LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In a hot housing market, everyone's looking for an edge to buy their dream home. But buyer beware. We spoke with local experts about a major step some may consider skipping that 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," says Aldo Martinez, President of the Las Vegas Realtors Association.
It's important to know what you're getting 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.
"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 go with it," says Martinez.
He says it's not unusual for multiple home buyers to bid on the same house. But it's important to take the time to have a house inspected before you buy. If you really feel skipping the inspection gives you an edge, Martinez says reconsider.
WAIVE THE RIGHT
"Still do it. You can waive the right to basically ask the seller to repair things that you discover through the home inspection. But don't waive your right to know," says Martinez.
Martinez says any house should be inspected before purchase. Newly constructed homes are going up so fast, mistakes happen. Older homes wear down. But patch work or a fresh coat of paint can cover bigger issues. Plus during the pandemic, a lot of homeowners took on DIY projects that may not be up to code.
PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, HVAC
"Is the plumbing good? Is the electrical good? Is the HVAC good? How old is the water heater?" says Charles Bulfer, Manager of Vegas Inspect.
He points out some stuff is easy to spot:
"These shut off valves for the utility box for this washing machine are all corroded ... This countertop is broken here," says Bulfer.
But Bulfer says his home inspectors have the special tools needed to also find hidden issues. This sewer cam will show problems Charles says he's seen at a previous home.
"They had roots in the drains about 18 inches before it dropped into city service," says Bulfer.
He also uses a drone to thoroughly check the roof.
"You can see that the underlayment sometimes is damaged. You can see the plywood underneath. So you know the roof needs to be fixed," says Charles.
He also has equipment to help find leaks behind walls and even detect possible mold. Even in the desert, Charles says he's familiar with cases where mold has sprouted.
"It had been dripping in the wall. Not enough so that you could see the moisture. Not enough that you could see that there was damage. But it created mold in there because it stays wet," says Charles.
BONDED & INSURED
Martinez says there are lots of options when it comes to hiring an inspector. Just be sure to do your homework and it will be worth every penny.
"Look for a good quality inspectors that are reputable. They've been around for a while. That are bonded. That are insured. That stand by their work... At the end of the day, you are getting someone who is a little more qualified than you," says Martinez.