If you are preparing to purchase a home, you’ll have to decide whether or not to pay for an inspection. These inspections, which can cover a wide variety of potential issues ranging from leaks to pest damage to general wear on the home, are usually the right choice for buyers. They ensure that you are getting a high-quality, safe home, bringing fewer unwanted surprises after your purchase.
But skipping this step can, in a few cases, be beneficial. Skipping the inspection can lower the overall cost of a purchase and speed the process. There are a few situations, however rare, when you may want to pass on a home inspection.
Home Inspections Not Always Required by Lender
Some might think this article is dead on arrival. “Don’t you need an inspection? Isn’t it required?” you might wonder. Not at all. First of all, if you are buying without a mortgage, you can do as you please; if you have the money you can pay what you want and complete the process as you see fit. (Within the law, of course.) If you buy with cash, there’s nothing stopping you from purchasing without an inspection.
But even if you use financing, you may be able to skip this step. Home inspections are not always required by the lender, so the decision is, in many cases entirely yours.
When Purchasing Without an Inspection May be Right
Note: Below are situations when purchasing without an inspection should merely be considered. These situations do not automatically mean that no inspection is a good idea, they merely mean that you are putting yourself (and your finances) at less risk if you proceed without an inspection. Regardless, you need to be very careful about your purchase.
When You Get a GREAT Deal on a Rental Property
The biggest, most important reason that you might consider purchasing without an inspection is purchase price. But in this case, we’re not just talking about a good deal. We’re talking about a deal that is so low you almost feel guilty!
If you are going to purchase without having the home inspected, you should assume there will be expensive repairs, so you need to get a fantastic deal. The deal should be so low that even if the roof needs replacement, the foundation needs sealing, and the plumbing needs to be reworked, you still come out on top.
If you are paying “market value,” or anywhere near that, you should have an inspection. But regardless of the situation, if the deal is fantastic you may consider purchasing the property without an inspection.
When a home is foreclosed on, it can create a strong opportunity for both investors and homebuyers. In general, you will find that foreclosures sell for a much-lower price than typical market value. This is because the bank, which has seized the property from a borrower who is unable to repay, is highly motivated to sell the property as quickly as possible.
The banks don’t want to be property owners, so they often price a foreclosed home at much less than what it might bring in a typical sale. This means that you can afford to go without an inspection, as any savings could be rolled into repairs and upgrades. And if there are no repairs, then you can consider the savings as profit!
In a Seller’s Market
When the local market is hot, with properties selling fast, it can be extremely difficult for your offer to be selected. The most important factor is the selling price, but it may not be possible for you to offer more than fair market value. One way to make your offer standout is to eliminate steps in the sales process. One of these steps that can be eliminated is the inspection phase.
In a hot market, inspectors are often backed up for months, which means eliminating this phase could complete the transaction rapidly. For sellers, the chance to sell the home quickly could be more motivating than a few more thousand dollars.
Buying a Fixer-Upper
When you purchase, repair, and sell a home quickly, you are participating in a “fixer-upper.” These properties can bring fast profits, although skills and determination are needed to have longterm success with this investment strategy.
With a fixer-upper, you basically assume that repairs will be needed. You know that the property is going to need costly repairs, so an inspection that discovers multiple issues won’t really change your decision one way or another. Therefore, buyers of fixer-uppers may consider purchasing without an inspection.
You Already Know the House is in Poor Condition
Another reason why you might consider skipping the inspection is if you already know the house is in poor condition. After all, the point of an inspection is to find problems with the home; to discover issues like a cracked foundation, drafty windows, outdated wiring, and damaged shingles.
So if you already know that house is in poor condition, if you already know that you’re going to have to spend tens or thousands of dollars on the home, then you can skip the inspection. The inspection won’t tell you anything new, so it may be worth saving this step.
You Have Budgeted for Lots of Repairs
This should always come into consideration if you are going to buy without an inspection. Regardless of the situation, if you are purchasing without an inspection you should assume there will be costly repairs and you should have a specific plan for funding these costs. Whether you plan on using additional financing or you will use out-of-pocket expenses, this is a crucial part of your purchase. Always know how you will pay for any repairs before you buy a home without an inspection.
Most purchases, for good reason, are done with inspection. These are just a few of the situations that may allow you to purchase without one.
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