An excerpt from an article written by Tarek El Moussa of 'Flip or Flop'.
4. Bypassing a home inspection because the house looks perfect
One time at the start of my career, when I was trying anything and everything, a homeowner called me with a proposition. He had an old home he'd just inherited, and no cash for renovations. He would put up the property, I would put up the cash to renovate, and the profit we would earn when we sold would be split 50/50.
We started ... and it was one thing after another. The electric system needed to be totally replaced. The pipes were rusted. Then we found termites. It got to the point where I'd feel nervous whenever my phone rang. When we finally sold, I lost money. I'd been certain it would be a sure thing.
Moral of this story? Hire a professional home inspector to carefully examine all the details and bones of the home before you buy. With a home, it’s what’s underneath that counts.
Just remember, building inspectors look for faults: It's their job. So don’t get upset when you see their 40-page report. Pay attention to the big-ticket items, which include the electric wiring, plumbing, foundation, and things that concern health, like old building materials such as lead and asbestos.
This is why home inspections are a major contingency in most home purchases. One of my clients was so excited about a place, she decided to forgo the inspection contingency on her offer. The good news: Her offer was accepted. The bad: There wound up being an issue with the foundation that cost her an extra $45,000 to fix.
5. Assuming new construction is in great shape
One time, I put an offer on a new house being built in Tustin, CA. Since it was new construction, the buyers didn’t think that an inspection was necessary. I told them it was worth the few hundred dollars, and insisted. We ended up finding that the builder had faulty plumbing ... which was found to be the case for the entire newly built neighborhood!
Even with new builds, do your due diligence.
Many homeowners cover their electrical main panels with pictures, enclosures, or paint the same color as the wall. Electrical codes do not allow any of these practices. In reality, the "code police" are not going to show up and issue a ticket. Regardless of code, you want the panels visible and easily accessible in case of emergency. You need to think of fire fighters, renters, or guests that might not have any idea where the main panel is hidden. Is it really worth the risk to be cosmetically appealing to hide a panel?
I am a full-time home inspector servicing all of South Carolina.