When looking to purchase a house, one of the standard courses of action is to get a home inspection. Home inspections are a crucial step in the home buying process as they alert you to any repairs that may be needed, as well as any unsafe conditions that could present themselves during your time living in the house.
With the market in its current state, many buyers are choosing to forgo a home inspection, waiving that step of the process, just to be able to have a shot at purchasing the house they have their eyes set on. Waiving a home inspection can lead to a number of issues down the line, and we’re here to tell you all about them.
Home Inspection Basics
When getting a home inspection, the inspector will be looking for a number of things to help determine whether or not you should purchase the home you are looking at. Inspections can inform you about the upfront costs for repairs that a house may need, and may be able to forecast what the house will need down the road. An inspection is the most important tool you have in terms of home buying preparedness, and should be treated as such.
The Dangers of Waiving a Home Inspection
Waiving a home inspection can lead to costly repairs down the road that you may not have been aware of, as well as pose a danger to you and your family if the undocumented issues are severe enough. Here are some of the threats posed to your wallet, as well as your health, if you waive a home inspection.
1. Radon Contamination
One of the most important inspections that comes alongside a standard home inspection is a radon test. Radon rests are a way to ensure that your house is safe for you and your family to live in, and should be tested in homes with a basement, crawl space or slab on grade. If exposed to radon, your chances of developing lung cancer increase. Radon is released when trace amounts of natural uranium break down in the soil and rocks that your house is built on. Knowing whether or not your home has excessive levels of radon in the air can actually save your life!
2. Water Quality
When inspecting a home, a water test is one of the fundamental points of scrutiny. Testing for the quality of the water in a home can not only improve your quality of life, but also keep your health in check. Low-quality water often smells and tastes bad, and can have an abnormal quality. This is due to impurities and contaminants present in the water itself, or possibly in the pipes and plumbing systems.
The EPA recommends that household water be tested even if these signs of low-quality water are not present because of the significant health impacts it can have on people. When subjected to contaminated water, people can develop neurological disorders and an array of diseases affecting respiratory, abdominal and cardiovascular health.
3. Structural Damage From Pests
Structural damage can wreak havoc on the owners of any home if not properly identified and remedied quickly enough. A home inspection can help save prospective buyers from such heartache. Structural damage can be present due to a number of things, but there are a few points of inspection that can help to identify any issues before purchasing a new home.
One of the inspections that should be highlighted in terms of structural integrity, as well as the overall safety of a home, is the wood destroying insect inspection. Insects such as termites can cause massive amounts of damage to a home in very little time, and can cause a home to become unsafe. Termites aren’t the only culprits capable of this, however. Carpenter bees and carpenter ants can also damage the wood of your home, albeit at a slower rate.
When inspecting for wood destroying insects, inspectors will check for current infestations, evidence of past infestations, as well as evidence of treatments. Finding wood destroying insects before they can do too much damage can save your house from toppling, and save your wallet from emptying.
4. Septic Problems
In cases where a home has a septic system rather than a traditional sewer system, home inspections alongside a septic inspection are a must. The main purpose of a septic system is the disposal of waste. When a septic system fails, the waste can pose a threat to not only your health, but the health of the community around you. Sewage from septic systems carries illnesses that pose a threat to people and animals, like dysentery, hepatitis, and typhoid fever.
In addition to the diseases carried by the waste, a failing septic system can allow for mold spores to be carried back into your home. These spores can then be transported throughout your home and lead to dangerous mold growth in areas suitable for it. Once mold has entered your home, it’s hard to remove, as well as incredibly costly.
5. Hazardous Chemicals and Materials
When undergoing a home inspection, identification of potentially hazardous chemicals and materials can occur. Some of these include lead-based paints and asbestos, both of which can be very hazardous to your long-term health. Asbestos requires removal whereas lead-based paint requires careful consideration if modifying. Both are equally important to have evaluated after getting a home inspection.
Home inspections are a step in the process of buying a house that need to be taken seriously. Currently, the market moves so quickly that prospective buyers are willing to waive inspections just to be able to have a shot at the house that they’re considering. While this may be tempting, it’s important to remember all that a thorough inspection can provide. Health hazards as well as high cost repairs can be identified prior to purchase. By realizing these dangers to both your health and your wallet, you’re saving yourself heartache down the line rather than taking a gamble on what could be the best or worst purchase in your lifetime.