When is that additional inspection really worth the money?
Most inspectors know a little bit about everything. Few know a lot about everything and the few in the middle are specialist at certain things. Some come from a real estate background, some from a construction or roofing background but all in all, you are bound to find most that know a little bit more about one area or another.
The issue is when to take their advice for the additional inspection. It's always a recommendation as is the inspection itself in most states. It's not mandatory but highly recommended. It's like investing thousands of dollars into a stock you know nothing about. Never a good idea.
It also depends on how well you know your inspector. Some agents may not be allowed to use their own inspector for fear of skewing results one way or the other to save the deal. Most agents prefer inspectors that are not "alarmists" but can calmly inform the buyer of any issues without causing too much stress.
I am sure everyone of you has horror stories one way or the other; like the inspector chosen by my buyer, that took 4 hours on a 1400 SF home and found 300+ causes for concern. This inspector made it sound like he was shocked the house was still standing! (It was only 10 years old and in average condition)
But what about when the inspector recommends an additional inspection?
This is where it gets tricky. Buyers and agents must judge the inspector on whether this is cause for concern or if he just doesn't know what he's talking about. This was a hard one to judge when an inspector recommended to my buyers to have the septic tank inspected further since he was not an expert. They declined the $800 inspection and 4 months after moving in, the tank flooded the house, yard and driveway and ended up costing them $12,000. This is definitely one of those times where the $800 would have been well spent.
But it's a risk. As with any unknown, unforeseeable event. When do you take the advice for the extra inspection, roof certification or boundary survey? When do you chalk it up to wasted money?
Thanks for reading. My Olympia homes experts has more info on traversing the pitfalls of home inspections and for buyers information on Bozeman real estate visit Nancy Oakes. (And thanks Dawn for inspiring me to write this from your post on home inspections.)