I have a hypothetical story to share with you this evening, it is about a couple by the name of Smith. The Smith's are first time home buyers preparing to buy the home of their dreams. Theyfound a home in the local newspaper and saw there was going to be an open house on Sunday afternoon.
The Smiths knew from the second they walked in the door that it was everything they had been looking for. They ask the agent about the property and are informed that the roof had been replaced the previous summer, there had been wind damage so the sellers just replace the whole thing. Aside from that the sellers hadn't disclosed any other issues they had with the property. The Smiths then ask for to arrange a private showing for them so that Mrs. Smith's parents can see the property, which was arranged for Monday afternoon.
The Smith's show up to the private showing with all of their parents, step-parents and a friend that happens to be a local contractor. The entourage parades through the home, checking every nook and cranny looking for anything that could possibly detract from the asking price. With the exception needing a fresh coat of paint they couldn't find anything worth mentioning. Their agent follows The Smiths back to the office to write up an offer to present to the sellers.
As they are filling out papers to present to the sellers the agent spends extra time discussing their options for inspections. The home was built before 1978 so there is no need for a lead-based paint inspection, the sellers will be paying for gas and termite inspections and there isn't a well to be inspected. The only inspection remaining is a whole house inspection, which will cost The Smiths around $300.00. They are ask to sign a form provided by HUD explaining 'For Your Protection, Get A Home Inspection'. Mrs. Smith feels that a certified inspection isn't needed because both of their fathers and a contractor looked it over for them already. Mr. Smith agrees stating that $300 is a lot of money and can pay for the majority of the paint they will be needing. The Smith's agent proceeds through the offer and explains that their offer is still contingent upon a home inspection, just in case they change their mind they will have seven days to have an inspection completed. Their offer is accepted within the week and The Smiths are moving in less than four weeks, they are very excited to be home owners.
Six months go by, the agent sees Mr. Smith at the grocery store and he informs them that he and his wife are having trouble with the house. Shocked the agent asks what sort of trouble they are having, Mr. Smith explains that one of the trusses was rotten in the attic which caused the ceiling of the spare bedroom on the second floor to cave in. It happened when there was nearly a foot of snow on the roof causing water damage to the bedroom as well as the living room and kitchen below. They have already spent over $5,000 on repairs and are unsure how they are going to finish the repairs because they are broke. He really wished that they had spent the money on the certified inspection, because an inspector would have gotten into the attic and even documented what was up there with pictures and a full report on the entire property.
The moral of this long winded story is that The Smiths could have potentially saved thousands of dollars and lots of frustration by spending a few hundred dollars for a home inspection.