- Mike and Mary Damon, Waynesville
Home Inspections: Are they Worth It?
I would never buy a home without having it inspected by a licensed home inspector, and that includes (maybe especially) brand new construction.
Home inspectors catch a lot of grief, and just as in any profession, there are good inspectors, great inspectors, and terrible inspectors. Your real estate professional can give you the names of inspectors that other clients have recommended, and that is a great place to start. In North Carolina, Home Inspectors are licensed by a state licensing board and 11 NCAC 08 .1103 covers the purpose and scope of what the inspectors do.
I see the job of the home inspector as giving you a "snapshot" of the condition of the house. While an inspection can uncover some serious issues (foundation, electrical, plumbing, roof, heating and cooling systems), it isn't a complete and total analysis of the structure. Inspectors can't see behind walls or inaccessible areas. They aren't allowed to move significant amounts of the current owners possessions to access an area. They aren't allowed to turn gas on and off. In other words, they have limitations.
So there is always a bit of a "leap of faith" in purchasing a home (especially in North Carolina, which is a "buyer beware" state). But you want to make as informed "leap of faith" as possible. Every home has its quirks that you will only learn about by living in it. An inspection won't turn up every little item. But it almost always turns up the big ones; or at least it turns up the red flags for the big items.
Spending $400 to $1000 dollars on a home inspection is an investment in the largest investment most of us will ever make. Not only can it uncover items that you as the buyer can ask the seller to repair or compensate you for (they can say no, but you can ask), a home inspection could stop you from purchasing a money-pit of a home!
Talk with your real estate agent (hopefully that is me) about what inspections you may need in addtion to a general home inspection. As always, I am happy to discuss and answer questions!