What Your Home Inspector May Not Tell You

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Published: April 13, 2015 Last Updated: April 8, 2024

Home inspectors don’t tell you everything

The inspector doesn’t say: That up to 99% of the time, the issue or problem they put in their report will probably never happen or has only a minor risk or consequence. Yet, there it is. A comment or finding on the report says that the issue is hazardous, serious, or possibly very costly.

The listed findings may say that you need to have a licensed electrician, plumber, or some other professional come and review, evaluate and correct the problem. At times, reading the report may make you think that this is very serious or will possibly become very serious if you don’t follow the written recommendation, but in reality that it probably will never happen or it just isn’t all that important.

Why do many inspectors do this?

Like many other fields, home inspectors are worried about liability and lawsuits. Some believe if they don’t point out the worst scenario or the possibility of something bad or costly happening, then if it does happen they will be facing a group of attorneys.

When there is a damaged outlet, the inspection report will often recommend replacement by an electrician or licensed electrical contractor. What it won’t say is that a qualified handyman could likewise replace the outlet but at 1/2 the cost. The report may say that the drainage is improper and that it may result in significant damage to the foundation or home, which is true under a few circumstances. However, the report doesn’t say that 98% of the homes that an inspector sees also don’t have perfect drainage.

What can you do?

  • First, keep in mind that the inspector is providing you with important information and that you should pay attention to the recommendations.
  • Secondly, keep in mind the mindset of the inspector writing the report and why.
  • Thirdly, consider asking the inspector questions like: would you buy a house that has these issues? Would they be afraid to live in the house? Would they recommend to a family member to expect to spend a tremendous amount of money to make the house livable?

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