BuyingHome Inspection May 27, 2022

To Inspect or Not to Inspect?

As a home buyer, it’s your absolute right to have a home inspection. Whether the seller tells you that the inspection is for informational purposes only and the house is sold as is you can still have a home inspection. Even though a seller isn’t likely to make repairs on an “as is” inspection, you will still at least have the opportunity to walk away from the transaction if there are structural, health and safety issues that would need to be addressed.

When you hire a licensed and insured home inspector, you have the opportunity to do a basic structural inspection of the house. The inspector will look at the roof, foundation, furnace, test electrical outlets, make sure the plumbing isn’t leaking, asbestos, mold, etc. The inspector is looking for anything that could be unsafe in the home.

In addition to the basic structural inspection, a buyer could choose to have a radon test done. The test kit is put in the basement for 48-72 hours and then the inspector will send the kit to the lab for analysis. Some inspectors have electronic radon monitoring systems that they can put in the basement and the report is available right away. Radon levels should be below  4 pCi/L (picocurries per liter). If the radon is below that, there’s no problem. If it’s above 4.0, then a radon fan will need to be installed in the basement where the radon will be vented out of the house.

If mold is found in the house, then a licensed mold contractor should come and evaluate the mold so that it can be remediated.

If asbestos or vermiculite is found in the house, then it’s recommended to remediate that as well. Asbestos is commonly found in pipe insulation, siding, some ceiling tiles and some floor tiles. If the asbestos isn’t coming apart, it can be left alone but it’s recommended to wrap the pipe insulation with fiberglass just in case. If the siding on the house is falling apart, it might be a good idea to remove it and put vinyl siding on the house. If there’s vermiculite in the attic, it’s unknown if it’s contaminated with asbestos so it’s definitely easy for the potential asbestos dust to be disturbed so it can be breathed in easier.

If there’s a well, you will want to have that tested for chemicals, bacteria and radon.

If there’s a septic system, you want to make sure the tank has been pumped and inspected and you want to make sure that the leaching/drainage field is working properly.

If you find any of these items, it’s always a good idea to ask for the seller to take care of it or give some sort of credit or reduce the price of the sale to accommodate the repairs needed. You and your agent can discuss and figure out what to do that will work best for you.

In this competitive market, would I ever ask a buyer to waive their inspections? Absolutely not! Protect yourself and your investment!