Buying a Home

Are Home Inspections Necessary?

I strongly recommend a home inspection to all of my buyers. Some people believe the reason you get an inspection is so you can ask the seller to fix any issues with the home before you move in. This really isn't the case. In fact, according to the Real Estate Purchase Contract we typically use here in Utah, you buy a home in its "As-Is" condition. Here's what the contract says:

Buyer Acknowledges and agrees that in reference to the physical condition of the Property: (a) Buyer is purchasing the Property in its “As-Is” condition without expressed or implied warranties of any kind; (b) Buyer shall have, during Buyer’s Due Diligence as referenced in Section 8.1, an opportunity to completely inspect and evaluate the condition of the Property; and (c) if based on the Buyer’s Due Diligence, Buyer elects to proceed with the purchase of the Property, buyer is relying wholly on Buyer’s own judgement and that of any contractors or inspectors engaged by Buyer to review, evaluate and inspect the Property.

The way I like to explain it is this - you buy the property in its current condition. You get to inspect the home to find out what that condition is - kick the tires and look under the hood, so to speak. If you are okay with the condition you can buy the property. If you aren't, you can walk away. That's what the Due Diligence Period of the contract is all about. 

All that being said, it doesn't mean you can't go to the seller to ask for repairs. You can. But the inspection report is not a punch list of items the seller is required to fix. It's your guide to what you are buying. 

This is where the most important reason we get inspections comes in. You want to make sure as best you can that there are no major flaws in the house that will cost more than you are able to pay to repair. Things like foundation issues, bad sewer lines, worn out roofs, unsafe electrical wiring, etc. These types of things can be very expensive to fix. You need to know if these issues exist before you sign a loan for hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they exist, you can walk into your home with your eyes open and expectations accurate for what is ahead. Or you can walk away and find another home with less up-front maintenance needs. Or ask the seller to repair or contribute to the repair of the issues.

The $500-ish dollars you spend on an inspection is absolutely worth the knowledge it gives to you.