In the past year I’m seeing a disturbing trend where during the home inspection, problems are missed and even worse, some have been noticed but dismissed as insignificant. Here’s what I’m seeing and how you can protect yourself from costly repairs soon after buying a house.
It sounds like a good idea to have a general home inspection. You pay one person, have one appointment, and even pay less than getting individual professionals to inspect your house.
But wait, convenience and saving a little money now can lead to a nightmare and high costs looming in the very near future. Here’s the latest example.
I went to a call where the customer paid $225k for his house. A big reason he bought it was a magnificent show kitchen. It looked as if no expense was spared… except when it came to the plumbing. The pipes were improperly installed and unprotected from the elements. It’s a rookie mistake.
The damage from the burst pipes, tear out, rerouting the pipes to meet code, restoring the kitchen to it’s former glory will be close to what it was to build the kitchen to begin with.
This is a prime example of why you should pay a little bit more for competent professionals to do the job right the first time. If you think that’s too expensive, try paying to have them come in after, remove mistakes, and then do it right!
But what if like this guy, you didn’t have a say in that job because you bought the house afterward? That’s why you should have a home inspection right? Not so fast.
Home inspection problems
The problem with home inspections, with plumbing in particular, is the inspectors all too often lack the knowledge that only comes with experience in the trade. Looking for general signs of problems is one thing, but knowing all of what causes problems as well as the minutia of the plumbing codes only comes with experience in the trade.
With the customer I mentioned earlier, the water pipes went outside the house, there wasn’t any insulation, these are both red flags to plumbing problems that a licensed plumber would immediately pick up on. But there wasn’t any note of them on the inspection report.
It would be great if this was an isolated incident, but the problem is becoming all too common. I’ve had 18 calls from recent home buyers where the home inspection failed to find problems that end up costing significant amounts to repair.
Skipping the home inspection problems
The purpose of a home inspection is so you know what you’re getting into before you buy a house. That way you can negotiate the cost of repairs from the price or find a new house if the problem isn’t worth it. Unfortunately, a general home inspection just doesn’t cut it.
Getting a home inspection is a good idea. Relying solely on that to make your buying decision, not so much. The only way you can be sure is having an experienced plumber inspect your plumbing system.
Make sure you don’t get stuck with hidden problems. Have Vince do a full Pre-Sale Plumbing Inspection on any home you’re considering buying.
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