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NBC 15 Reality Check: Skipping an inspection when buying a home is risky business

WPMI--NBC 15 Reality Check: Skipping an inspection when buying a home is risky business
WPMI--NBC 15 Reality Check: Skipping an inspection when buying a home is risky business

You may never meet her, but you hear her voice, every morning on introduction to NBC 15 Today.

Her name is Ann DeWig, and she was actually recording a promotional spot for this very story about the dangers of skipping a home inspection... when she made this confession-

She and her husband did exactly that about 3 years ago... and it was a big mistake.

"And usually when you buy a house,” says Ann, “it is contingent on an inspection. We took the realtors advice and said, ok, we will have an inspection but it will not be a contingency, We'll buy the house no matter what the inspector finds. And... he found a lot!”

So why did Ann and her husband wait until after the purchase to get a home inspection? Because even 3 years ago, competition for homes in the Washington D.C. market was fierce. Agreeing to forego the inspection helped seal the deal.

But when they finally brought an inspector in, they discovered major support beams missing in the attic... an unstable foundation... and damaging leaks from a 3rd floor bathroom.

"Well, we had to spend upwards of about $50,000 before we could even move in," she admits.

Ann made that deal with the guidance of her realtor.

But a local realtor we spoke with said he'd offer a different bit of advice:

"Run away!" says Jason Ross.

Ross is a realtor in Orange Beach with Roberts Brothers Realty. He says sweetening the deal by skipping an inspection can quickly go sour.

"People trying to forego a home inspection,” says Ross, “the bad thing is, when you do that, you really set yourself up for 10's of thousands of, possibly 10's of thousands of dollars in repairs. A person could be displaced while repair work is being done in their home,"

What about new homes?

John Staz, owner and president of Enviroquest says they're generally protected by warranties.

But if the house has a few years on it- "Especially with older house in stock that's not in as great condition, “he says, “there could be hidden problems that people find after they move in"

That leaves people like Ann to deal with the aftermath.

"It kind of feels like we don't really have a choice,” she says. “We are where we are, and you kind of accept it."