To Hire an Inspector or Not?



#1039. Why should I hire an inspector and can I simply have a relative, friend or a contractor look at the house for me? 

You can certainly bring them over to look around and I encourage it. The more sets of eyes on the house the better. But I think this is a case where it would be “pound foolish and penny wise” to not hire an inspector. Professional home inspectors are trained to systematically review a house to reveal what a lay person, no matter how knowledgeable, may miss. 

I once sold this upscale two story house that was about fifteen years old at the time. The couple and I looked at it three times and one time the buyer’s dad tagged along to look over the house. Even though there were cumulatively ten views of the house we all still missed the six foot square area of color-loc siding that was rotting from behind in the front of the house off to the right of the front door. However when the inspector came to look at the house he walked up to the front door and reached over and pocked his finger into the siding. His trained eye caught the slight discoloration in the siding where it was rotting through. 

Here is what happened to the house: The front steps of the house had an eight foot wide porch roof coming off the front siding. At a point where the bottom edge of the porch roof met the house siding there was a spot, actually a hole about the size of a nickel, that had not been flashed or sealed. Over the years rain and snow water were slowly seeping in behind the siding, running down, and rotting the siding from behind. 

There is no 100% guarantee that an inspector will catch everything. But they can spot things that can make the cost worthwhile. 

I have a master list of inspectors posted at my web site under the “Buyers” tab.