CLEVELAND — The housing market remains red hot across the country, which has led some buyers to look for different ways to get an advantage. However, one of those tactics could end up back firing in a big way.
“Up in the attic, we’ll find mold,” says Don Wilson, owner of Official Home Inspection.
He’s been inspecting homes for about 8 years and has come across a lot of issues. Some are easier to see, while others take a trained eye.
Wilson says, “You’re looking for outdated electrical panels or ungrounded three-pronged outlets, plumbing issues. The foundation, walking around the outside to see if there are cracks. Are there cracks on the inside?”
Wilson says he’s been finding less issues as of late, because less people are getting homes inspected. What’s the reason?
“It’s a crazy market, it really is,” says Coldwell Banker realtor, Amanda Ibold.
Ibold says sellers are reviewing multiple offers and buyers are looking for every edge they can find, including waiving a home inspection. It’s something she thinks is a bad idea.
“I mean, there’s been water in basements, there’s been leaking ceilings,” says Ibold. “There’s been roofs with shingles missing that they didn’t see. It’s everything.”
The horror stories are all over the place. Garrett Crawford, owner of an Ohio branch of AvantaClean, a company specializing in water restoration and mold removal, says he’s been getting a slew of calls from people that skipped inspections and moved into moldy homes.
“We’re seeing now, homes that I feel are uninhabitable,” says Crawford. “The ones that I’ve been seeing lately, it’s very clear there’s mold and water damage there. I just don’t know if people don’t have the trained eye to see it, but they’re clearly missing it. I’m going into the houses and I’m just horrified.”
Wilson says the average price for a home inspection in the Cleveland area is about $400, while Crawford says removing mold gets much pricier than that. It can sometimes run north of $10,000 depending on the amount and type of mold growing.
There are different ways to get an advantage over other buyers, but Ibold says unless you’re a contractor or handyman who knows what you’re looking for, skipping an inspection isn’t a good one.
“Unless you’re twisting my arm, I will not let you waive an inspection,” says Ibold. “It’s just, it’s not smart.”
Wilson says, “Again, you waive an inspection, you get into that house and all of a sudden you see water coming through the walls or a bow getting bigger, you have no recourse.”
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