A year or so ago, one of my clients sought to purchase a home in a relatively new subdivision in a relatively affluent community in central New Hampshire. The home was beautiful and still had that “just-built” feel to it…so when we prepared to present an offer he suggested the possibility of foregoing the home inspection.
My client is a very well educated, thoughtful person who gave this option a tremendous amount of consideration. He understood we are in the midst of a prolonged “Seller’s market”, so-called, and reasoned the inspection contingency might cause the Seller to overlook his offer while accepting an offer from another Buyer. He and his wife REALLY wanted this house, and they sought to enhance their proposal to the greatest extent possible.
My impassioned plea: DON’T DO IT!
I know it’s a so-called Seller’s market. I know a streamlined offer with minimal contingencies will sometimes make the difference between having an offer accepted or rejected. Frankly, so what? In my opinion, that is no reason to place your (your family’s) financial position in jeopardy.
Your home purchase will be one of the largest investments you ever make… likely, the largest. Unless you are wealthy and you can absorb a major unexpected financial obligation, please take great care to minimize your exposure to a potential financial catastrophe. And, honestly, even if you ARE in a position to absorb a major financial obligation, why would you do so?
Certified home inspectors are trained to find problems you and I might overlook. Most cannot perform specialized testing, like analyzing an HVAC system (which takes special equipment and specific training), but many can detect problems you and I might never detect (ie, they have equipment that can detect moisture in the areas behind the walls).
Or they are trained to assess the functional capacity of a leach field.
In the instance of my above-referenced client, I prevailed upon him to obtain the home inspection. When the CERTIFIED inspector analyzed the septic system he discovered the installer had improperly installed one of the pipes leading from the distribution box to the leach field. As a result, one section of the leach field was absorbing nearly 100% of the effluent and appeared to be always wet. That section of the leach field had the appearance of being part of a 20+-year-old system, where it was actually just 3 1/2 years old. The inspector estimated it had 3 years useful life remaining.
A new 4-bedroom leach field had the potential to cost my client upwards of $18,000-20,000.
So, in spite of the fact it was a new home that provided the appearance of being a safe investment, in actuality it had the potential of presenting my clients with a significant surprise in a relatively short period of time. So please allow me to suggest that you consider a home inspection to be an indispensable insurance policy against unwarranted problems and potentially unaffordable financial consequences.