“I can’t actually see past the plastic sheet blocking off the basement any more, but I know it’s a mess down there.”
That’s a friend of mine telling me about the result of a disastrous discovery in his basement this winter.
Beyond that plastic sheet and into the basement - a place where the family is not supposed to go for any reason - lies a basement in shambles. What started as a routine search for black mold - a search that wasn’t supposed to yield anything - has turned a beautiful new home into a liability.
“It’s awful,” my friend told me. “Here we are in this awesome new place, and not only can we not enjoy half of it, but the half we are living in doesn’t feel like we should be.”
The family has been told there’s no danger to stay in the house, but that hasn’t alleviated their concerns. Would you stay?
At least they’re finally getting professional advice.
You Don’t Know What You Can’t See
The housing market in the lower mainland has necessitated the forfeiture of home inspections for years now. Skyrocketing prices have been enough to convince us of the value of a home just by taking a quick twirl through the living room. If it costs this much then it must be worth it, right?
The fact of the matter is that no matter what a home looks like from the street, there’s a lot of issues that could be going on behind the scenes.
Black mold is probably one of the most famous problems that a home inspector will look for, but there are others that could end up costing you in the long run.
Have you ever heard of Poly B piping? Hopefully you haven’t, because if you have, then that means you’ve probably had to deal with this slowly decomposing pipe that was installed in newly constructed homes in the 1980’s.
If I didn’t have a home inspector tell me about this potential problem before I bought my home I would have been completely blindsided by a special levy in my complex to replace the pipes. I used this as leverage to negotiate a better deal so I’d have money set aside when the time came to do the work.
Fear Of Missing Out
It doesn’t matter if you’re spending 300K or 3 million on a home, it’s tough to risk losing the place when there’s someone else willing to go in with their eyes closed.
It’s perfectly understandable why people skip home inspections. If we wait then we won’t get the house of our dreams and someone else will, right?
While that might be true, the reality is that the house of your dreams could turn into the house of your nightmares pretty darn quick. Best to figure that out before you sign on the dotted line.