Are Inspections Worth the Money?

A typical property inspection of a single family home without a pool in Las Vegas costs between $250 and $300 depending on the size and age of the property. In our opinion, a property inspection is one of the best values around. Here is a sample inspection report.

Recently two of the properties that made through our process contained critical flaws that would have cost our client a lot of money if the sale had closed. One contained Kitec plumbing and the other had a poured back patio with a zero or slightly negative grade. If there is a heavy rain and the wind is coming from the right direction, it is highly likely the water will go into the house due to the zero grade patio. When a house floods, rehab costs will be in the thousands. Also, if the insurance company discovers that the flood was caused by an improperly installed patio, they might reject the claim all together. On another occasion, our inspector noticed a few broken roof tiles and decided to take a closer look. That led to a professional roof inspection with the conclusion that the roof was defective. The cost to replace the roof was $20,000. Fortunately in that case the seller was willing to pay for the roof replacement in order to close the sale.

The other advantage of having an inspection is that you get a more complete list of what needs to be repaired. This is very important since the cost of all repairs may make the property not worth buying. At times you can also use the inspection report to encourage the seller to repair major problems. For example, a few months ago a client purchased an older home which, due to rather unusual zoning, can be converted into an office. The inspector discovered that a second floor toilet had been leaking for long enough to have compromised the sub-flooring. Based on the inspection report, we went back to the seller's agent and gave him the option of replacing all water damaged materials (following a very specific method and with our inspecting the work at certain key points) or we would terminate the purchase. The seller had little option since he was now "aware" of the damage he would have to disclose this to any other buyers. Cost savings to our client from this inspection are to be in the $2,000 to $4,000 range.

Lastly, it is important to use a good inspector. Just because someone is a licensed inspector does not mean that they are any good. Some of the inspection reports we've seen are so bad that we would have no trust in their results at all. We have used the same inspector (Cornerstone Home Inspections) for several years. He is a plumber and an inspector and he is a very methodical and detail oriented person. We know if he has been through a property, there is a 90% chance he found all the major issues.

In summary, the inspection is a key step of your purchase process. Never skip it.