Recently we were hired to inspect a home that was under contract for purchase. The buyers were first time home owners and came to use through a referral. After discussing what they needed and setting a day and time, we met at the home for their inspection. When I arrived I realized the home had a sea wall because it sat on a canal. While the new buyers told us the home was on a canal, they did not mention they had a sea wall. How could they? They didn’t even know! I explained to them the importance of having the sea wall inspected, even though there was a small additional cost. They agreed and the inspection ensued.
Upon inspection of this sea wall we found some major foundation cracks. These are the kind of issues you don’t want to find out about after you’ve purchased a home. This kind of repair has a heft price tag associated with it. We walked the new buyers through the inspection, explained everything as we always do, and gave them the details on everything about the home.
Since the home owner chose not to have a pre-listing home inspection done, they also did not know there were existing issues with the sea wall. The new buyers now had to re-negotiate the sale of the house based on this finding.
I know what you’re thinking. “This is why I don’t want a home inspection. A home inspector could kill the dream of buying our dream home! It could kill the dream of selling my house!”. If that is what you are thinking, you couldn’t be more wrong. Our goal is most certainly not to “kill” any home purchasing deal. However, if we hadn’t found the issues then the new home owners could have very quickly found themselves is a financially difficult situation. And while having to re-negotiate the sale of the home, it certainly doesn’t mean the deal is dead. On that same note, had the owner done a pre-listing inspection on the home they would have known about the issue and could have accounted for it before putting their home on the market for sale.
This story is only one of many that we experience every week. New home owners move into a home without having it inspected only to find they’ve walked into expensive necessary repairs. We have no authority to enforce standards but rather to merely point out conditions as they exist and make recommendations.