Why Home Buyers Should ALWAYS have a Home Inspection

By
Real Estate Agent with Boardman Realty Minnesota License#90858

A headline in a April 2018 St Paul Pioneer Press article reads, "White Bear Lake Man Believes Old Batteries Robbed him of Health and Home". The foundation of his 1939 built lake home and surrounding retaining walls around the property were constructed using emptied out battery casings filled with concrete. 

White Bear is  a community where I have sold many homes, and this situation is highly toxic. While this issue was not apparent to him when he purchased decades ago, it was to a local home inspector who actually mentioned the very home in another article about why get a home inspection. 

This is not only a very sad story and unbelievable situation, this is a reminder of why buying  a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) can be costly. The form for a home disclosure in Minnesota wasn't as comprehensive as it is today. A homeowner could get an inspection but not all buyers did. Which is happening again today.

Because of the low housing inventory and extremely high demand for existing single family homes buyers, who are often desperate for their opportunity to own a house, take short cuts. This is not a wise decision. As an professional REALTOR®, it is my job to make certain my home buyers have contingencies in place for the opportunity to have one (or more) professional inspectors comprehensively view the home before moving forward on with their purchase. 

Inspectors cannot see everything but do guide home buyers on where to look further if necessary. In the White Bear home the basement was unfinished and the battery casings complete visible when this family purchased. While this is a very unusual circumstance, home inspectors do uncover many issues that help home buyers make good informed decisions

I always encourage a thorough top to bottom home inspection to my home buyers. Buying a home is one time where cutting corners does not make sense--even in a hot seller's market!

 

Posted by

Teri Eckholm. REALTOR with Boardman Realty, is a native Minnesotan who has lived and worked in the Minneapolis St Paul metro all of her life. She specializes in lakeshore homes, acreage properties and first time home buyers but assists anyone making a move in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give Teri , a call or visit her website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report She specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2019 terieckholm.com

 

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Rainmaker
871,327
Anthony Acosta - ALLATLANTACONDOS.COM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Good day 

Thank you for sharing your information with us

Have a great day.

May 12, 2018 05:52 PM #1
Rainmaker
3,935,550
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Home inspectors are trained to see the abnormal.  The stuff that you should have been told about that were just covered up

May 12, 2018 07:18 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,206,869
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Hi Teri,
I think we all have some home inspection (or lack of) stories.  This is an extremely unfortunate situation.  The low inventory and waiving of home inspections is a very bad combination.  I think it is ALWAYS in the buyers and sellers best interest to have a home inspection done!  Thanks for the post.

May 13, 2018 06:56 AM #3
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

How sad. Your story does underscore the importance of getting a home inspection. Sadly, we can't expect people to do the right thing in terms of disclosure. :( 

May 19, 2018 07:48 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,155,257
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I have relatives today who still live in White Bear Lake. But what a chilling story. I didn't even realize you could build a home out of battery casings.

May 19, 2018 09:02 AM #5
Rainmaker
355,497
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Teri, I agree with you 100%!  Many home buyers have been saved due to a home inspection.  You could end up with a money pit if you're not careful.  The cost of the inspections are minor compared to the risk you run if something is really wrong.

May 19, 2018 10:12 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,520,430
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

I agree, home inspections are very important. This is a sad story for the buyer Teri Eckholm.

May 19, 2018 10:13 AM #7
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Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Good advice. Thanks! We waived our inspection many years ago as our home was practically brand new and built by the owner/contractor. But I can see how a home inspection would make sense in many cases.

May 19, 2018 10:19 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,401,918
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
www.SIBRealty.org 305-931-6931

Yes, buyers NEED to have a licensed inspector. No matter what. We always advise buyers to do it. 

Great post! Thank you.

May 19, 2018 10:21 AM #9
Rainmaker
50,925
Ricardo Mello
Manhattan Miami Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent

Sad remainder!

May 19, 2018 10:29 AM #10
Rainmaker
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Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Teri reading a blog like this reminds me as well as all of us why we should always have our client's best interest in mind. I came away with two potential blogs that I am going to write just from reading your blog. But you are right "Buying a home is one time where cutting corners does not make sense--even in a hot seller's market!". Thank you very much for sharing.

May 19, 2018 12:13 PM #11
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Teri

That's a pretty scary story (we lived in White Bear Lake, in Dellwood, for about 15 months). I cannot imagine not taking the time nor spending the funds to get a thorough home inspection, and other inspections if recommended or they seem prudent.

Jeff

May 19, 2018 01:31 PM #12
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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Teri Eckholm  Thank you for this useful information .I am so glad that Carol Williams featured this post in SCS

May 20, 2018 08:50 AM #13
Rainer
22,327
Eric Sztanyo
Keller Williams Advisors Realty - Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati & NKY Realtor® | TeamSztanyo.com

True. Good point that items can be overlooked in a hot seller's market. Still necessary to get that inspection!

May 20, 2018 07:39 PM #14
Rainmaker
339,371
Jim Holder
HomeSmart Connect - Arlington Heights, IL
REALTOR EMERITUS, ABR,ePRO,CNC,SFR,

Always good to suggest a home inspection to remove your own professional liability. But,  be careful who you suggest, as it should be more than one.

May 21, 2018 07:37 AM #15
Rainmaker
5,350
Sally Vetstein
Coldwell Banker Real Estate - Framingham, MA
Real Estate Agent serving Metrowest-Framingham MA

Great story and gives me something interesting to think about.

May 22, 2018 04:42 AM #16
Rainmaker
380,626
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks for sharing an important message. 

I always recommend a home inspection, even on new construction.

May 22, 2018 07:18 AM #17
Rainer
144,373
Theresa Akin
CORPUS CHRISTI REALTY GROUP - Corpus Christi, TX

I strongly suggest to all my buyers to have a home inspection. I give them a list with the most thorough at the top. i have been told I almost go into overkill suggesting the inspection. When I tell them some of the horror stories I have seen in the past and how a few hundred dollars have save thousands, they gratefully review the list. When they become adamant about not having an inspection I have them look over the waiver of the inspections and right before they sign i ask again . One buyer signed then got to his car, turned around asked if he could change his mind again . I let him dispose of the waiver and deposit it into the shredder. He got onthe phone and called the inspector at the top of his list. I asked him what made him change his mind; "My wife told me I was an idiot if i didn't have it inspected." LOL. He was glad he did.  He decided not to buy the house and moved onto the next, same inspector, who gave him a big break on cost but saved him thousands on the first. It was a win win for him. 

May 22, 2018 06:29 PM #18
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Teri Eckholm

REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro
Looking to buy or sell in the Twin Cities? Contact Me Today!
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