Value of a Home Inspection?

Real Estate Agent with Integrity First Financial Group, Inc.

It is March, 2008 and I have been referred to the greatest couple looking for a house in Santee, Ca. This couple is a friend of a friend and we hit it off perfectly! A fun, easy going couple with a couple of kids looking for their Dream Home!

He is active military so a VA loan is no problem! I refer them to my favorite lender, they have perfect credit scores and I thought, boy, this is going to be a piece of cake; and fun too!

Out house hunting we go! And then......within 2 weeks of our hunt, my military home buyer finds out he is being sent to Singapore for 6 months! House hunt on hold. Wife moving to home state of Washington in the interim to save money, pay off credit card debt and hope to qualify for a larger loan amount at the return of her soldier! Great plan!

Fast forward to last week of December 2008. Although we have continued our search virtually, it was more a pass time than an actual home search. Tour has lasted longer than expected, but 6 weeks more and her man will be home in San Diego and they want a home! She flys in for 5 days and we spend 3 days on a massive home search. Inventory has changed over the year. Not as many options available as when we started. Not a problem! We found it! The perfect home!

We make an offer on this short sale, and are assured by the listing agent they have short sale lender approval as a previous buyer walked. Not a problem. We have time to wait. The husband will not be back for 6 to 8 weeks, perfect timing for him to come home to his new home! And then we wait, and wait, and wait. Oh, and then we wait some more. FINALLY we have approval. 1 week prior to the husbands arrival! Such timing!

Day of husbands return is the day of home inspection. We have a fantastic time. This is the first time he is seeing the home in person. He has seen the home via the Internet and heard all of his wife's excitement as she plans to rip out the cabinets, tear down walls, put new flooring in.....As we walk from room to room, the husbands excitement grows with every step. Until the home inspector finds a small crack in the tile in the kitchen floor tile..........and he puts down his golf ball sized ball bearing..........and it rolls to the east. He moves further into the kitchen, it does the same. Then the living room....same.....garage.....even worse. This is the end of our fun.

We contact the listing agent and low and behold, since she was on her last minutes of disclosure and had not received them yet, oh ya, the home had a cracked slab at the time these sellers purchased and it has been corrected. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Did you not think to mention this at ANYTIME over the last few months as we are waiting for bank approval? Whatever. Let's move forward. The listing agent offers to provide the previous report showing the problem corrected, but to no avail. They can not find anything. We request the seller to provide a current engineers report. The agent has no idea where to begin to get this, so I provide a company for her.

Report: $70k worth of repairs that need to be done to fix the existing slab. This does not include any amounts to correct the problem to avoid this happening for the THIRD time.

Home Inspection: $400, Cracked slab: $70,000. Value of a home inspection: PRICELESS.

The seller is in no position to correct this. Short sale lender will NOT fix this. Buyer will not purchase this home this way. Escrow canceled. Buyers now must find a place to live in a matter of days. Coincidentally, the house next door to me is for rent. I know have clients as neighbors! 

A new search begins!



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Making the Home of Your Dreams A Reality. As your Agent of Possibility it is my intent to make your home buying or selling process a smooth one!

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Not a real person 10/14/2009 07:16 PM
  2. David Salvato 02/06/2010 01:28 AM
Home Buying
California San Diego County Santee
1st Time Buyers
SAN DIEGO Real Estate Agents & Loan Officers
Advice for Buyers
va loans
home inspection
santee ca

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Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Oh, Stephanie!!

I am so sorry for you and for your clients!  Sounds like NO ONE is going to buy that home.  I cannot imagine 70000 for foundation work (minimum). Yes, an inspection is money well spent if you have a good inspector that is. :)

I'm sure you will assist them in finding the perfect home for their needs!!

Sep 20, 2009 02:02 PM #1
John Rakoci
Eagle Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
North Myrtle Beach Coastal Carolinas

Every one of us in the business can site examples of why an inspection is, or should be a requirement. Especially in NEW construction. Today, the 'craftsman' is interchanged with 'worker'.

Sep 20, 2009 02:06 PM #2
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

Sonja-It was a long ride, but a valuable lesson for these homebuyers! They were so excited about this home but were so relieved when they did not end up with a $70,000 problem on their hands!

John- I totally agree. I have had numerous clients over the years question if they should get a home inspection or not! I ALWAYS advise my clients to get a home inspection and now have a $70,000 reason why!

Thanks for the comments!

Sep 20, 2009 02:15 PM #3
Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

With this example, I don't think you will have any trouble convincing other clients of the important of home inspections. 

Sep 21, 2009 03:33 AM #4
Matthew Naumann
Exit Realty Charleston Group - Goose Creek, SC
Goose Creek, SC Real Estate Agent


Great Post.  Definitely a crisis adverted.  I agree with a Home Inspection is priceless.

Thanks for sharing,

Matt Naumann

Sep 22, 2009 03:31 AM #5
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

That's a lot of money for a foundation out there in Lakeside. Must have been a huge house or a lot more than just a "cracked slab." LOL. Too bad all Realtors don't have a good story to tell about the value of a home inspection.

Oct 14, 2009 06:53 PM #6
Stephanie Reynolds
Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. - Santee, CA
East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408

You are all correct! This is a great story that I have been able to share with many of my clients and it works, that is for sure! Thanks for your comments!

Oct 15, 2009 10:33 AM #7
David Salvato
David Home Inspection Service Home Inspector San Bernardino - Los Angeles, CA

Hi Stephanie.

I was reading all you blogs and found another dandy! This should be a featured post. Just another reason to have any potential listing inspected first. All of this made the listing agent look bad in the eyes of the buyers and you the buying agent. A frustrating experience for all, I'm sure. Realtors need to do everything they can to protect their good name. Importance should be given to protect their image. The first step to listing a home should include a sellers inspection. Listing agents should demand it.

Feb 06, 2010 01:25 AM #8
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Stephanie Reynolds

East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408
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