’s electronics, they’re kind of getting away from needing a three-prong outlet to plug in, they don’t need it to be grounded. However, it would never hurt to do it. It could add value to the property if you rewire a whole house, but the cost versus the rewards may not necessarily pay off. By the time you spend money with an electrician, it’s kind of that toss-up whether you’re going to actually make money off of it or not. The electrical panels, if you get an old electrical panel or panel with fuses, I would say yes, it’s a good idea to update those. But, if you come across a house with two-prong, non-grounded electric kit, I don’t think it’s really worth it to upgrade the whole thing. A lot of it depends safety, if the cables aren’t fried, or frayed, or and there are no exposed wires, then it’s perfectly fine.
Kathy: Someone asked, what’s the difference between a structural engineer and a home inspector?
Interviewee: Well, I think the difference between a structural engineer and a home inspector is probably the education. Personally, I’m not a structural engineer. Our job is to see things that don’t look right, and every once in a while we would call out a further assessment by a structural engineer.
Like that particular basement where the foundation was bending inward and causing the covered porch on the back to slant and the door not to work. I couldn’t tell you cost or what’s the best way to fix that, so structural engineers are more trained in the ways to fix it. Our job is to point out something that doesn’t look right, and then it’s the expert’s job to tell you, “Okay, this is what it’s going to take to fix and how much it will probably cost you.”
Kathy: Is the inspector liable from any issues found later that weren’t written up in the report?
Interviewee: That’s always a tough question.
Kathy: Yes. Especially if you’re the inspector.
Interviewee: We do have a inspection agreement that we have signed that basically limits our liability. However, any good inspector will carry errors and omissions insurance, and insurance to cover just in that case, and every once in a while this happen where somebody says, “You should have caught this,” and we say, “Yes you’re right.” And we have to file a claim with their insurance. But that’s a good question to ask any kind of inspector that you would be hiring is, what kind of insurance you have, and not that it may put them on the defense and say, “Oh, yes, you probably just want me to inspect this house and then you’re going to sue me later.” But it’s a good question to ask.
We in home inspection are known for our insurance, and we cover errors and omissions, and we also cover general liability just in case we’re up in the attic and we accidentally step through the roof, or through the ceiling and cause a big hole in it. So stuff like that is covered.
Kathy: Oh, fantastic. Yes. Again, to reiterate, we had a situation where a woman bought a property through our network, and did not get an inspection, she paid all cash so she didn’t get an appraisal either against our recommendation, and a few years later, she ended up having some pretty serious foundation issues and blamed it on the seller. And the seller swore up and down that those issues were not there prior or upon the sale, but there’s no way to prove that, there was no inspection done, right? And the buyer never went to see it.
This was in Texas, weather is a drought, and it could have been lack of proper maintenance on the property like we said. Keeping it moist in those dry areas, and certainly in drought areas the ground will shrink, right? When it’s really hot outside and that could affect the foundation.
I just, again, cannot emphasize enough how supported you are when you get an inspection and have someone who’s licensed and certified to be able to see potential issues before you close on that property. There’s not much you can do after closing, right?
Kathy: How often do you see these items like you said on the turnkey providers they’ll just go ahead and fix them. But how often do you see people just walking away from the property because they don’t want it after the inspection?
Interviewee: Well, I don’t see it too often. I do home inspections just for the general population who are buying a house, and [00:08:00] there is a certain amount of times that somebody doesn’t purchase the house, but a lot of it is, you just don’t know why. Maybe their financing fell through, or maybe there’s one or two issues that were definitely fixable, but they just weren’t willing to spend the time and the money to do it.
There’s, the biggest compliment I had is I would say about 99% of my customers who don’t buy a house end up coming back to me because I did such a thorough and good job that they liked the way I did it, and explain things, and they were using me again. To me that’s the biggest compliment. But all in all, our job too isn’t to be an alarmist and say, “You got to stay away from this property.” Because somebody may be getting a good deal, and they have the resources to put the time and the money into fixing it up, and either living in it or turning it for a profit. It happens sometimes, but not too often. Usually when they don’t purchase the house it’s because of some other reason, maybe not the house itself, just so there’s some situation came up.
Kathy: Okay. Wonderful.