Are home inspections really necessary? 

Home inspections

With the real estate market being so hyper competitive this year, a lot of my clients have asked if home inspections are really necessary. My answer is always the same. It is necessary, like insurance, when you need it.

I always recommend a home inspection if only for peace of mind. Of course, if the home is less than five years old or if it is a condo, then well, the odds are in your favour that the place is safe and sound.

The problem this year is that the home inspection condition makes offers less desirable compared with offers, even lower priced offers without conditions.

I recently sold a house in Kitchener where we received four offers. The lowest priced offer without conditions is the one that the seller accepted. He just wanted to sell his house and move on and even though he could have made considerably more money with another offer, he didn’t want the hassle and the wait and the unknown of what the inspection might uncover.

On the other side, I recently helped some buying clients get a place too. They put in a good offer without conditions and won the house. They beat out eight other offers. The listing realtor told me that the sellers took the offers with conditions and set them aside and first considered the condition-free offers.


The rise of pre-inspections and post-inspections

In my client’s case, they really wanted a house and they did a pre-inspection, a one-hour walk through with a home inspector. He looked at all the important things with them and gave them a verbal ok on the house. Unusual times call for unusual measures. It seems weird to invest in a house that you might not even buy, but in that case it worked.

Another idea is to do the home inspection after you win the house. Most times, home inspection uncover a variety of little things that new homeowners should be aware of but are not deal breakers. An after purchase home inspection will be good enough in most cases. It is a risk though.

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  1. says: Laurel

    Hello, I was considering buying a fairly new 3-storey townhouse on 342 Mill Street in Kitchener right near the new LRT. I am from out of town and have already been working with my agent in Burlington, but I was reading some of your articles and wanted to ask your opinion on buying in this location. My concern is that the surrounding neighbourhood looks like a mixed bag. Some older small homes and also light industrial. Could you possibly give me any insight on this location? I plan to live in it for about 6 months and then rent it out.

    1. says: Keith Marshall

      I like those townhouses. Branthaven homes is a quality builder.
      You are correct about the location. I’m sure the neighbourhood will improve greatly once the LRT is in operation but currently it is a mixed bag.

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