Don’t skip inspection when buying home

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In a hot housing market, everyone is looking for an advantage to buy their dream home. But buyer beware. 13 Action News anchor Tricia Kean spoke to local experts about an important step that some may consider skipping, which could be a costly and even dangerous decision.

KICK THE TIRES

“One of the great things about being able to buy a house is that you can have someone kick the tires for you,” said Aldo Martinez, president of the Las Vegas Realtors Association.

It is important to know what you get for your money. When you buy a car, you take it for a test drive. When you buy a house, you get a home inspection.

AVOID REPAIR INVOICES

“When you’re paying top dollar in today’s market, the last thing you really need when you move into a house is repair bills that come with it,” Martinez says.

He says it’s not uncommon for multiple homebuyers to bid on the same home. But it’s important to take the time to get a home inspected before you buy it. If you really feel like skipping the inspection gives you an edge, Martinez says, reconsider.

DISTANCE FROM THE RIGHT

“Still do it. You can waive the right to basically ask the seller to fix things you discover during the home inspection, but don’t waive your right to know,” Martinez says.

Martinez says any home should be inspected before purchase. Newly built houses go up so fast, mistakes happen. Older houses wear out. But patchwork or a fresh coat of paint can cover bigger problems. In addition, during the pandemic, many homeowners took on DIY projects that may not comply with the code.

PIPE, ELECTRICAL, HVAC

“Is the plumbing good? Is the electricity good? Is the HVAC good? How old is the water heater?” says Charles Bulfer, Manager of Vegas Inspect.

He points out that some things are easy to spot:

“These shut-off valves for this washing machine’s electrical box are all corroded… This countertop is broken here,” Charles says.

SPECIAL TOOLS

But Charles says his home inspectors have the special tools needed to spot hidden problems, too. This sewer camera shows problems that Charles says he saw at a previous house.

“They had about 18 inches of roots in the sewer before it fell into city service,” Charles says.
He also uses a drone to thoroughly check the roof.

“You can see that the subfloor is sometimes damaged. You can see the plywood underneath. So you know the roof needs repair,” says Charles.

FIND LEAKS

He also has equipment to detect leaks behind walls and even detect possible mold. Even in the desert, Charles says he is familiar with cases where mold has developed.

“It had dripped into the wall. Not enough to see the moisture. Not enough to see damage. But mold formed because it stays wet,” says Charles.

CONNECTED & INSURED

Martinez says there are many options when it comes to hiring an inspector. Make sure you do your homework and it will be worth every penny.

“Look for good quality inspectors who have a good reputation. They’ve been around for a while. They’re connected. They’re insured. They stand by their work… Eventually you’ll get someone a little better qualified than you”, says Martinez.

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