Can You Waive a Home Inspection When Buying a House, and Should You?
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Home inspections, or assessments of real estate property conditions, are not always required to buy a home.
Such inspections are different from home appraisals, although they do play a role in evaluating the overall value of a property by looking at safety and upkeep. They’re also useful for discovering potential problems with a house.
Though home inspections can cost around $400, it’s a good idea to get one before committing hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more in some states!). But on rare occasions, you might find yourself waiving the inspection before you agree to purchase the property.
Here are some reasons why waiving your home inspection could be a good (or bad) idea.
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Should I waive a home inspection?
If you’re a competitive, well-funded buyer, you might have the flexibility to waive a home inspection. This inspection is a useful way to know that the house is in good working order, but it can be a hassle for the seller. Here are the main reasons why you might waive a home inspection.
1. It’s no secret the house needs work
If the buyer is specifically in the market for a fixer-upper and has the resources to complete renovations or repairs, they might waive the home inspection. This would especially hold true for a buyer who’s intimately familiar with home repairs or has connections who can make informal assessments and predictions about the home.
In such a case, someone might waive a home inspection when buying a house because it would be deemed as redundant.
2. The house is pretty new
Conversely, someone might waive a home inspection if the house is only a few years old. With relatively new electric, plumbing, HVAC, and structural components, there hasn’t been much time for issues to develop.
In such a case, a buyer may feel that what you see is what you get and feel confident that there are no underlying issues that merit a home inspection.
3. You want to win favor and make a more competitive offer
Another reason someone would waive a home inspection when buying a house is to be more competitive.
There might be multiple offers on the table, and waiving the inspection could expedite a sale and demonstrate seriousness of intention to the seller. With few differences between offers, a seller might be more inclined to go with the no-inspection option to more quickly close the sale. After all, even small issues found during a home inspection can slow down the purchasing process.
4. To save money on the short end
While the price of a home inspection varies according to region and even inspector, the average cost of a home inspection when buying a house is between $300 and $500, according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. For a buyer who wants to reduce the upfront cost of purchasing a home, saving a few hundred dollars may seem like an attractive option.
Why you shouldn’t waive a home inspection
While there are situations where foregoing inspection is appealing, it’s generally a poor idea to waive a home inspection when buying a house.
The initial expense of hiring a home inspector can save you thousands of dollars or more in the long run by identifying issues in need of repair or upkeep that may not be immediately apparent. A home inspection may even turn up major issues, like attic mold, that might turn you off from purchasing a particular house.
Some of the things a home inspector looks for include:
- Water damage
- Structural integrity
- Roof damage
- Electrical system issues
- Plumbing problems
- Termites and other pests
- HVAC system performance
If a buyer knows that potentially costly issues exist, there’s an opportunity to have the seller address the problems before closing. This is not only financially responsible, but it better ensures the safety of those ultimately living in the property. Even if the property is new or seems to be pristine, there may be issues that builders overlooked that come to light in an inspection.
A home purchase is a major, life-changing event, and it’s a decision that should be taken with eyes wide open and as much knowledge about the property as can be had.
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